When people buy a new garage door, one of the most common questions they ask is: can I reuse old garage door tracks? New tracks can be as cheap as $40-50, but quality ones are often upwards of $100-200. If your current ones seem to be in good condition, there seems to be no good reason to discard them.
Should You Reuse Old Garage Door Tracks?
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of disinformation about this subject. Many people — often unqualified professionals — will tell you there is no problem in reusing tracks. However, as professionals, we say “nay.” In fact, reusing the tracks from your old garage door system can be downright dangerous.
Why You Shouldn’t Reuse Old Tracks
It all comes down to compatibility. An old pair of garage door tracks may not be compatible with a new panel or garage door system. Most tracks are fastened with a rivet that is only set to open and close at a distance from the side post that is set in the factory. While a few doors can be adjusted for different tracks, most cannot.
To recap, if you reuse old garage door tracks, your garage door may not (and likely will not) have proper spacing. This can result in a variety of problems:
- Your garage door may get stuck.
- If you have an electrical garage door opener, your garage door may continue to open and close until it entirely falls off the track.
- Inadequate spacing can also cause your garage door springs to become unbalanced. These are the parts of your garage door that are primarily responsible for lifting and opening operations. Broken springs can be both dangerous and notoriously expensive to fix.
- If your garage door falls, it can cause damage to anyone nearby or any property nearby, in particular your vehicle.
So, the moral of the story is this: don’t try to reuse old garage door tracks. The cost far outweighs the benefit, and the risk simply is not worth it. Find a professional garage door repair man to help you get the right tracks for your new garage door!