When most of us think about replacing household appliances, we think of our fridge, washer, or microwave. But what about those appliances that last longer, but that are also more expensive to replace?
One essential home maintenance task many of us never think about until its too late is deciding when to replace your garage door. While they may not seem like an important item to invest in, the garage door industry accounts for more than $366 million in revenue in the United States each year.
That’s because there are far more reasons to replace your doors than when they finally stop working (though that’s a good reason, too!). If you’re wondering whether your home is due for an upgrade, keep reading to learn 10 reasons to replace your garage door today!
1. Your Garage Door Has Been Damaged
Perhaps the most obvious reason to replace your garage door is if it has been damaged.
There are plenty of ways that garage doors can get damaged. Perhaps the most common is collisions with your vehicles.
Maybe you are backing up in your driveway and don’t realize that you’re too close to the closed door until it’s too late. Or you’re late to work in the morning, turn on your car, and start to back out, only to realize at the last second that you forgot to actually open your garage door.
There have even been instances of homeowners not fully setting their car’s brakes so that after they step out of the car, it rolls straight into their garage. Of course, if the doors are closed, your garage doors are likely to be irreparably damaged.
If you do get into a collision with your garage doors, unless it’s very minor, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to simply repair them. Instead, you’ll probably need to replace them.
You may also need to report your collision. In some states, any accident in which the damage to a vehicle totals more than $1,000 has to be reported to the police, even if no one was injured and you were the only one involved in the accident.
Accidents are the only thing that can lead to damage. Burglars may also target your garage doors. Just as you should get your doors and locks fixed and replaced right away, you’ll also want to replace your garage doors to make your home safe again.
2. The Door Doesn’t Open and Close Reliably
If you moved into your home with working garage doors or have had them for a while, you become accustomed to them opening and closing on demand. That is, until the day they don’t.
When your garage doors no longer open and/or close when you hit the button, there could be a number of things going on. One cause that’s very easy to fix is to replace the batteries in your garage door opener. Like with any other electronic, when the batteries begin to die, your opener may begin to work sporadically.
If you replace the batteries and still can’t get your door to open and close reliably, something else is to blame.
While your garage doors may still look great, the mechanisms that control them might be going out.
Your garage doors consist of so much more than the doors you see each day. Operating those doors is a complicated system of tracks, cables, springs, and the electronic system that powers it all.
While you can replace or repair individual parts, if they begin going out because of age, odds are that each time you replace one, another will stop working soon after. Instead, it will be well worth your investment to replace the entire system.
Hopefully, you also carry a key to your home. Otherwise, suddenly finding that your garage doors no longer open could mean getting locked out.
3. Your Springs Have Worn Out
One part of your garage door system that will wear out over time is the springs.
These heavy-duty, oversized springs are what pull your door open and allow it to close. While they may seem harmless enough, these essential pieces can actually be incredibly dangerous.
Because they are designed to lift doors that could weigh 400 or more pounds, these springs are designed to hold a lot of tension. It also means that they go through a lot of strain, eventually causing them to stretch and no longer shrink back down like they are supposed to.
If your doors no longer go all the way up or they drop loudly when closed, it could mean that your springs need to be replaced. Just like a key broken off in a lock, springs that no longer hold tension won’t allow your door to open and close properly.
This might seem simple enough. After all, you should replace them while the doors are open, which means that there is little tension on the springs.
However, if the springs aren’t properly installed, they could pose a very serious safety hazard. Each year, more than 30,000 injuries are caused by garage doors. A large number of those injuries are the result of springs that have been installed incorrectly.
It’s best to leave the installation of new springs to the professionals. Because it does take years for springs to wear out, if its time to replace your springs, its likely time to replace the entire system.
4. The Garage Door is Old and Worn Out
You don’t need to be having any issues with your garage door to warrant replacing it.
Garage doors go through a lot of wear and tear. Besides opening and closing them several times a day and maybe bumping them with your car a few times, they likely also get hit by bikes, kids’ toys, the lawnmower and more. Plus, the sun, rain, and other elements will cause the paint to fade and crack.
Over time, your garage doors will be left showing their age.
If your garage doors are old, worn out, or out of date, why not replace them with bright, brand new doors?
Anyone thinking about selling their home should consider upgrading to new garage doors as well.
The curb appeal of your home is incredibly important when you’re trying to make a sale. Nearly 95 percent of real estate professionals have recommended sellers improve the curb appeal of a home before listing it for sale.
While new garage doors might not be a selling point for buyers, old, worn out doors or those that don’t work properly is likely to be a reason not to buy.
5. The Old Door Provides No Insulation
Your garage is an extension of your living space. Even if you do park a car or two in it, odds are that it serves a variety of other purposes as well.
Many families use their garage for storage. You might use it to store outdoor items, like your lawnmower, children’s toys for outdoor play, bikes, etc. It could also act as overflow storage for the inside of your home, holding clothing that is out of season, hiding Christmas toys, and more.
Garages are also popular spots to keep a workbench and tools. On a side where you don’t store a car or while your vehicle is out of the garage, that space might become your workshop, where you can tinker with projects or work on household repairs.
Unfortunately, most garages are poorly insulated. And most garage doors are even worse. While even uninsulated walls provide some protection from the cold, standard garage doors provide very little.
With only a thin layer of wood or metal between you and the elements, your garage will be a miserable place to work during the winter months.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution; insulated garage doors. Upgrading to these can help you extend your living space into your garage all winter long.
6. You Want to Save Some Money
Insulated garage doors are good for more than just keeping you warm. They can also help you save some money.
Because standard garage doors offer very little insulation, they can also cause your heating and cooling bills to rise. Hot or cold air may seep under your door leading out into your garage. And every time you open that door, the same happens.
Adding insulated garage doors to your home can actually make it more energy-efficient, which in turn will save you money. Over time, your insulated garage doors will pay for themselves in lower utility bills!
7. The Door is No Longer Up to Safety Standards
Even if they’ve been professionally installed and you aren’t trying to replace your own springs, your garage doors could still pose a safety hazard.
As with many home appliances and upgrades, safety standards have changed a lot over the last few decades. Major changes were made to the safety standards of garage doors in January of 1991. If you’ve been maintaining the same garage doors from this time, your doors could pose a serious hazard to you and your family.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, 46 children between the ages of 2 and 14 were killed after becoming trapped under garage doors between March of 1982 and December of 1990.
Even if your garage doors aren’t quite this old, they may still not be up to today’s safety standards. If you aren’t experiencing other problems that could cause you to replace your doors, check on the model of your doors to see if there have been any incidents.
If you find that standards have changed since your doors were produced, it’s better to be safe than sorry and go ahead and replace them to keep your home safe for your family.
8. Your Door is Raising Your Insurance Costs
You may not realize it, but your old garage doors could actually be causing you to pay more for your home insurance.
Many insurance companies offer benefits and discounts for homeowners who install safer, more secure garage doors.
Talk to your insurance provider to see if there are any discounts available at this time. Just like choosing insulated garage doors can lower your energy costs and balance out the cost of the doors, a lower monthly insurance premium could easily make up for the cost of a new garage door.
9. You’re Constantly Performing Maintenance
Maintaining old garage doors can be time-consuming, not to mention expensive.
If you choose to fix your doors on your own, you could spend hours maintaining each piece as it goes bad. And if you don’t have the experience, you could also be putting yourself and your family in danger if you do something incorrectly.
Paying someone to maintain doors that are constantly breaking will add up fast.
If your garage doors are newer and still in working order and something goes wrong, it’s likely worth it to simply get them repaired.
Before you pay for a costly repair to your older garage doors, ask yourself if its time for an upgrade. If you know that this repair is likely to be followed by another just a few months later, you’ll likely save money in the long run by going ahead and replacing your doors now.
10. You Want Your Door to Reflect Your Home’s Style Better
Just because your garage doors are in good shape doesn’t mean that they look good on your home.
If your garage doors don’t match the exterior of your home, either in color or style, it can throw off the entire look of your property.
Whether you’re looking to sell your home and want to increase your curb appeal or you just want an exterior that you’re proud of, it’s easy to choose garage doors that match your home and your style perfectly.
Additionally, if you’ve recently bought a home and the garage doors aren’t your style, there’s nothing wrong with replacing them. Just like rekeying your doors or installing a peephole, doing so gives you a chance to choose not only the look of your doors but also ensure that they will help keep your home and your family safe.
Deciding That It’s Time to Replace Your Garage Door
Whether your garage doors are no longer working properly, maintenance costs are adding up, the outside of your home could use a refresh, or any combination of reasons, it’s time to replace your garage door.
To learn more about replacing your garage doors, check out our installation services today!