How to Fix Dent in Garage Door Panel

When you need a garage door that is both great looking and cheap, there really is no better alternative than aluminum and steel garage doors. After all, it has a lifespan of up to 30 years. Unfortunately, garage doors made of either material have one itty bitty problem that wooden garage doors know little about: dents. Every inch of every panel has the potential to get little dents here and there, and now you have to fix the garage door.

And who knows where the dents came from! You surely didn’t bump the garage door one too many times (right?), nor did your kids practice karate against it. Before you know it, small craters pepper what was once pristine, regal garage doors.

But what if someone told you fixing dents on your garage doors only took a lighter and compressed air? Would you believe them? No, it isn’t magic; it’s science.

How to Fix Small Dents on a Garage Door

Through the magic of science, you can remove the dents from aluminum and steel garage doors with a lighter (View on Amazon) and compressed air (View on Amazon)—the kind used for dusting keyboards and computers. Of course, there’s a few other items involved, but those two are the MVPs for this method.

Here’s what you need:

  • Soap and water
  • Compressed air
  • Sponge
  • Aluminum foil
  • A small lighter or grill lighter

Now, you might be having some reservations about this method. Perhaps it’s best to explain the process before running into the steps. Compressed air cans use liquid carbon dioxide, which when sprayed, is very cold. Lighters are obviously very hot. When the two mix, the temperature differences pop the dent out. It’s actually quite the useful technique when used on automobiles.

1. Start by washing off the affected area with soap and water. Rinse the garage door with water and let it dry for an hour.

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You are applying a small amount of heat to the garage door panels, but it’s enough to burn any dirt and grime left behind. Leaving it dirty may create unsightly blemishes.

2. Pull out a sheet of aluminum foil, preferably the heavy duty kind. It needs to be long enough to cover the dent and provide space for you to hold. For an extra dose of safety, you can wear heat resistant gloves (View on Amazon). Better safe than sorry.

3. Hold the sheet of aluminum foil flushed against the garage door while also covering the dent.

4. Take the lighter and hold it against the aluminum foil covering the dent. Wave it back and forth across the affected area for about a minute. Just know that fire is hot and you don’t have to have your other hand too close to the flame.

5. After a minute, put away the lighter, drop the alumunium foil, quickly open the compressed air, hold it upside, and spray the affected area. Holding it upside will force liquid carbon dioxide to spray out rather than spray air. Do this for 30 seconds.

6. With any luck, you can watch as the dent slowly pops out from the temperature difference. It should take about two minutes. If you want to see the difference, take a before and after picture just to know it works. Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

7. Hose off the garage door once you’ve removed every dent.

Now, this is the best option available for small dents. The kind of dents that are left behind when you accidentally put it in drive when you meant reverse are going to be a lot more stubborn. In other words, you need something solid that will encourage the bigger dents out and then finish off the small dents with compressed air and a lighter.

How to Fix Large Dents on a Garage Door

Fixing large dents on your garage door takes patience. What you don’t want to do is take the easy route and fill it with some kind of patching material and smooth it out with a putty knife. That isn’t fixing the problem—that only hides it.

If you really want to fix a large dent, nothing a straight piece of wood and a wooden mallet (View on Amazon) can’t fix. The process is so simple you’ll wonder why anyone uses anything but.

What you’ll need:

  • Straight piece of wood
  • Wooden mallet

Wooden mallets trump metal hammers in this instance. You aren’t looking for Thor-like strength. That would only force the dent the other direction. Wooden mallets tend to have a bigger area of effect, spreading out the force rather than a small patch like a metal hammer does.

1. Hold the piece of wood against the dent.

2. Tap the other side of the wood with the wooden mallet. You aren’t aiming for full strength, just a firm, but gentle tap. If you swing too hard, you might damage the paint on the other side.

That’s all there is to it. This will, at the very least, remove most of the problem. For removing very fine dents, use liquid dioxide and heat. The steps needed are listed in the previous section.

You Need to Know This About Your Garage!

If you’re noticing problems with your garage door, you need to know what’s causing the issue and if you’ll need to get the garage door repaired or replaced. Having a working garage door is crucial for any home, and fixing it is just one form of home improvement, but there are many more.

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Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you ever need to flatten a dented surface, a straight piece of wood and a mallet works wonders. As for the small dents, nothing a small amount of heat and carbon dioxide can’t fix. Together they can return a crumpling garage door to near its former glory. Of course, it goes without saying that if your garage door is hanging at acute angles, a new door is probably necessary.