Garage doors are easily some of the most simple-looking complex pieces of any home that can require a lot of maintenance. When your garage door is accidentally bent or starts bending with age, you may want to fix it yourself or know how someone else can fix it with ease.
There are two ways to fix a bent garage door:
- Using a hammer to fix the bent panel; hitting it until it realigns or becomes straight again.
- You can remove the bent panel using your tool set and replace it with a straight panel that fits perfectly in your garage door.
You will need to know several things about fixing your garage door in the right way; otherwise, you may not permanently fix your bent garage door. We recommend that you follow a few simple steps to fixing it and understanding why your garage door may bend to prevent it from happening again.
Can You Straighten A Bent Garage Door?
Many people think that when a garage door is bent, it needs to be replaced entirely or that you will have to buy several unique tools to fix it. It is essential to know whether something is possible to do or not when you decide even to attempt it.
Yes, you can straighten a bent garage door all on your own with only a minimal amount of work if the bend is not too bad. If the bend in the garage door has been caused by accident or has been sagging for several years, you will have to replace several panels to straighten it out again.
We recommend assessing the bend before you replace it or try to bend it straight again with a hammer. You often won’t fix just one part of the garage door; you will have to replace the railing and several of the bearings to ensure everything is working correctly.
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What Causes A Garage Door To Bend In The Middle?
Several things can cause your garage door to start sagging without you even noticing; we recommend being aware of each one before fixing the door. If the problem causing the door to be bending is not fixed properly, you will have more parts of the door bending.
We know of seven common reasons that garage doors bend without someone diving or driving into them. Each one will cause different types of bending in your garage door, causing your door to constantly need fixing or eventually become wholly stuck in one position.
1. The Door Is Not Supported
One of the main reasons a garage door starts to bend, either in the middle, at the top, or the bottom, is that it is no longer supported. The railing of the garage door may have come loose, or the weights and springs that help to lift it have failed.
As the garage door’s weight pushes down on itself, the garage door naturally starts to bend, causing damage and misalignments.
TIP: We recommend checking on the entire system when you suspect it is no longer supported; the railing and bearings will most likely have been damaged.
2. The Garage Door Opener Position
The garage door will often have a handle at the bottom of the door to help you lift it and open the door. However, when the garage door has been installed by a friend or someone trying to make something custom, it may be that the opener is in the exact wrong position.
If the door opener is not in the right position, it can stress some of the garage panels that are not made to handle the pressure of the garage door. This means that the door will open, but there will be damage caused to the entire door as it is being bent out of shape as you open and close it.
3. Low-Quality Metal Used For Door
When the garage door was bought for the lowest price possible, you will find that many corners have been cut to make the door affordable. Usually, one of the first things that manufacturers skimp on will be the garage door’s actual materials.
Using thinner material or materials graded at a lower quality means that the costs are much lower. However, the door will be weaker in many of the essential parts, bending easily when even just a strong gust of wind pushes against the garage door.
4. Door Has Been Exposed To Extreme Weather
Extreme weather is something that we define as record-breaking storms, hurricanes, or even tornadoes. Each one will wreak absolute havoc on your garage door as wind, hail, rain, or even debris will be thrown at your garage door and start causing it to be bent.
We recommend replacing the entire garage door when this type of bending does happen, as most of the doors will be damaged.
5. Misaligned Tracks For The Door
If one of the tracks for the garage door is aligned with only a few millimeters out from the rail on the other side, the garage door will start warping. Causing your garage door to bend as your keep opening and closing the door, the misaligned tracks naturally start to bend the door.
If caught early, misaligned tracks can be easy to fix, only requiring a few new holes to be drilled and the tracks being reinstalled. However, if one of the tracks came loose and the door has been going up and down on misaligned tracks, you will soon find several bends on your garage door.
6. Missing Garage Door Struts
Struts are the parts of your garage door that ensure the panels are not flexing too much when being opened, usually on electric garage doors. When these struts come loose or even just one is missing, the garage door will start to bend because of the lack of support.
Similar to the garage door with misaligned tracks, a missing strut won’t cause a quick bend in the garage door. However, as you continue to use the garage door without fixing it, you will continue to damage it until it eventually starts to bend from not being supported enough.
7. The Garage Door Hinges Or Rollers Need Lubrication
When you are lifting your garage door, and it feels heavy to lift, or you hear the garage door screaming whenever opening, it means there is little to no lubrication. With no lubrication, the door will be damaged as you constantly force it open using the handle.
Usually, the panel you are using to open the garage door will be the first to start bending as the most force is being applied to it. Most of the time, when an electric garage door is bending because of a lack of lubrication, the bending will eventually spread throughout the panels of the door.
How To Fix A Bent Garage Panel?
Now that we know why your garage door is bent, we need to look at the steps you can take to fix the bent garage door and prevent the bends from happening again. We know several things that can help your panels be fixed, each one ranging from the simple to the complex.
Hammer The Bend Out Of the Garage Door
The most popular way to fix a bent garage is to use a hammer and hit the bend in the garage door until it is completely fixed. This method is tried and tested and will work for most simple bends in the door, delivering a good result if done properly and supporting the door.
However, by hitting the specific panel with the hammer, you can cause damage to the railings and the bearings. Further, if the bend is more than a few millimeters, you will not be able to hammer it out; instead, you will cause more damage to the overall structure of the garage door.
Fill In The Garage Door Dent
This is the solution that we recommend when you have already hammered out the bend using your hammer. There will be several dents in the door from where you hit it with the hammer, as the steel or aluminum of the garage door is quite soft and thin, causing dents to appear throughout.
Using a normal crack filler that you would use on a car, and sanding the surface down first will allow you to create a finish that looks as good as new. Get a filler that works on metal, wood, and concrete and resists water, oil, and gasoline like this one from Amazon.
You must be careful not to use too much filler or spread it too thin either, but you will be able to fix most dents when appropriately applied.
Replace The Panel
We always recommend this method, especially if you have an aluminum garage door, as it will be much more cost–effective overall. Garage doors that are not on the cheapest end of the spectrum can have individual panels replaced.
Using only a few screwdrivers and a by undoing a few bolts, you can slide the current bent panel out of the door and install a brand new one. Here’s a full step-by-step guide I wrote on how to replace garage door panels.
REMINDER: Be sure not to touch the weight system or the garage door’s spring system, or else you may hurt yourself or even kill yourself.
Suction Out The Bend From The Garage Door
Many people have found a solution to be more effective than the hammer by using the suction from a GPS mount or a phone holder. These suction devices are made to hold on strong enough that even in the worst tumbling of a car, they will stick to the window.
Press the suction cup onto the part of your garage door that has been bent and make sure that it is secure. While having a firm grip on the suction cup, start pulling on it until the bend starts coming out; moving slowly is always better; if the suction cup releases, reapply and start again.
Using Heat On the Bend in The Garage Door To Remove The Panel
One of the more unique and memorable ways to remove a bend is by applying an even amount of heat across the door to make it malleable. Sometimes the bend will spring back to the way it was on its own if it has not been bent into the worst possible shapes.
Using a heat gun, start applying heat to a wide area starting in the middle of the bend in the garage door, slowly radiating out. Once hot enough, push from the opposite side until the bend pops back out; please note this only works on metal or plastic garage doors.
Realign the Tracks of the Garage Door
Sometimes the bend in your garage door is not because something has hit the door or because the door has bent by weight. Usually, with wooded garage doors, you will find that the railings have been misaligned, causing a bend to appear throughout the structure.
Obviously, you cannot hit wood to straighten it; instead, it will spring back into the correct shape once to force being applied to it has been removed. In this case, it will be because the railing system has been installed incorrectly; simply realigning everything properly will fix the garage door.
Add Lubrication To The Garage Door
A common thing that happens is the garage door bending where the handle to lift it has been located, mainly because a lot of force is being applied when opening it. Once you have fixed the dents in the garage door, you need to ensure it does not start bending again soon.
You will need to apply grease, not oil, to the railing system to ensure that everything is working correctly. Oils will flow away from the bearing and be as useless as an alcohol swab on the bearings; using grease, even normal Vaseline, will ensure that the bearings are all lubricated.
Your garage door bends will be easy to fix using a hammer but it will be more cost and time-effective to simply replace the panels.
To prevent further bending once fixed, you need to check what caused the bend to happen and fix that issue as well.
Whatever you do, please don’t expect a garage door that has no springs or counterweights to stop working magically!