What’s the expected lifespan of a garage door, and when should you start considering installing a new one rather than managing with tune-ups and repairs? Those are questions that often do not have simple answers. The materials and manufacture of your door are part of its longevity, as is the skill of its installation, the regularity of its maintenance, and the frequency of its use (number of opening and closing cycles) and possible abuse. Some parts will wear out more quickly—the torsion bars, because of the enormous tension they are under, require vigilant care and prudent replacement (you can read more about this in our blogs on torsion bars).
A general rule of thumb is to expect 15 good years from a garage door, though that number can vary dramatically depending on the factors listed above. The more important things to think about, and watch for, are obvious signs of damage or wear, especially those that may make the door shimmy, vibrate, or produce sounds indicating friction or resistance. If your door has a series of operational failures, that’s an argument for replacement.
Any significant bump or collision, especially with a heavy object such as a vehicle, will potentially affect the door’s lifespan. Misalignment, damaged or missing panels, and weather damage (especially dry rot on wood doors) are strong indicators it may be time to look at a new door. Worn bearings, loose hinges, broken or loose cables, and loose screws are tell-tell signs a door needs attention, and perhaps replacement.
The safety functions, such as electronic eyes that prevent door closure on people, animals, or objects, are critical and should be checked regularly. These safety features are the most important things to be attentive to.
A good match between the door and opener can possibly extend the functioning years of your whole garage door system. If the opener is straining or under-performing, that will over time affect the entire system. Remember that any new door installation will require an opener with qualifying battery back-up, to prevent problems and potential risks in the event of a power outage.
Newer models are generally safer, more energy-efficient, and provide better home security that older, simpler doors, especially the basic tilt-up doors common in tract homes built decades ago. They are also available in a broader range of insulation options and come in a surprisingly extensive array of materials, textures, colors and appointments such as windows and decorative hardware that can match the look and design of the home. This includes matching entry or side gates. Peruse our gallery pages to see numerous examples. Every photo shown in our web galleries is an ADS installation—we have deep experience in custom installations, both residential and commercial. These provide a significant return on investment, which is especially important if you are anticipating selling your home in the not-to-distant future.
At ADS we take great care to provide not only excellent, detail-oriented installation of doors, gates, and openers but regular tune-ups and emergency repairs. In most cases, responsible, regular maintenance is the best decision to extend your door’s operational lifespan. ADS wants you to get the best value for every dollar you spend. We’re glad to consult on these decisions and give you the best information so you can do what is best for you and your family. Repair or replace? Ultimately, that is up to you, and ideally for your own reasons and within your own timing.