Maintaining Your Garage Door Panels

garage door panels

An aesthetically pleasing garage door not only adds to the curb appeal of your home, it increases the value as well. It provides convenience, security, and protection for our vehicles and contents, making it an integral part of our lives. 

We’ll explore the signs that indicate your garage door panels need attention, offer some do-it-yourself fixes for minor problems, and discuss when it’s time to consider panel replacement. We’ll also consider the advantages of professional repair over DIY solutions, emphasizing the significance of timely maintenance for the longevity and optimal performance of your garage door.

Common Garage Door Panel Issues

Misaligned Tracks 

How they affect the movement of the door and the role of panels

Garage door tracks guide the door as it opens and closes, and when these tracks become misaligned, it can significantly affect the door’s movement. Misaligned tracks may cause the door to jerk or get stuck during operation. The role of garage door panels here is critical since they move within these tracks, and any misalignment can put undue stress on the panels, leading to damage.

Damaged or Dented Panels 

Causes and implications for the entire door system

Garage door panels are typically made of steel, aluminum, or other durable materials, but they are not immune to damage. Dents or damage to panels can occur due to accidental collisions with vehicles, sports equipment, or even extreme weather conditions. These damages, if left unattended, can weaken the structural integrity of the door, affecting its functionality and insulation.

Loose or Worn-Out Hinges

The connection between hinges and panel performance

Hinges are what allow the individual panels of a garage door to bend and fold as the door opens and closes. When hinges become loose or worn out, it can lead to significant issues with the panels. Loose hinges can cause panels to sag, misalign, or even detach from the door entirely affecting the operation of your garage door.

Stuck or Jammed Panels

Reasons behind panels getting stuck and its impact

Stuck or jammed garage door panels can be an infuriating problem. Several factors, including debris in the tracks, misaligned panels, or damaged rollers, can lead to this issue. When panels get stuck, it not only disrupts the convenience of using your garage but also places additional stress on the panels and the entire door mechanism, potentially causing more severe damage if left unaddressed.

Signs Your Garage Door Panels Need Attention

Recognizing when your garage door panels need attention is crucial for preventing more extensive issues including: 

Unusual noises during operation

If your garage door starts making unusual creaking, grinding, or screeching noises during operation, it’s a clear indication that something is amiss. These noises could result from misaligned tracks, worn-out hinges, or damaged panels.

Slow or balky movement of the door

A smoothly operating garage door should open and close without any hesitation or slow, jerky movements. Sluggish or balky movement can signal issues with the panels, tracks, or hinges.

Visible dents or damages on the panels

Inspect your garage door panels regularly for any visible dents or damages. Even small dents can lead to more extensive problems if not addressed promptly. Damaged panels can compromise the door’s security and insulation.

Door not closing or opening properly

If your garage door doesn’t close or open properly, it may indicate problems with the panels, tracks, or other components. It’s important not to force the door to operate under these circumstances, as it can exacerbate the issues.

DIY Fixes for Panel Issues

Some minor garage door panel issues can be resolved with simple do-it-yourself fixes. Here are some DIY solutions to consider:

Tightening Loose Components

Ensuring all screws, nuts, and bolts are secure

Regularly inspect and tighten any loose screws, nuts, and bolts that connect the garage door panels and hinges. This simple maintenance task can prevent panels from becoming misaligned or sagging.

Realigning Misaligned Tracks

Step-by-step guide to get the door back on track

If you notice misaligned tracks, you can attempt to realign them yourself. You begin by loosening the track mounting hardware, then tap the tracks back into alignment. Once you are satisfied, then retighten the hardware.

Repairing Minor Dents

Tools and techniques for minor dent repairs

Minor dents on garage door panels can often be repaired with simple DIY techniques. You can use a rubber mallet or plunger to gently push the dented area back into shape. There are also DIY dent removal kits available that can help smooth out minor imperfections.

Lubricating the Panels and Hinges

Importance of regular lubrication and the right products to use

Regularly lubricating the moving parts of your garage door, including the hinges and rollers, can help prevent issues related to friction and wear. Use a high-quality garage door lubricant, not regular oil or grease, to ensure the door operates smoothly.

When to Replace Garage Door Panels

While DIY fixes can address minor issues, there comes a point when garage door panel replacement becomes necessary while considering whether it’s time to replace your garage door panels:

Assessing the extent of damage

When garage repair is feasible vs. door replacement

If the damage to your garage door panels is extensive, or if the panels have sustained multiple dents and damages, it may be more cost-effective to replace them rather than attempting numerous repairs. 

Cost implications: Repairing vs Replacing

Consider the cost of repairs versus the cost of panel replacement. In many instances, replacing a damaged panel may be a better option  when you weigh cost effectiveness, time and labour..

Safety concerns with damaged panels

Safety should be a primary concern when dealing with damaged garage door panels. Damaged door panels can compromise the structural integrity of the door, and pose a safety risk, making replacement necessary. 

garage door panel

Professional Repair vs. DIY

Choosing between professional repair and DIY fixes depends on the complexity of the issue and your level of expertise. Here are some considerations for each option:

Limitations of DIY fixes

DIY fixes are suitable for minor issues, but they may not be adequate for more significant problems. Attempting to address complex garage door panel issues without the necessary skills can lead to further damage or personal injury.

Safety precautions when attempting DIY repairs

If you choose to go the DIY route, it’s crucial to take safety precautions seriously. Always disconnect the power to the garage door opener, wear protective gear, and follow step-by-step guides or tutorials. Be cautious when working with heavy panels and moving parts.


Garage door panels play a pivotal role in the overall mechanism, and their proper maintenance is essential for the door’s longevity and functionality.

Common garage door panel issues, such as misaligned tracks, damaged panels, loose hinges, and stuck panels, can disrupt the door’s operation and compromise its integrity. Recognizing the signs of panel problems and addressing them promptly is crucial for preventing more extensive and costly repairs.

For minor issues, DIY fixes like tightening loose components, realigning misaligned tracks, repairing minor dents, and lubricating moving parts can be effective. However, when the damage is severe, it may be necessary to consider panel replacement. Carefully weigh the cost implications and safety concerns before making a decision.

While DIY fixes are suitable for minor problems, professional repair services are recommended for complex issues to ensure safety and proper resolution. Timely maintenance and addressing panel issues promptly can extend the life of your garage door, providing you with continued convenience and peace of mind.


Can you fix one panel of a garage door?

If you have had a smallish accident, or there is general wear and tear on your garage door, and you want to freshen it up, and make it look its best, then yes, you can repair it yourself. 

Once you assess the extent of the damage. Minor dents or scratches, can be repaired using the proper tools.This can involve filling in dents with filler material, sanding, and repainting the panel. In some cases, if the damage is extensive or if the door is quite old, finding a matching replacement panel may be challenging due to the model being discontinued, or hard to locate. If that is the case,  replacing the entire door might be the more practical choice.

However, if you’re not sure, feel free to contact us, and we will give you our assessment. 

Can you fix the bottom panel of a garage door?

Fixing the bottom panel of a garage door is a common DIY project for homeowners. To begin, gather the necessary tools, such as a replacement panel, screwdriver, pliers, and safety goggles. First, disconnect the door from the opener to ensure safety by loosening the screws and removing the damaged panel. Then carefully slide it out and insert the new panel, aligning it properly.

Secure the new panel by tightening the screws or bolts, ensuring its level and flush with the adjacent panels. Reconnect the door to the opener and test it to verify it’s functioning correctly. Repairing the bottom panel not only enhances your garage’s appearance but also maintains its structural integrity.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

How do you fix a dent in a garage door panel?

Fixing a dent in a garage door panel is a manageable task with a few simple steps. You will start by checking if you have the right tools. You will need a rubber mallet, a block of wood, and a plunger. Place the block of wood behind the dent on the interior side of the door and gently tap the dent from the outside using the rubber mallet. Be patient, and work slowly to avoid causing further damage.

If the dent is shallow, try using a plunger by wetting the area and creating a seal with the plunger cup. Apply steady pressure while pulling and pushing to pop the dent out. If these methods don’t work or if the dent is extensive, consider consulting a professional garage door repair service for a more thorough fix. Repairing dents not only restores the door’s appearance but also ensures its functionality and insulation.

As always, before you begin any repairs, contact us and we will assess the damage and give you our professional recommendation.