For many drivers, even the slightest change in one’s morning routine can spell disaster. This can range from forgetting that you placed your coffee cup — or worse, your cell phone — on top of your car to accidentally backing into your garage door when you forget to hit the button for the automatic opener.

While this can be an unpleasant way to start any morning, there’s no need to panic. Read on to learn more about the steps you’ll need to take after you’ve backed your car, truck, or SUV into your automatic garage door.

1. Close Your Door Carefully

If you can raise your garage door enough to back your car out, start there to make sure your vehicle doesn’t wind up trapped until a garage door repair person can come by. In some situations, a light tap on the door may have dented it slightly but still allows it to function as normal, giving you the freedom to schedule a repair at your leisure.

In other cases, the force of the collision may have been enough to knock your garage door off its tracks, snap the support cables, or bend the door so that it no longer lines up with the tracks. In these situations, you will need more urgent repairs, as you’ll unlikely be able to use your garage door until it’s been looked at by a professional.

If your door has opened all the way, you may be able to close it to secure your garage until you can arrange for repairs. Give it a gentle pull or two to see whether you can coax it down from the top of the tracks. If gently pulling the door doesn’t budge it, leave it alone until professional help arrives.

Remember that you’re probably much stronger than the automatic garage door opener’s motor, so using all your strength to jerk the door closed is likely to cause further damage. You may even risk injury if the cables or springs used to gently raise and lower the door are damaged, as pulling the door down full-force can send these components flying.

2. Call the Pros

Even if you have the tools to reattach your garage door cables or straighten out the bent steel yourself, it’s a bad idea to attempt DIY garage door repairs. The torsion springs inside your garage door are under thousands of pounds of pressure, and a single misstep during the repair process could send this tensile steel flying.

Calling a professional garage door repair company will help make sure your door is repaired quickly, safely, and effectively. Most garage door repair companies even offer after-hours service if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your house while your garage door is stuck open.

3. Set Up Preventive Reminders

For many drivers, backing into a garage door just once is enough of a wake-up call to keep it from happening again. But if you’re worried that you’ll make this mistake a second time, it can be a good idea to set up small reminders to make sure you’ve opened the garage door before you put your vehicle in gear.

These reminders could be something like an after-market backup camera or sensor that will sound a loud alarm if there is anything in your path, a hand-lettered sign on your garage wall, or a conscious effort to open your garage door before you put your key into the ignition or even before you get into your car.

Keep these tips in mind when dealing with a damaged garage door, and contact Eudy Door Co. to get a free estimate for your repairs.