What To Do if You Back Into a Garage Door

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated July 23, 2021
Car in front of garage
IP Galanternik D.U. / E+ via Getty Images

Backing into a garage door can be a stressful situation but you can sort out your next steps with these tips

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There you are, rushing to get the groceries home only to make a mistake shifting your car into park. The next thing you know, you’ve backed into the garage door and now there’s a sizable dent that you need to fix. Once you’ve ensured you and everyone in the vehicle is okay, you’ll want to follow these six steps to taking care of your garage door.

1. Make Sure Everyone Is Okay

The first and most important thing you need to do is make sure everyone is okay. Even minor bumps like backing into a garage door can lead to injuries. Take care of yourself and your loved ones first, and the garage door can wait for later.

2. Don’t Open the Door Right Away

While it may be tempting to see if the garage door opens right away, don’t; you should inspect the damage from the inside and outside first.

Start with the outside where the impact was and see what type of damage occurred to the surface of both the garage door and your vehicle. After that, head into the garage from the home rather than opening it to inspect the damage. If you hit the garage from the inside, pull the car forward enough to see both the back of the vehicle and the door.

You don’t want to open the door right away on the off chance that the door isn’t aligned with the rails anymore. If they aren’t aligned, don’t open the garage door, as opening it could cause the garage door to come down on you.

3. Take Notes of the Damage

While you backed into the garage door itself, there could be damage to all parts of the system. You should safely check the rails, door, and garage opener for anything that seems out of place. This will help your local garage repair company know where to start.

You’ll also want to measure across the dent with measuring tape as this will give the company a solid idea of what type of dent to expect. If you know what type of material your door is, you should also relay this information.

4. Try to See If It’s Operable Manually

Person opens a garage door manually
mirsad sarajlic via iStock / Getty Images Plus

If everything checks out beside the door itself, you can attempt to open the garage door manually. Don’t try to force it open, as this could lead to further problems with the system.

Don’t use your automatic garage door opener because it might force it open and cause damage to the entire system. These openers pull with about the same force as you would, but it might not have a system in place to stop pulling, unlike you.

5. Call a Local Garage Repair Company

The next step of the process is to contact your local garage repair company. On average, you should expect to pay around $200 for garage door dents during normal business hours. Emergency services may require an extra fee of around $50 to $100.

If there’s a large dent that won’t come out easily, you may need to buy a new garage door entirely. There are a few tips for buying a new garage door you’ll want to consider, such as learning what type of material you want and figuring out if the door will work with your existing garage system. The cost of a new garage door opener is around $250 on average.

6. Figure Out Next Steps

The extent of the damage and your own comfort level will determine where you go from here.  Simple dents and repairs on your garage door will likely come in at less than a deductible, whereas big jobs, such as a new door and any structural repairs, may come in cheaper with homeowners insurance. Use your best judgement and do what feels right to you. 

Similarly, if everyone was okay and there wasn’t any serious damage to the vehicle, you may want to get an estimate from a local auto body shop first before calling your insurance company, as easy repairs may be cheaper to pay out of pocket. Ultimately, though the decision is up to you, so do what feels right.

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