Late for a meeting, you dash into the garage. On your way to the car, you hit the button to open the garage door. You jump into the driver’s seat and back the car out of the garage. In your haste, you didn’t notice that the garage door was already open and when you thought you were opening the door, you were actually closing it. The next thing you know, you have backed into the garage door. Many thoughts fly through your head, but one of the prominent ones is – Now what?
First, make sure you and everyone in your vehicle is okay. Of course, prioritize any physical discomfort or signs of injury. But once you have cared for you and your passengers,… it is time to turn to the garage door.
Step One: Don’t Panic
Running into your garage door is a startling experience, and it can be easy to become frantic or distressed. So, if you ever hit your garage door, try to take a breath, calmly put your car in park, and turn it off before you leave to check out the damage.
Step Two: Double Check That Everyone is Fine
It is worth mentioning twice. Even minor bumps in a vehicle can lead to injuries. Take care of yourself! Take care of everyone! Be sensitive to any discomfort that comes up in the hours after the incident even if you feel fine in the moment. Okay. Now onto the garage door.
Step Three: Inspect the Damage
You are going to want to try to open the garage door first thing. Maybe to see if it still can open. Maybe because your car is in the garage and you want to drive it out! But depending on the damage, opening the door could be dangerous. If, for example, the door is no longer aligned with the rails, trying to open the door could cause it to come down suddenly. Inspect both the inside and the outside of the door, moving the car away from the door, so you have a clear view. As you inspect, do not touch the mechanisms! The cables and springs are under extreme tension and if they have shifted or been damaged, they could be quite dangerous.
Step Four: Write Down What Damage You Find
The damage could involve any part of the system – the door, the rails, the opener… Check everyplace to see if anything appears damaged or out of place. This will help you to make sure that all of the damage is fixed and will help the repair company have a more thorough idea of what work needs to be done, so they can be better prepared when they come to your home.
Step Five: If You Need, Try To Open the Door Manually
If the damage is limited to the door and not the other parts of the system, you could try to open the door manually. Using the automatic door opener could cause damage to the system or it may not stop opening the door in time to prevent further damage to the door. Don’t force it at all! If you hear loud noises, crunching sounds, or if you see that certain parts are not working, stop immediately. And the door might be off the rails entirely, in which case it is better not to touch anything. But if you need to, this could be a time to see if you can safely manually open the door.
Step Six: Call Someone to Repair the Door
For example, us! Then, you can begin to figure out what the next steps need to be. Can a dent be fixed? Can a portion of the door be replaced? Do you need a new door? Do you need a new opener? How are the rails and springs looking? You will want to make sure that your garage door is in proper, safe working order before using it regularly again. So, talk to a professional about what the next steps will be!
You also should consider whether or not you want to call your insurance company. Depending on the extent of the damage and the level of your deductibles, that may or may not be a call you want to make. You may have to make a similar decision about whether or not to call your car insurance company.
We can help you repair the damage to your garage door and get your door working properly again. Give us a call and let us help you, so you can continue to use your garage door with peace of mind. Be safe!