Your home's garage door shouldn't be overlooked when it needs repairs or even outright replacement. The garage door is very important to your home's curb appeal and the security of the garage. An old and rusted door can make your entire property seem drab and dull, and may be easy enough to pull off the tracks and out of place, allowing in intruders and thieves. Not every problem with a home's automatic door means it's time to get a new one, but sometimes the door or the opening mechanism is best if replaced altogether. Note a few tips for deciding when your home's garage needs a new automatic garage door.
Creaking and loud sounds when opening and closing
Rust along the chains and springs that work the door or the track to which the door is attached is a common culprit for this type of noise. The door will scrape that track as it moves, rather than gliding smoothly, or the chains and springs may creak and make noise as they move in and out of place.
You might be able to clean these parts with a rust cleaner and may only need to lubricate them to keep the noise to a minimum. However, if this doesn't fix the problem, note that a chain or spring may be so damaged that it's in danger of breaking. This can allow the door to slam shut or get stuck and not open. If lubricant doesn't fix the noise from your door, you may want to consider calling a repairperson to see if you need a new opener mechanism altogether.
Dents, dings, or rust in the door itself
A metal door you might be able to fix with dent filler, such as you would use with your car. You can sand down the rusted parts and fill them and then have the door powder coated for a fresh look. If the door is wood, you can also do the same with wood putty or wood filler; sand around any dings or nicks or chipped areas, fill them in with putty, sand it down smooth, and then repaint.
If the dents and dings actually change the overall shape of the door so that it doesn't open and close smoothly or would be easy for someone to pry open with a pry bar, it may be beyond repair. For the safety of your garage and to keep snow and precipitation out of that area, consider replacing it.