3 Signs That Your Garage Door Needs Replacing

Residential garage doors are complex devices that can fail in a variety of ways, many of which can be addressed by a simple repair job. But there are times when repairs simply can't provide the best long-term solution for your needs. Here are three instances in which you're better off replacing your garage doors entirely.

1. Body Panel Damage

You might assume that those dents or bulges in your garage door panels are nothing more than an eyesore, but you should never underestimate this kind of "cosmetic" damage's ability to make your entire door system unreliable or unsafe. If the body panels have been struck hard enough to become warped, for instance, the door may not slide up or down correctly along its tracks, which can cause strain and additional damage to other components. Once a door is warped due to impact or (in the case of wood) long-term exposure to moisture, it cannot be un-warped; it must be replaced. 

Aesthetics do matter, of course, particularly if you're planning on selling your home anytime in the near future. Scuffed, dilapidated, dented or warped garage doors can have a drastic effect on your asking price. Even if it doesn't, your prospective buyer may insist that you replace the garage door before the deal can go forward, thus delaying your closing date. By contrast, beautiful, new-looking residential garage doors can boost your home's market value by up to 4 percent.

2. Frequent Repairs

It's true that a given garage door repair costs considerably less than an entire new set of garage doors. But what if you're constantly replacing one part after another? This is a known issue on older models, with their less sophisticated designs and technology. If you're replacing multiple components on what seems like a regular basis, you could be spending as much to maintain that annoying, old door as it could cost to install a gorgeous, new one.

Today's garage doors not only offer better insulation and greater strength against damage and deterioration, but they also break down much less frequently, resulting in a much lower ownership cost (and much less owner frustration) over time. If you're tired of pouring money into your garage doors, it's time to make a single, smarter investment in some new ones.

3. High Energy Bills in Extreme Weather

If you've always suffered from a frigid garage in the winter and a roasting one in the summer, you probably shrugged it off as an unavoidable fact of life. At the same time, you probably experienced noticeably high energy bills in the summer and winter months -- another inevitability, right? But these inconveniences may very well be related, in which case you may need to replace your garage door.

How is your garage door sabotaging your budget? If you're really lucky, it may simply be closing incompletely or unevenly. The solution to this problem could be as simple as replacing a bent hinge, a bad torsion control cable, a worn pulley, or a bent section of track. But many older steel or wooden garage doors do not have sufficient insulation to keep extreme temperatures from turning this part of your home into a freezer or oven -- and the extreme temperatures can penetrate the facing wall to affect the rest of your home. Modern garage doors feature insulated, multi-layered designs to help you keep those utility bills at bay while enjoying a more comfortable garage all year round.

From beautifying your home to increasing its energy efficiency, there are plenty of sound reasons for replacing ugly, damaged, or obsolete residential garage doors. Your best bet is to consult your local service company for an expert opinion on whether it's high time you took that step yourself.