Why Maintain or Install an Overhead Garage Door?


Estimated read time: 4 minutes.

Aside from the plethora of safety features built into each installed garage door there are other reasons you have a garage door and garage door opener rather than a blue tarp or massive hole in your garage. For starters a tarp would just look tacky, be very loud in the wind, and I am sure you will eventually need that tarp for something other than covering a large section of your house. While having nothing at all may seem like a win-win there are a lot of drawbacks to having a doorless garage, it makes your garage about as useful as a garage-less door, or garage-less garage door to be more specific. Actually if you think about it a garage-less garage door would have a lot of uses on its own, but that is beside the point.

A doorless garage might be able to fool the neighbors into thinking that you are just always on the move or that you have just got a broken garage door for a while, but not for long. You will be the talk of the neighborhood and people from all over will come to gawk at the doorless weirdo. Probably not that last part, but you get the idea. Having no garage door for your garage means that it is open to the elements and strangers, which pretty much makes the whole idea of a garage worthless. After a week you will have about ten times as many new pests staying in your garage as you do cars and before you know it you will be paying for the damage that has been done to your garage by the weather every few weeks. In addition to that anything besides your car that you keep in there will most likely be ruined pretty quickly and you will notice a difference in the amount of noise in your house. You will also be sad to know that that gaping hole in your garage is leaking heat like an open window twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. I know that I started on the peer pressure road with you earlier, but it really comes down to the fact that you need something to cover up your garage or you are going to regret it. Anything is better than nothing though right? If you're still not sold on the idea of a garage door let's go through that other option we mentioned previously, the tarp.

Big, blue, and plasticky, sounds like the perfect solution to many of life's problems including the garage door conundrum. I will admit if you have no other options and it is a short term solution a tarp secured to your garage is probably not the worst idea. It will keep a good deal of the weather out, unwanted eyes will think that you are doing repairs and the odds of pests getting in is significantly lowered. All of that being said, it is not a long term solution. The loud flapping of the tarp anytime it came undone would most likely replace the sounds echoing in through the garage when you didn't have anything there and the amount of heat or cool air leaking through would likely be only marginally better than having nothing at all. While placing a tarp over the entrance to your garage may keep out some pests unless you fitted the tarp perfectly and secured it extremely well there is still a very good chance that pests would get in. In situations where extreme weather or even just a particularly heavy rainstorm occurred the tarp would quickly be moved and any benefits it previously gave would be gone. Even without extreme weather it would be easy for rain to pass through cracks and ruin some of your possessions that are stored in the garage. On top of all of these downsides it would be an awful eyesore and you don't need your neighbors coming up to you and nagging you for having a tarp instead of a garage door, so while it may not be the worst alternative it is really no more than a short term solution to the problem.

Another alternative to a garage door or "solution" to a broken one would be to to simply board up the area with some plywood. Plywood will definitely offer you better protection from the elements than a tarp or nothing at all would give you, which isn't saying much, but it has a number of downsides as well. With the plywood solution comes the face that you have essentially removed all of the utility of a garage and changed it simply into a room that is poorly built and added onto your home. While a plywood cover may look marginally better than a tarp in the long run, you can't explain it away with repairs like you can the tarp or the short lived plans for using now cover at all. Boarding up a section of your home is typically seen as a long term solution and one that is not looked upon favorably by others. Plywood won't look as nice as if you had a real wood garage door and won't be as weather resistant either. A plywood covering is also a better solution in terms of pests, but would not be as competent as something built and fitted specifically for your garage. Large boards of plywood would also do better to  insulate your home from temperatures, strangers and noise than a tarp or nothing might, but would still be second to a correctly installed garage door. All of these bonuses compared to a tarp or nothing at all need to of course be taken with a grain of salt because you essentially have traded them for no longer having access to your garage other than from a smaller door or your home.

Lastly the best garage covering situation you could have while still not really having full usage of your garage would be a garage door. A garage door that was not hooked up to a working motor to be more specific or in laymen's terms, a broken garage door. If you have had a garage door properly installed and fitted you will most likely be in the best shape as far as short term solutions to not having a working garage door in your garage. Your garage door will have any small gaps covered and insulated to a minimal degree which will cut down on the noise and heat or cooling that is entering and leaving your home through the garage. You will also be keeping out all of the pests you can by keeping the door shut securely whenever possible. Your neighbors probably will be none the wiser that you have got a broken garage door and will not pester you with what an eyesore your garage has become. Having any large door at all, even if it is not locking or opening correctly is a slight security deterrent because it can be assumed that people won't be testing your garage for the most part. The main drawbacks to having a garage door without a working motor or security system is the inconvenience to yourself and the mild security risk in the event that someone does want to break into your garage. You will be having to get out of your car every time you move it in and out of your garage and will have to make sure that your car doors and the door from your garage to your home is secured because of the lack of security provided by your garage door.

Obviously, having a broken garage door is not the worst thing to happen in your life. You could certainly wait a while until you choose to get somebody to come and repair or replace your garage door and the attached mechanism, but the price will probably not be going down and you don't really gain much by not making the choice other than deferring the payment for a while. You also of course start to risk other possible costs associated with a broken garage door the longer and more serious the situation is. On top of the costs you risk incurring from a broken or nonexistent garage door you have also greatly reduced the utility of your garage, you will be unable to use it as often or to its full extent in many cases which ruins a lot of the ease that comes with having and automatic garage door. In conclusion, while the cost may be unexpected, because a broken garage door is rarely something you plan for, it is certainly worth the expense as quick as you can get it done.

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