If your garage door faces the street, its structural integrity and aesthetics are important. A weathered and damaged garage door does not give visitors a good first impression of your home. When unsightly, it can also lower your home's value, which is a critical issue if you are thinking of selling your home. The question then, is a simple one: When should a homeowner look into replacing it?
There are several factors that homeowners should consider in addition to aesthetics. For homes with connected garages, security is clearly a reason to keep this entry into the home in tip top condition. A unit that does not have a secure lock, that doesn't quite meet the ground or one that is particularly flimsy will offer little resistance to a persistent burglar.
Proper garage door maintenance can also significantly lower your energy bills, because they act as an additional barrier to harsh weather. If it is damaged, cool air will be let into your home during the winters, forcing your furnace to work harder and increasing your monthly energy bills. Of course, in the summer, warm air leaking in will drive you to crank air conditioning or run fans, increasing those same bills. Older garage doors were not made to the same standards as those that are manufactured in today's market. Today, most are insulated, and of strong, durable materials. Installation includes weather stripping. With older units, the lack of weather stripping, the materials it is made of, often render the door as an ineffective barrier against extreme temperatures and strong winds. If you find that your energy bills begin rising dramatically during harsh weather, it might be time to consider a replacement.
If you do determine that your garage door isn't doing its job, you could tackle repairs on your own. This, though, is a risky job, as it will be extremely heavy and could seriously injure you, your vehicle or other items you may be storing nearby.
Hiring a professional garage door repair company is a sure way to ensure a replacement is done properly. The professionals at these businesses can visit your home, inspect the existing unit and provide their own recommendations. A few repairs might be all that you need, in which case the company representative might recommend that you perform some simple maintenance to solve your problem. They may also advise you to replace the existing unit.
No one wants to spend any extra money, especially in today's challenging economy, but purchasing a new garage door will save you money in the long-run. Weathered units will lead to higher energy bills, and can result in home and vehicle damage. Paying for professional installation or maintenance can provide substantial savings in the long run.
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