Garage doors require regular inspections and maintenance like the rest of your garage door system. When they get damaged, they can put some strain on your whole system and let in wind and rain that further damage items in your garage. Signs of trouble aren't always immediately obvious, so here's what to look for when inspecting your garage door.
Door Looks Bent or Curved
One of the more obvious signs of trouble is if the entire door looks like it is bent or curving when it should be straight instead. Even if the bending is only minor, it can still start to cause trouble immediately by no longer creating a weathertight seal against the ground and walls, and by adding strain to your garage door system.
There are a few different possible ways this can happen. If your door is made of wood, moisture damage can cause it to warp or bow. Physical damage can also cause this, such as accidentally hitting the door with a moving vehicle.
When this is minor, the damage can often be repaired rather than requiring a full replacement. If you notice that your door seems misshapen, call a professional for repairs before the damage gets worse.
Door Rattles and Bangs When Moving
Damaged doors can put a strain on your garage door system, and this will often become noticeable by the sounds it makes when the door is opening and closing. This quickly becomes noticeable when your door starts rattling and banging, especially if you notice the door moving in short jerking motions rather than moving smoothly.
When a door gets damaged—such as doors that are bowing or warping—this can change the angle at which they move within your garage, even if slightly. Since doors need to be aligned to move smoothly, damage can push them out of alignment, and cause the loud sounds you hear.
Listening for these sounds is helpful, since not all damage will be immediately noticeable. If your door no longer moves smoothly, call for repairs. Doors can be realigned, but the longer damage like this is left alone, the worse it may get.
Damage and Decay Visible at Edges
During a visual inspection, look at the bottom and sides of your door first, both while open and closed. These areas bear the brunt of weather effects, and will often be damaged first during inclement weather, especially if the weather stripping has begun to fade.
Look for signs of rot, decay, and weather damage such as cracking weather stripping, dents, fading protective coatings, or discoloration. Not only is this important to make sure your door remains sturdy, but it's also important to keep your garage's weathertight seal intact to keep out wind and rain. At any early signs of trouble, call for immediate garage door repair.