You can go for years without needing to replace your garage door. Your garage door will last longer if you clean it and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for taking care of it. If you perform maintenance work at least once a year, a garage door’s lifespan can extend to up to several decades. If you’re having problems with your garage door, though, consider getting it replaced.
Inspect your garage door regularly for the following signs that you need to replace a garage door. If you need a replacement, call your local garage door company for an estimate. Use this guide to determine when and how to replace a garage door.
How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
A garage door can last for several decades if you give it the proper care. Here are some factors that will help you determine a garage door’s life expectancy:
- Construction quality: The installer of your garage door might have done a poor job. If the garage door contains cheap material or was installed incorrectly, it won’t last as long. Instead, consult with a trustworthy professional to install a garage door.
- Inspection: Schedule an annual preventative maintenance appointment with your local garage door company. During this appointment, a professional will inspect your garage door for broken parts. Replacing parts of the garage door — like a garage door opener or a tension spring — can prolong the life of your whole system.
- Proper maintenance: You should also maintain your garage door by lubricating the moving parts with oil. Lubrication prevents rust from tainting these metallic parts. You should also clean your door with mild detergent and water to remove debris. Consult the manufacturer to find out how to clean your garage door’s material.
- Local climate conditions: Extreme heat or cold could cause wear and tear on your garage door. Think about how your garage door material performs in your home’s climate. For example, wooden garage doors are prone to warping in moist environments. Vinyl garage doors are also sensitive to UV lighting.
When to Replace a Garage Door
If your garage door is more than ten years old and you notice that it’s not working like it used to, you may need to replace your garage door. You know that you need to replace a garage door if it shows any of the following signs.
1. Your Door Has Damage From Wear and Tear
The average garage door opens thousands of times each year. If you’ve had your garage door for ten years, it has done a lot of work over its lifespan. Without proper maintenance, a garage door will have damage due to wear and tear. Here are some of the reasons why garage doors lose their strength and functionality over time:
- Carrying the weight of a garage door: The springs and lifting cable of a garage door can become damaged due to holding up the garage door for so long. When they experience excessive wear and tear, the tension springs can snap and drop the door.
- Dirt and debris inside the rollers: A noisy garage door means that there’s friction on the garage door track. Debris buildup could cause a track misalignment.
- Weather damage: The wear and tear of precipitation can damage a garage door over time. Wind, rain, snow and UV rays result in rusting, warping or discoloration.
2. Your Door Isn’t Opening or Closing
The purpose of your garage door is to open so you can access your home and close so you can have privacy. If your garage door gives you trouble when you move it, you need to inspect it to find out what’s causing the issue. Invest in a door that provides a smooth transition from the car to the inside of your home. You can also replace the parts of the garage door, like the garage door opener.
Here are some common garage door problems. These problems could explain why your door might not be opening and closing:
- Faulty garage door opener: Having an old garage door opener can lead to several safety hazards. The automated reversal feature, which makes the door reverse if a person or object is in the way, may not work correctly. You could also leave your garage vulnerable to thieves with a faulty garage door opener. Burglars know how to override an old garage door opener system. Besides these safety features, a new garage door opener provides quieter operation.
- Broken remote control: If the remote control doesn’t work, the motor unit might have disconnected. You could also try replacing the batteries to your remote control or standing closer to the door. If the motor unit has burned out, you will have to get the motor to the garage door opener replaced.
- Misaligned photo eye: The photo eye activates the automated reversal feature. The smallest obstruction, even dust, could affect the functionality of the photo eye. If your garage door doesn’t open and close all the way, you may need to get your photo eye inspected and replaced.
3. The Door Has Obvious Signs of Damage
You need to replace your garage door if an accident, a storm or vandalism has damaged it severely. Here are some types of damage that a professional would need to replace:
- Broken springs and lift cables: A broken tension spring can be dangerous. You will know if the tension spring isn’t working because your garage door won’t open. After extensive use, the lift cables and tension spring could snap. A broken tension spring creates a loud sound that you can hear from anywhere in the house. You can replace a broken tension spring, but you should be careful. Let a professional fix your broken spring to avoid further damage.
- Track misalignment: A garage door that has fallen off the track will no longer function. The material of the garage door could rub against the track and cause it to fall out of alignment. You will know if you have a track misalignment issue because the door will look crooked. A track misalignment could result in the garage door ruining the siding on your house.
- Dents: A dent in the garage door could prevent smooth movement along the track. It can also decrease your home’s curb appeal. Indentations from sports equipment or harsh weather conditions could damage the space between your panels and leave a gap in your garage door. While you can repair your garage door by fixing one board, it’s better to get the whole garage door replaced.
4. Your Garage Door Is a Safety Hazard
For safety reasons, you should always keep your garage door closed and locked. A faulty garage door can be a safety risk to you and your family. Here are some reasons why you might not feel safe in your garage or near your garage door:
- Burglary: Intruders may try to get into your house through the garage. They may even use your tools to try to unlock the entry door, so you should always keep tools locked away. A new garage door may have an extra lock or will be more durable than your old one.
- Outdated technology: Burglars can sometimes figure out access codes to get into your garage. With new technology, you can set up a keypad that creates a random access code and sends it to your phone. That way, the password will be different every time.
- A faulty photo eye: The photo eye keeps your family safe by ensuring that no one is in the way of the garage door. If a small child or a pet runs under the garage door while it’s closing, the garage door will go back up. A faulty photo eye is a serious safety issue.
5. Your Energy Costs Are Increasing
Old garage doors lose their insulation over time. If you notice an increase in your energy bills each month, you may want to invest in a new garage door. Here are some reasons why a new garage door will improve the energy-efficiency of your home:
- Better insulation: If you want more insulation on your garage door, you can request it from your local garage door company. You could also invest in material that offers improved energy efficiency, like wood.
- Let your HVAC take a break: The extra insulation of a new garage door can help ease the burden on your HVAC system. When the temperature in the garage is comfortable, your HVAC system can take a break.
- More “smart” technology: Many new garage door openers can connect to your phone, enabling you to control your garage door from anywhere in the world. This technology saves money on energy bills because you’ll only open it when it’s necessary to do so. Smart technology can also alert you if your garage door is open when you’re not home.
Cost to Replace Garage Door
The cost of replacing a garage door ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on various factors. Some of the factors that will affect your costs include:
- Materials: The cost to replace your garage door depends, in part, on the material you choose. Steel and wood are some of the least expensive options, while fiberglass and vinyl tend to be some of the most expensive. Installing additional insulation to improve energy efficiency will also add to material costs. Keep in mind that some materials, such as wood, cost more to maintain over time.
- Parts that need replacing: You may be able to use some parts from your existing garage door to reduce your costs. If you don’t know how old the parts are, however, you should replace them so you know they’ll function correctly.
- Labor costs: While you could do it yourself, hiring a professional to replace your garage door is much more efficient. You’ll save more time, and you’ll even save money. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can make mistakes that will cost you more money in the long run. Your estimate from the garage door company often includes the cost of labor, including for removing and disposing of the old door and installing the new one. Labor will likely add a few hundred dollars to your costs. Some types of projects may cost more in labor, however. To upgrade to a taller garage door, for example, the garage door company will have to remove parts of your siding to make space for this extra height.
- Size: A door replacement for a two-car garage will cost more money than for a one-car garage because of the door’s larger size. A two-car garage door typically costs a little less than double what a one-car garage door costs.
- Location: In areas with higher costs of living, garage door replacement costs will likely be higher as well.
A garage door replacement can be a cost-effective project if you know where your money is going. Here are some of the benefits that make installing a new garage door worthwhile:
- Higher resale value: A garage door replacement can yield a resale value of 94.5% in Washington state. You can get more for your house when you sell it and take advantage of the enhanced curb appeal. A garage door replacement is one of the most cost-effective remodeling projects.
- Improved appearance: You can choose the color and material of your new garage door. Select a style that complements the other elements of your interior design. If your current garage door has some dents, a new garage door will make your home look more modern.
- Improved safety: A new garage door and garage door opener will enhance the security of your home. A faulty garage door opener might not have an automatic reversal feature. Replacing the garage door will also help keep your family safe from intruders.
- Improved energy efficiency: A garage door replacement can reduce the cost of your energy bill each month. With an insulated garage door, you can more easily regulate the temperature of your garage. The insulation also keeps cold air out of the main area of the home.
- Reduce maintenance time and cost: Newer garage doors are easier to maintain. Since their parts function better, they require less maintenance and fewer repairs. You can save money over time with a new garage door.
Garage Door Replacement in the Greater Olympic Peninsula
If your garage door shows any of these signs, consider a garage door replacement. Browse through our collection of Clopay residential garage doors to find a high-quality option for your home. We also have reliable LiftMaster garage door openers.
If you live in the greater Olympic Peninsula, the professionals at Olympic Garage Door can inspect your garage door and determine if you need a garage door replacement. Visit our staffed showroom in Port Angeles to browse our inventory. You can also contact us online or call us at 360-452-3859 to request an estimate.