In what may be one of the most shocking moments of your life, you found yourself seated in your car, inside your garage…well, only partly in the garage because you just backed into the door. Whether it was because you were super late and overly distracted, tired from a late night or just plain out of it, you probably never expected to hear that sound or think that thought. It’s likely that you were equal parts horrified, incredibly angry and tearfully upset.
Of course, you may not have backed into the door. Instead, you may have been distracted, hurried, and so on as you entered the driveway and then slid into the door. Maybe it is neither of those issues, but is instead that you forgot that ski rack on the roof of the car and it slammed into the door. Any way you look at it, it’s still all unnerving.
The thing to do is stop for a moment and consider – No one was hurt and the garage is still standing. That means, you need to take a deep breath and listen to these words of advice:
Stay calm…it is something that can be fixed!
Okay, so that happened, but it is truly not the end of the world. In almost all instances of this kind, it is only the bottom section of the door struck and/or damaged. In fact, your garage door opener, may still be able to open the door completely, or almost so. While the typical opener can lift around 350 pounds, or 160 kilos, though, the most common load is only eight to ten pounds or 3.5 to 4.5 kilos.
What that tells us is that your garage door situation is one in which just because the opener might be able to lift or lower the door, it does not mean you should try it. Instead, follow these steps when you’ve struck a garage door:
- Do not touch or push anything
- Don’t try to lift or lower the door (no matter where it is along its usual path)
- Take a full look at the issue. This may be tough because you may feel panic, but just evaluate every issue.
- Look at the rollers. Are they still on the tracks?
- Look at the point where the rollers and hinges connect. Are they still joined?
- What about the lifting cables? Do they seem to be in alignment with the drums?
- Now, and this is the key, look at the entire lifting system. This includes the lifting cables, the springs and the bottom bracket. This is what lifts the door and it is all under very high tension. If there seems to be a disconnection, break or other problem, it is time to call a professional
If you see no visible damage, and if the car is out of the path of the door, stand outside roughly eight to ten feet from the door. Using the remote, click the button and see if the door can open or close. If there are new and very loud sounds, it is likely that the door is damaged. This is the time to unplug or disconnect the opener from any source of electricity and call an expert.
What if your examination shows the door off its tracks? There is nothing you should do. Do not touch a thing, but instead, grab the phone and call an expert. While your car may be stuck inside of the garage, it is far too dangerous to do anything other than get a repair professional and call a cab or a friend to give you a ride once the expert arrives to make the repair.
Does Insurance Cover This?
This is an interesting question because there are two points to consider:
- The damages do the garage door and/or the building are a home insurance issue. Contact your homeowner’s insurance provider about it.
- The damages done to the car are a car insurance issue. Contact your car insurance company about any damages to the vehicle.
Additionally, you will want to consider the issue of deductibles on each of the policies. If they are high and it will affect the price of coverage, it could be wiser to absorb the repair costs yourself.
Yes…What About Those Costs?
We can’t help you with car repair estimates, but we can tell you that the price of your garage door repair is going to depend entirely on the extent of the damage as well as the age of the door. An older door may not have any replacement sections available. In that case, a full system replacement may be needed. That is around 2.5 hours of labour plus materials.
Again, it depends on the extent of the damage and the age of your garage door. It could be that your door is so old that are no longer available. If it’s necessary to replace the entire system so that the door operates properly, plan on 2 to 2 ½ hours of labour.
If a door has a broken section that can be repaired, just average the per-panel amount by dividing the cost of a seven to eight-foot door by four. It is usually the labour that takes up most of the price as the door and system have to be taken apart, repaired and reinstalled.