The Problems with a Roll Up Garage Door

Roll up garage doors are the most common type of garage doors in the US. Most homes that have garages with roll up garage doors are older. That makes sense because roll up garage doors are lightweight, easy to install, and they provide enough protection and security to keep anything in the garage safe.

roll up garage doors

They’re also easy to operate and fairly inexpensive, depending on the material that they’re made from.  Of course, it’s only the upfront cost that seems affordable. When you add in the cost of a replacement door and all the installation and labor to fix a nonfunctional roll up garage door then it becomes expensive.

There are two types of roll up garage doors. The first type is made of several sections that are attached together and they can be rolled up together into the ceiling of the garage. The second type is similar is but it’s made out of a large panel that fits into the ceiling of the garage when it’s rolled up.

Single panel doors are made from aluminum, wood, steel, or fiberglass. Single panel roll up garage doors are a popular choice in new construction homes but they come with their own set of problems. Here are few of the problems with roll up garage doors that homeowners may face when they choose roll up garage doors for their garages.

Maintenance Problems

Roll up garage doors need a lot of maintenance. If you have a multiple panel roll up garage doors then it’s a little easier to perform repairs and maintenance because the individual panels can be taken apart and painted, fixed, or replaced if it’s necessary to replace the entire panel instead of trying to fix it.

roll up garage door problems

Single panel roll up doors can be difficult and expensive to maintain even if they are made from steel or fiberglass so they don’t require the kind of intensive maintenance that wood garage doors require. If there is damage that cannot be fixed the entire door will need to be replaced.

Also, single panel doors can require a lot of maintenance if they’re made from wood. Wooden panel doors need to be cleaned, sanded, and painted very often, sometimes every year if you live in a severe climate where there’s a lot of very hot weather or a lot of snow and ice.

Wood doors also can warp, which throws off the roll up mechanism and create an unbalanced door that won’t work. Warped, rotting, or split wood garage doors will always have to be replaced in order to avoid further damaging the roll up mechanism.

Steel insulated single panel garage doors can become dented and damaged requiring either expensive repairs or replacing the entire door. Steel doors are expensive, more expensive than fiberglass and wood, and if they are damaged it can cost quite a bit to replace them. Steel insulated doors are often used by new construction builders so when buying a new construction home, then you should take into considering that you may need to replace the roll up garage doors sooner than you think.


Installation of roll up garage doors can be tricky and expensive. That’s because it requires multiple people in order to get the system installed correctly. If you are replacing your garage doors or if you are considering different types of garage doors keep in mind that even though roll up garage doors may seem like an affordable choice they only seem affordable when you consider the base cost of the actual doors.

When you factor in the extended maintenance costs, and the cost of replacing the entire door system every few years and the additional cost for installation the cost of installing roll up garage doors increases quite a bit. Those other costs need to be factored into the cost projections for what the door will end up costing you over the course of the time that you own your home. And those costs can be much higher than you think if you’re only thinking about the base cost of the doors.

Misaligned Tracks

Another common problem that happens with roll up garage doors is that the tracks on the sides of the doors that help push the doors up get misaligned. When that happens the door won’t roll up or down and can become stuck. There are many things that can cause the tracks to become misaligned.

garage door off track

Damage to the garage itself or damage to the door can sometimes knock the tracks out of alignment. If the garage door casing becomes warped or swells due to water soaking through the wood it can throw the tracks out of alignment because they are very carefully calibrated to fit to the garage door sides. Another common problem is that the rollers become loose or get knocked out of position which can also throw the track out of alignment.

When the tracks of the roll up garage door come out alignment it can be a big and expensive fix to get the doors back in alignment so that the door will operate the way they’re supposed to. All of the tracks will need to be pulled down, shaped, and either replaced or remounted from scratch to fit the wooden sides of the garage again.

And if you don’t fix the warping of the garage you will just have to pull down the tracks and realign them the next time the tracks are thrown out of whack by warped garage wood. Matching up the tracks and making sure that all the rollers are back in the same positions so that the roll up garage doors function the right way can be a challenging and expensive task.

Think Twice

Just like with so many other home maintenance and repair decisions it pays in the end to take your time thinking about what kind of garage doors you want.

Roll up garage doors might seem like the best value and a good fit for your budget. However, when you consider the long term costs, it might not be worth choosing roll up garage doors that are going to cost you a lot of money and time over the years because of the maintenance required to keep them looking good and functioning the way that they should.

If you’re not sure what type of garage door is the best for your home then you should talk to a professional roll up garage door installer to find out exactly how much you can expect to pay over the years in routine maintenance costs.

You might find that choosing another option is the best fit for you and your home. And if you do choose to use roll up garage doors at least, then you will have a realistic expectation of what those roll up garage doors will cost. When it comes to home improvements and repairs you need to always consider the long-term costs as well as the short term costs.

Danley’s To The Rescue

If you’re looking for a garage that you’ll love, Danley’s specializes in custom built garages. With over 100,000 garages built, yours is next. Get a free quote today.

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