This unfortunate situation happens more than you may think. You’re in the car ready to leave for work. You’re in a hurry, don’t want to be late, and put the car in reverse. Problem is, you forgot to open the garage door, or it hasn’t gone all the way up yet. Now, not only did you damage the back end of your vehicle, you’ve dented your garage door too. Or worse, your garage door came completely off the track and is now bent and mangled.

Now what do you do? Here are some tips.

Make Sure Everyone is Safe

Stay calm and make sure that you and other passengers are safe. Even minor accidents can lead to injuries. You may be panicking at this point, so don’t forget to put the car in park and shut it off before checking on everyone.

Assess the Damage to the Garage Door

If you have any passengers, ask if they are alright. Then get out of your vehicle, inspect the vehicle for damage, and then inspect the garage door for surface damage. If you hit your car from the inside of the garage, move your vehicle forward and then get out to assess damage. If you hit it from the outside and ran straight into it, back the vehicle up to a safe distance and enter your garage via the entry door.

See If You Can Manually Operate the Garage Door

Your first instinct may be to use the remote to open or close the garage door. Don’t do this, as it can cause even more damage to your garage door. That’s because it may force it to open or close while straining the whole system.

If you notice your door has become misaligned with the rails, don’t move it or adjust it yourself. Instead, disconnect the garage door opener and see if you can manually operate the door. Go slowly and take care. Ask a friend to help.

Note Damages to the Garage Door

As you check over the door, make note of the damage you see. Take photos as well. This will help the insurance adjuster as well as your garage door repair professional as they do their own inspection. Take measurements of dents and note the type and material of your garage door. If you can’t manually operate the garage door or it has come off the rails, keep back at least eight feet to avoid possible injury. Tell your kids and anyone else in your family to stay away till the repair pro can visit the home.

Call a Garage Repair Company

Even if you can still operate your garage door, call a garage door repair professional like M&M to come out and provide an inspection. Your trusted technician can assess the damage and give you an estimate on the cost to fix it. Don’t assume just because you can’t see damage that no damage has occurred. Often times, damage is evident behind the scenes, and only a qualified garage door repair technician can determine this. They will keep an eye out for dents, track or alignment issues, and opener problems.

Do not attempt to repair your own garage door after hitting it with your car.

Determine Next Steps

After your garage door repair company has assessed the damage, you will have to make a move. If your door has suffered minor damage such as scratches or small dents, you may want to pay outright for the services. If the damage is extensive, such as structural issues or the need for a complete door replacement, you may want to file a claim with your homeowners insurance.

If there has been damage done to your vehicle, call your auto insurance company, as your homeowners insurance won’t pay to make repairs to your car. Vice versa: your auto insurance won’t pay for repairs to your garage door.

Contact M&M Garage Doors

If you have backed your car into your garage door, call our trusted local garage door repair technicians today at (586) 610-5434.