How to repair this cracking wooden garage door?

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CYUE

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My wood garage door has a bad shape in the center of the bottom panel. There may be cracks too (see picture attached); I also would like to re-paint it. What procedure/steps that I should take? Sand it down, and shall I fill up the cracks with silicone? Then paint? Any professional suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 

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Eddie_T

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You might get away with cutting out the rotted wood and repairing with Bondo unless the damage has affected it too much structurally. A propylene glycol and boric acid mix can be used to prevent further rot.
 

Sparky617

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I had a door like that on my last house. I replaced it with a new metal door. Any patching will be a short term solution. If you're trying to make it pretty to sell go with patching, if you have a longer ownership horizon I'd look to replace it.
 

CYUE

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Dear all, thank you for the inputs. Very helpful. Will plan if I will downsize in next few years or not, then, determine the life of this garage door.
 

Eddie_T

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If the style of door is still manufactured you may be able to replace the bottom panel as a unit.
 

ekrig

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I basically had the exact same problem with my garage door. I didn't want to replace it at the time so I fixed it. In my case it was all across the bottom and I basically custom made a new bottom for it, piece by piece. I'll try to take some pictures later and include here.

If the only rotten part is the thing shown in the photo, it is really not that bad and much, much simpler than my repairs. You can take that panel off, cut off the rotten part, and basically cut pieces of wood to fill it back in.

All that said, I must warn you that wood garage doors require constant maintenance, and the repairs that I mentioned take quite some time and patience. If time spent is a major concern, I can tell it won't be worth it. Personally, I just enjoyed the challenge.

Still, I suspect that fixing the garage door is only part of the problem. My garage door rotted because the gutters in front of the door constant fill and don't drain properly, causing the water to splash right in front of the garage door. I would try to make sure to resolve that issue too (and be constantly vigilant about) is that is your issue too.
 

Eddie_T

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A friend replaced the bottom rail and one or more stiles for me. You can estimate the extent of damage by probing with an icepick. I need to restain this season


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kok328

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do not use silicon, it will not hold paint
 

ekrig

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do not use silicon, it will not hold paint
I'm intrigued by your comment.
I thought this was a simple matter of ensuring that one uses paintable silicone; at least that's what I did in my garage door and, two years later, it has held out alright.
 

ekrig

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Pictures of my repaired garage door are attached. After painting no one can tell from a distance. Of course, looking closely and from the inside, the repairs are obvious.

Basically, I took a circular saw across the whole thing and then rebuilt the bottom. Fortunately, most of the panels surface was salvageable.
 

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BuzzLOL

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I have a wooden garage door I last painted 41 years ago and it's fine... but I put a new wooden garage door on my Mom's house when I built it and it rotted out in 4 years despite being painted right away... it also had glued finger jointed wood which shrank and pulled apart in only 6 months... I will never buy anything with finger jointed wood framing again... and only paint with good quality oil based paints outside... I replaced her garage door with double sided insulated steel door about 38 years ago and it's still fine...
 

Sparky617

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I have a wooden garage door I last painted 41 years ago and it's fine... but I put a new wooden garage door on my Mom's house when I built it and it rotted out in 4 years despite being painted right away... it also had glued finger jointed wood which shrank and pulled apart in only 6 months... I will never buy anything with finger jointed wood framing again... and only paint with good quality oil based paints outside... I replaced her garage door with double sided insulated steel door about 38 years ago and it's still fine...
I've had that type of door on my current house for 22 years and I installed one on our last house when I replaced the wood and Masonite paneled door. They are a great solution and much quieter and more durable than the single sided metal doors with or without insulation. It was well worth the extra money.
 

Eddie_T

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My vote would be to first assess the amount of damage to the wood doors to see if they are salvageable. When in good condition wood looks better than steel doors. I've seen many expensive house designs cheapened in appearance by common steel doors. However a builder friend of mine added lightweight cedar strips to a mutual friend's plain door to give it a craft look harmonizing with other street view remodeling..
 

CYUE

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Thank you for all the experience, I am now trying to get quote for new door. If it is not that expensive, will replace them, or, as "ekrig" said, just change the whole bottom section will do. Thank you again for all.
 

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