Damage to your garage door harms it in both visual and practical aspects. Even if just a single panel is broken, the whole effect is ruined, so it is worth taking care of as soon as possible if it becomes damaged. In this way, your garage door will regain all of its functions and return to serve as an excellent decoration and protection against both unfavorable weather conditions and thieves.
The bottom panel is the most prone to damage. It is because, due to its position being the closest to the floor, it absorbs the most water during garage floods, or even when it is just raining mildly. What is more, debris can also have an impact on it, and pests and wildlife can easily destroy it. Keep in mind that the bottom is also the point where termites start damaging your garage door, so probably sooner or later, you will have to repair it.
When Do I Have to Replace a Garage Door Bottom Panel?
It is normal that as time goes by, that a garage door's health will slowly deteriorate - it will not remain like new forever. For instance, after a severe storm, you may notice that your garage door has been damaged by heavy debris or hailstones. Sometimes it may even be damaged accidentally by kids playing football or doing other activities nearby. Even if it happens, do not panic - it does not mean you have to spend a lot of money and buy a new garage door. Usually, just one or a few panels need to be replaced.
A garage door panel is not too expensive, so you do not have to be afraid of it impacting your home budget too much.
However, don't postpone it too long as it can worsen the situation to a large extent. Namely, a damaged door puts a lot of pressure on the whole door opener, and the entire system may even become misaligned or get stuck. If you want your garage door to work properly, replace the broken panel as quickly as possible.
What Do I Need for the Repair?
You do not have to arrange for a professional service for garage door bottom panel replacement. It is quite a straightforward procedure that can be conducted by anyone who has at least some simple DIY skills.
In this way, you can reduce the cost of a door repair and spend more funds on a high-quality panel that will match the rest of the structure and last as long as possible in any weather condition.
So, when you already have the new panel and are ready to start the repair, be sure to prepare:
- vise grips
- two hoists
- measuring tape
- impact wrench
Replacing a Garage Door Bottom Panel Step by Step
- First, you need to check the size of your garage door. Bear in mind to measure not only the height and width but depth as well. Make sure that the measurements you have taken on your new section are consistent with the old one. Moreover, it is also recommended to check if the shape is right.
- For safety reasons, remember to unplug the power cord of your garage door opener. Apart from that, you should detach the opener from the door.
- Attach the hoist to the top of the garage door track.Then, attach its other end to the hinge located as the second from the bottom.
- Find the cable joining the bottom bracket and vise grip it to the drum. Now, you will need to lift the garage door up to around 4 inches, but first, check if your hoist is tight and secure enough.
- Proceed to the other side of the garage door, repeating steps 3 and 4.
Garage Door Bottom Section Removal
- Make sure that the bottom panels of the damaged garage door that you will be removing are held up by a 2x4 or something sturdy. In this way, it will not fall to the ground, which could be potentially dangerous.
- Grab your impact wrench and get rid of the hinge bolts attaching the bottom garage door section to the middle one. Begin with the outside part and move toward the middle hinges.
- If there are any bolts that cannot be removed with a vise grip, break them, detach the old bottom garage door section, and put it on a saw-horse.
New Garage Door Panel Installation
- Take the new garage door bottom panel and put it on the floor just under the remaining door.
- Use the vise grip to attach both sides to the tracks. Next, set up the new garage door section in such a way so that it is parallel to the floor.
- If necessary, drill the pane to put bottom brackets in it and then place the bolts on both sides.
- Insert flange nuts on the bolts.
- Put the garage door panel on the floor and secure the cable onto the bottom bracket.
- Place the rollers in the tracks and bottom brackets, and proceed to vise-gripping the track to the upper part of the section.
- When this section of the garage door is up, approach it from each side and mount the cable on the bottom bracket.
- Slide the roller into the bracket.
- To prevent the new section from falling, secure the track and use the hoists in order to put down the garage door on the bottom part.
- Before getting rid of the clamps, vise grips, and hoists, make sure that the hinges are secured to the bottom section of your garage door.
- Set the opener back and plug it back in. Congratulations, you have conducted a garage door replacement by yourself!
The Bottom Line
Don't leave a panel broken, your vehicle or home should always be fully protected against adverse weather conditions, such as wind or rain, and also against theft or vandalism.
It may happen that at some point, you will notice that you need to replace its bottom section that has direct contact with the floor. Such a change might not require professional service, however, if in doubt always revert back to a professional service like A1 Garage.