January 27, 2017

Hitting the Garage Door…An Accident Recovery Guide

Did you EVER think you’d be looking for tips or suggestions about what to do after running into your garage door? Most of us never think such a thing can occur, but with the pace of daily life it can be much easier to do this than most imagine. Rushing and late, dealing with kids, the distraction of cell phones and even issues like icy driveways or the occasionally forgotten luggage rack strapped to the roof of the car can add up to one thing…a big, loud bang.

Broken garage door

Then, what follows is often a moment of heart-thudding shock, panic and a flurry of emotions. What we want to also recommend is that, should you find yourself in this unwelcome situation, try to one thing: Don’t Panic.

The Damages Can Be Repaired

It is easy to rush into a serious panic if you have just crashed the car into the garage door, but keep in mind a few very important points:

  • The average electric garage door opener can lift upwards of 350 pounds (160 kilos)
  • To do that, it is fitted with equipment that is under very high tension
  • This equipment can be located along the bottom area of the door
  • The bottom of the door is the place where most impacts occur

You see where this is going, right? If you hit the door – whether you are going in or coming out – it could be a very dangerous situation. The best thing to do is follow these simple steps for a “hands-off” (in other words “touch nothing”) visual inspection.

Step One:

Evaluate. Do a visual scan of the entire door from the inside (if the building is okay and there are no obvious signs of serious structural harm). Look at the rollers. Are they in the tracks, attached to the hinges and in their proper place? Look too at the lifting cables and the hinges. Are the cables able to wind around the drums? Do they seem to be aligned with them? Are the hinges and rollers still attached? (If you do see any of these issues, skip to Step Four, below)

Step Two:

Consider the vehicle. If it cannot be removed from the garage without first opening or closing the door, slowly edge it back into the garage. If it is outside and has slammed into the door, slowly back it away from the garage.

Step Three:

Test the system by standing at least eight feet from the garage door – from the outside. Use the remote to trigger the system. If this single click is accompanied by a lot of sounds you have never heard the door make before, it is time to call a professional. It is likely that the door itself is damaged or parts are disconnected from the opening system. Unplug it or shut off the breaker and call for repair.

Step Four:

If the garage door is off the tracks or parts of the opening system clearly damaged, touch nothing and call a door expert. While contacting the professional who installed it may be possible, you may also want to get in touch with a firm capable of repairing or replacing it quickly.

Step Five:

Think about insurances. Though the cost of repairs is going to depend on the extent of damage – that damage can occur in two very different ways. There is the damage to the door and/or structure and then the damage to the car. Your homeowner’s insurance policy is what will pay to replace or repair the damage to the door and opener (and building). Your car insurance is what will cover damages to the vehicle. Before putting in a claim, though, consider your deductibles and any effect your claims might have. Sometimes, it is better to pay for repairs out of pocket (depending upon costs and extent of damages).

And About Those Costs…

It is impossible to predict just how much any incident of this kind might cost in terms of repairs. The extent of damage to the door or opener, in addition to the age of the door, are what dictate costs. A full replacement of both door and system takes but 2.5 hours. If, however, you are having replacement sections installed, that means taking the system apart, replacing the broken sections and reinstalling.

It is typically the labour that costs the most, rather than the new equipment or even an entirely new door.

If you discover that it is better to just install a new door, contact us at 705-721-7909. We are garage door experts happy to supply you with a free quote by email. We can come to your site and also make suggestions about design or equipment choices, we’ll also steer you towards our online Design Centerwhere you can see your home with a new door or take a look at our image gallery for inspiration.

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