A sagging or bowing garage door is a drag, and once your door starts to sag, you typically have two options. Attempt to repair the sag (or have a professional do the same), or replace the door in its entirety. The best decision for you will ultimately depend on several factors, such as what material the door is made from, how old it is and so on. As for why your door sags in the first place, this could be due to:
• Long-term exposure to the elements (particularly if the door is wood)• The door getting bumped or hit
• Poor ventilation inside the garage, which can produce humidity and cause swelling and shrinking
• The weight of the door and a poorly installed opener (while these issues alone aren’t necessarily the cause of the sag, they can exacerbate the issue)
So, you know your door is sagging, but you aren’t sure whether it makes more sense to repair or replace it.
When to Repair a Garage Door
If your door is relatively new and otherwise in good condition, it may prove wise to repair, rather than replace it. If your door has visible cracks, which is often the case when it sags, a garage door professional can likely fix the sag simply by adding a strut and adjusting the torsion springs (without taking the second step, the gears in the torsion springs will wear out prematurely). In some cases, two or more new struts may be necessary to effectively fix the sag issue.
When to Replace a Sagging Garage Door
There are several situations in which it simply makes more sense, financially and functionally, to replace a door than to try and repair it. For example, it’s probably wise to do so if:
1. The door is wood and the sag is likely weather-related. Once the door succumbs to decay, there’s really no coming back.
2. The door is heavily damaged, even if the damage is unrelated to the elements. There are numerous components that must function properly for your garage door to work, and if your door is damaged in other areas, you may fix it only to have another element of it break or bust shortly thereafter.
3. The door is nearing the end of its lifespan. While there are many variables, most garage doors will last upwards of 30 years, if properly maintained. If your door is nearing the end of this timeline, it may benefit you financially to simply replace it now, rather than in a year or two, after you’ve sunk considerable money into repairs.
When it comes to whether to replace or repair your garage door, think of it something like a car. If it’s relatively new or otherwise in great condition, opt for a repair. If it’s nearing its end or heavily damaged in other areas already, replacing it may cost you less in the long run.
We’ve updated a previous version of this article that was published in May 2013.