Fixing Crooked Garage Door Panels the DIY Way

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We’ve all been there – you open your garage door to find slightly crooked panels that just don’t seem quite right. At first it may not bother you too much, but over time those quirky panels can become a real eyesore. Not to mention the annoyance of dealing with jammed or sticking panels every time you use the door.

Luckily, adjusting crooked garage door panels is usually a straightforward DIY project you can tackle yourself to restore that straight, smooth operation we all want. Let me walk you through the simple steps I took to straighten out my own panels without calling in a Garage Door Repair in Virginia Beach.

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Assessing the Problem

Crooked panels are usually caused by one panel being out of alignment from the others. The first step is to inspect your door when fully closed and identify which panel is the source of the issue. Roll the door up about 12-18 inches and take a look – is there a noticeable gap on one side of a panel? That’s usually the culprit.

Tools Needed

  • Socket wrench set (to remove panel brackets)
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Utility knife (to adjust steel panel edges if needed)

Removing and Realigning the Panel

Once you’ve identified the problem panel, it’s time to remove it from the door. Starting with the socket wrench, loosen both bracket bolts securing the panel to the tracks above and below. You may need to wiggle the panel side to side slightly to free it up.

Now lift the panel straight up and out of the tracks. Set it aside and inspect the panel and bracket joints – are they bent out of shape at all? Use the flathead screwdriver to gently bend anything back into proper alignment if needed.

Reinsert the panel back into the tracks, pushing it flush to the adjacent panels above and below. Have a helper hold the panel in place while you retighten the bracket bolts, but don’t overtighten.

Trimming Overlapping Steel Edges

If the panel is made of steel, the edges may overlap the adjacent panels slightly once back in place. Use a utility knife to carefully and precisely trim away any excess overlap until a smooth transition is achieved. Be very careful not to cut into the panel surfaces.

Testing and Repeat As Needed

Close and open the door a few times to test the repair. Does the panel track straight now without binding? If another panel appears crooked, repeat the process for that one. Usually only one adjustment is needed to restore straight, smooth operation.

With just a few basic tools and some care, crooked garage door panels shouldn’t drive you crazy anymore. Take control of any issues yourself instead of paying premium prices to call out a repair technician.