Few things are as frustrating as dents in a newly installed garage door. Before you call for professional repairs, you should know that there are a few things you can do to attempt to fix the problem yourself. Here are three methods you can try to repair dents in aluminum garage doors.
Heated Aluminum Foil
If you want to fix your dented garage door and feel like a science wiz at the same time, the heated aluminum foil method is right for you. This is the first repair method you should try, as it has no negative impact on the door if it's unsuccessful.
For the heated aluminum foil method to work, you will first need to wash the dent. Pour some dish liquid into a bucket of water, and then use a sponge to scrub dirt away from the dented area. Dry the dent with a towel, and then apply a piece of aluminum foil to the garage door that is large enough to cover the entire dent. Use a small piece of tape on each corner of the aluminum foil to hold it in place.
Now that the aluminum foil is in place, you can use a lighter, blow dryer, or other heat source to heat the foil for around a minute. Move the heat source over the foil so it is heated as evenly as possible. As soon as the minute is up, remove the heat source and begin spraying the foil evenly with compressed air. Hold the compressed air can upside down so the air will be as cold as possible.
If this method is successful, you should see the dent pop back into place within a minute or two while spraying the aluminum foil with air. This occurs as the sudden change in temperature forces the dented metal to contract and snap back into place.
Wood Block and Rubber Mallet
Sometimes the best way to fix garage door dents is with direct application of force. A wood block and rubber mallet are the perfect tools for this job. On the bent-in side of the garage door, place the wood block over the dent. Carefully, but forcefully tap the wood block with the rubber mallet to flatten out the dent. The wood block will spread out the force of each tap so you can cover as much area as possible and will also reduce the chances that an off-the-mark blow creates a new dent.
Auto Body Filler
For jagged, deep, or especially stubborn dents, it may be required to fill them instead of bending them back in place. Auto body filler can be used to fill dents in aluminum garage doors effectively. First, use 120-grit sandpaper to rough up the dent until bare metal is exposed. Most auto body filler is sold in two components: the filler material, and a hardening agent. Mix the components according to manufacturer instructions, and then use a putty knife to apply the filler to the dent. Be sure to apply the filler quickly, as it will harden soon after mixing.
When the dent is filled, you will need to smooth out the filler putty with a putty knife until it is flush with the undented portions of the door. You can sand away any imperfections once the filler is dry, after which it is ready to be primed and painted to match the rest of the garage door.
Using these methods, you can cheaply repair all but the largest dents in aluminum garage doors. For major damage, or if you are still unsatisfied with the results of your DIY repairs, consider replacing the dented panel or contacting an expert from a company like Jayton Door Corporation for repairs.