How to Fix and Straighten Bent Garage Door Panel? (Middle/Bottom)
As mechanics who work primarily in a garage, it is a crucial space for us. And the door is what protects and secures the parts and projects that we work on. So, we got pretty worried when the opening mechanism failed, and there was a pretty significant bend on the panel.
For that reason, we were pretty determined to learn how to fix & straighten bent garage door panel. But things were not as easy as we thought they would be. We failed pretty miserably at our first attempt.
However, after trial and error, we found the simplest way to fix and straighten the bends on garage doors, which is what we will describe in this article. So, if you do not want to go through any hassles while carrying out the fixing by yourself, read through the entire article.
Garage Door Bent: What Might Be the Reasons?
Even though our panels got bent for a particular reason, we learned that there might be many other reasons behind it. And before we talk about how to fix the bend or damage, we would like to ensure that you know the reasons behind the bending.
Crooked Placement or Misalignment
When the door cables get damaged or the springs lose the optimal tension, the door panel gets misplaced. Even if the placement gets unbalanced, both sides of the door will not move at the same pace or angle. That will make the panel bend.
The tracks can get damaged over time. They can even bend when the panel does not have the proper alignment or has a crooked placement. And if they bend or get damaged, the door will not open or close at the optimal speed and angle, which will cause the panel to be deformed.
All of the moving parts of a door opening mechanism require proper lubrication. Without that, there will be too much rubbing, friction, and wearing. And those will cause the moving parts to get damaged exceptionally fast. When those parts do get damaged, the door will not move up and down properly, making the panels bend.
How to Repair Garage Door Bent in Middle?
Let us move into the thing you are primarily here for now that you know all about the reasons that cause the bending. So, these are the steps you would need to follow to fix a bent in the middle of the panel.
Step 1: Use Force
As the bend is located in the middle, it would be possible to fix it using force. Get inside the garage and close the door entirely. Push at the location where the bending is present.
However, make sure that you are not applying too much pressure, or else the bending can occur on the opposite side of the panel; thus, damaging it.
Step 2: Take the Help of Suction Cups
Next, try to fix the bend with suction cups. But do keep in mind that this will only work if the deformations are not that severe. In other words, it will work the best for minor dents. Also, this process is only applicable if the panel has a smooth surface because the suction cups will not grip on non-smooth surfaces.
Place the cups on the bend and ensure that the cups are making good contact with the surface. You would need to be on the other side of the dent. For example, if the bending is protruding towards the inner side, attach the cups to the panel's exterior.
After that, gently pull the cups. Make sure that you do not pull on it too much once the bending has reversed, or else you will make the door bend on the opposite side as well.
Step 3: Use a Hammer
If the bend is still there, you need to rely on brute force. Get yourself a hammer to straighten out the dent. In this case, we would recommend using a wooden mallet because that will not put any scratch on the surface and ensure that the panel does not get damaged while trying to fix the dent.
Gently hit on the side that has the dent. As in, if the bend is protruding on the inner side, you need to hit that side, not the other way around. Ensure that your fingers are not in the way, or else you can get yourself injured. Also, if you use too much force, you can risk making the dent worse or breaking the panel.
How to Fix Garage Door Bent in Bottom?
Bending can certainly occur on the bottom of the panel. In that case, follow these steps:
Step 1: Use Heat and Compressed Air
Before you try to use any equipment, we would recommend using force. Push the side where the bending has occurred and check if it goes back to its normal state or not. Again, make sure that you are not putting too much force because that can damage the door's integrity.
If the door is too stiff and the bend does not get fixed even after applying force, get yourself a heating source and compressed air. We recommend you take a can of compressed air to cool down the area right after heating it. That will straighten the panel and take care of the bend.
Heat the affected region and quickly use the compressed air on that area. This instant heating and cooling will make the metal get back into its original shape exceptionally quickly.
Step 2: Use Suction Cups
If the bend is still there, you would need to turn things up a notch. Along with just using heat and compressed air, use the suction cups. Get on the other side of the bend and heat the area properly. Quickly use the compressed air to cool down the region and attach suction cups to it. Gently pull the bend.
Ensure that the suction cups are placed adequately before pulling on them. Also, make sure that you are not pulling too hard because that will cause the panel on the opposite side to bend, which is something that you would not want, right?
Step 3: Straighten the Area up with a Hammer
At this point, the bend should get fixed. However, the lower portion of the panel might still be a little bit crooked. In this case, you would need to use the hammer. Take a wooden mallet and use it in those areas. The wooden mallet will make sure that you are not damaging the panel further.
Furthermore, you would need to ensure that you are not putting too much force while fixing the dents. Using too much force can make the panel crack, which would call for a replacement.
When Should You Replace the Garage Door?
You might be interested in knowing when the door requires a replacement and cannot be fixed any further. Well, we have you covered in that regard as well.
Learning how to fix & straighten bent garage door panel might seem hard at the beginning. But as you can see, if you follow the proper steps, the problem can be solved within an hour. And we hope that you found our steps easy to follow because that was our main criteria while writing this guide.