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How To Repair And Patch Your Damaged Garage Door

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A garage door can receive damage from years of weather, traffic, and abuse from use, leaving it dented and rotting. Fortunately, you can repair dents to metal and wooden doors and repair wood rot damage to wooden doors to restore your garage door to an improved condition. Here are some tips and steps to help you repair some common garage door damage and the tools you need to complete it.

Wooden Door Patch Repair

An old wooden garage door made of fiber board, wood, or other composite wood materials can become warp and receive water damage from years of rain and snow splashing and pelting its surface. The bottom portion of your garage door is most susceptable to this kind of wear, which can lead to water damage and wood rot. To replace your wood garage door with a new one, it can cost you $1200 or more.

Prepare the Area

The first step to begin to repair is to sand down and remove any paint or lacquer finish from the surface of the wood to expose the wood composite or solid wood body of the door. Use a hand-held sander with a medium to rough-grit sandpaper to remove the exterior surface and any peeling and flaking paint. 

Next you will need to remove any portions of the wood and composite material that have become rotted and warped. You can usually identify any rotting and weather-damaged surface materials, as it will peel from the door and you can penetrate its surface easily with the end of a screw driver. 

Remove all the damage from the door by cutting the weather-damaged and rotted wood with a sawzall or similar cutting tool. This type of tool can help you cut out specific areas of damage to create a smooth edge where you can apply the repair onto. To remove any wood rot, you can also use the tip of a screwdriver or a wood chisel to break off the damaged wood and leave behind only the wood in good condition.

Apply Repair Patch

After you have removed all the damage from the door, apply a wood hardener with a paint brush. This application onto the wood will harden the wood and bond all the wood fibers together to help it better hold up the repair compound. If you have a large area to patch and fill in, such as the bottom portion of the garage door, cut a piece of plywood to the same area size of the damage and attach it onto the door using wood screws or nails. 

Next, mix up an amount of auto body filler that will fill in around the repair. Keep in mind it is best to apply the auto body filler patch in more than one layer so you can adequately build up the structure of the door. Using a putty knife, press the filler into the voids around the plywood patch and over its surface to create a level surface to match the surrounding garage door surface. Before you apply the next layer of auto body filler, allow the first to harden slightly, then apply the next layer over the partially-set surface. 

Use the putty knife to form the edges and sides of the garage door. Allow the filler to dry completely, sand it down to remove any imperfections, then prepare to prime and paint the door. 

Wooden Door Dent Repair

Instead of replacing a garage door panel that has been dented, you can patch the area using auto body filler. Sand down the area of damage and apply a layer of prepared auto body filler to fill in the dent and any voids on the door's surface. Smooth the filler with a putty knife and allow the auto body filler to dry fully, then sand its surface using a fine-grit sanding block or orbital sander. 

Last, paint over the exterior of the dent repair using a matching paint. If you want to repaint the entire garage door a new color, sand down the surface of the garage door and apply a primer, then a layer of semi-gloss latex paint. The semi-gloss will help make your garage door easier to maintain and hide any scratches that occur over its lifetime. Apply the paint in a couple layers to give the coats an even application.

Use these tips to help you repair your damaged garage door. You can also contact a professional service, such as Plano Overhead Garage Door, for more information or to do the job for you.