Your garage door is a crucial design element of your house. Not only is your garage door the first thing visitors see, but it is also going to greet you every time you come home. One of the best investments you can make to your home’s curb appeal is a wood garage door. As with most things we own, a house with a wood garage door means preparing to perform wood garage door repair and maintenance.
Why Is a Wood Garage Door Better?
When selecting a new garage door, there are typically four options for the door’s construction material, aluminum, fiberglass, steel, or wood.
Wood garage doors possess a rustic charm that all other material types attempt to emulate. Wood is warm to the touch and soothing to the eye and can reduce much of the clatter associated with the mechanism required to open and close the garage door. Wood also offers higher “R” values than the other materials to help regulate temperature extremes inside your garage. Wood garage doors require some routine maintenance but are the easiest to repair.
Wood Garage Door Maintenance
Maintaining a garage door is much like any other annual maintenance task associated with your home’s trim or other painted surfaces.
- Clean your wood garage door thoroughly using an appropriate cleaner and sponge or brush. If using a pressure washer, use care not to damage the wood or existing finish.
- Inspect the entire surface of the garage door, paying particular attention to the edges of all the panels, the bottom rail where the door contacts the garage floor, and all the hardware that attaches to the door.
- Tighten any loose hardware with an appropriate wrench. If there is any issue suspected with the garage door springs, it is critical that you call a professional. Garage door springs are under a lot of tension and are extremely dangerous to the untrained.
- Sand and repaint or restain any areas that are scuffed or discolored. It would be best to seal gaps between panels and the wood frame with caulking or waterproof wood filler before or after painting/staining depending on the chosen material.
Types of Wood Garage Door Damage
Wood garage doors are subject to outdoor weather extremes 24-hours per day, 365 days per year. Wind, sun, rain, and snow combine with sweltering summer temperatures and winter’s freezing and thawing to test any garage door’s construction and finish. A wood garage door’s number one enemy is moisture. Starting with a minuscule gap in a caulked joint or a scratch in the wood’s protective finish, moisture can enter into the grain of the wood and begin to rot the very fibers of it. If left unchecked, insect damage is not far behind and the wood garage door frame is compromised.
Impact damage is another common hazard for garage doors. Opening or closing a garage door on a vehicle bumper, hitting the door with a vehicle, or wildly thrown ball can lead to damage ranging from minor to catastrophic. Severe wind could damage a wood garage door but most likely any wind damage will come from wind-blown debris such as garbage cans.
How to Repair a Wood Garage Door with Replacement Panels
If a panel becomes damaged, either from the effects of weather, moisture, or an impact, repairing your wood garage door with replacement panels is a straightforward process requiring a few standard tools, including:
- Claw hammer
- Small wood chisel
- Steel putty knife
- Needle-nose pliers
- Finish nails
- Wood hardener
- Replacement wood panel painted or stained to match
- Utility knife (blades are razor-sharp, use caution)
First, on the inside of the garage door, use the utility knife to cut along both edges of the quarter-round trim that hold the panel in place. This step is performed to keep the paint or caulk from peeling as the quarter-round is being removed from the frame. Next, use the hammer to drive the steel putty knife between the quarter-round and the door frame. The object is to use the putty knife to lift the quarter-round away from the door frame pulling out the finish nails that hold it in place. Take care during this process to not damage the quarter-round or the door frame and only remove the trim from the inside of the garage door.
Once all four pieces of quarter-round and the nails are removed, push the panel from the outside to remove it from the frame. The hammer may be used to motivate the panel if it is beyond repair. Next, use the chisel and utility knife to clean any caulk, paint, or previous wood filler from the area where the new panel will sit. Finally, apply the wood hardener to the newly cleaned area to help prevent future water damage.
Once the wood hardener is dry, insert the new panel into the frame from the inside of the garage door and replace the quarter-round trim using finish nails and the hammer. Using the needle-nose pliers to hold the finish nails will save your fingers from the hammer in most cases. Caulk around the new panel where it meets the quarter-round on the outside of the door, then step back and admire your work.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Wooden Garage Door?
Sometimes it makes sense to replace your existing garage door. It is easy to replace a garage door made from any material with a new garage door. If your current wood garage door has sustained too much damage for a simple DIY repair and the cost of professional repair approaches the cost of a replacement door, it is time to consider purchasing a new wood garage door. Wood garage doors are available in any size, type of wood, including cedar, hemlock, and mahogany, and styles including solid wood, wood overlay, and composite wood material. This variety results in a wide range of prices depending on the options chosen.
Schedule a Free Estimate
At Precision Garage Door Service, we offer free estimates for wood garage door replacement panels and more. We have the skills and equipment needed to meet any of your garage door needs ranging from new garage door installations to repair of an existing garage door or any of its components in the Northwest Indiana area. Feel free to give us a call today at 1-888-599-5808 to discuss any and all of your garage door needs. We look forward to hearing from you.