Understanding the Different Parts of Your Garage Door

If you’re in the market for a new garage door, it’s important to understand the different features and parts. While the door may seem like the only important part, it’s just one of many parts that are needed to ensure the door works well and safely. Keep reading to check out the different parts of your garage door.

The Door

One of the first decisions to make when getting a new garage door is what type of door you actually want. The cheapest option is a plywood tilt-up door, but they won’t last long and can be easily broken into by potential criminals. On average, this type of door costs $400 to $700, however, making them a cheap choice.

Most people, however, choose steel or solid wood garage doors because of their security and beauty. Steel doors can be filled with insulation, and cost between $750 and $1,200. Wood garage doors can cost as much as $3,000, depending on the type of wood and style of the door. More intricate and unique designs tend to increase the price.

The Automatic Opener

The automatic garage door opener is what allows the door to open and close with just the push of a button. However, garage doors are heavy, so your automatic opener needs the right horsepower to get the job done. Most openers come with one-half horsepower, which is enough to easily lift most garage doors. However, if your door is a little heavier because of insulation, you may need three-fourths horsepower.

Finally, for solid wood garage doors or other particularly heavy doors, you may need an opener with one horsepower. Your automatic opener may also come with remote controls and a pin pad, for security. Make sure you change your code frequently, and keep the remotes locked on your person or in your house when you aren’t using them.

The Tracks

When the door opens or closes, rollers (connected to the door) move along a track. The track runs along the side of the garage door and continues onto the ceiling. When the door is fully opened, it hangs from those tracks on the ceiling. For this reason, it’s important to maintain those tracks. At the very least, damaged tracks make the door difficult or impossible to open/close.

In a worst case scenario, however, the tracks on the ceiling may become loose, allowing the entire door to collapse onto whatever or whoever is in the garage at the time. Maintaining the tracks is as easy as keeping them lubricated and tightening bolts/screws to ensure the tracks are secured properly.

The Safety Sensor

In the past, automatic garage door openers were dangerous. If you, a child or a pet was in the way when the door closed, serious injury and/or death could occur. Since 1993, however, garage doors are required to have safety sensors. These sensors prevent the door from closing if something is under the door.

This significantly made garage door openers safer, but it also is another part you need to maintain. If the sensor becomes dirty or damaged, it may prevent the door from closing.

The Springs

Garage doors use either extension or torsion springs, and they are durable enough to several years. Eventually, however, wear and tear weakens the springs, causing them to fail. If extension springs fail, they can cause serious injury because of the massive pressure they are under. For this reason extension springs have safety cables, so if the spring becomes loose, it stays put.

Torsion springs aren’t as dangerous, but they can still break down after too much use. When these springs fail, the automatic garage door opener will no longer be able to open/close the door.

Garage doors are comprised of many parts, and understanding them is the first step in picking the right garage door. If you would like to know more, or if you need a quote on a door, contact us at AA Garage Door today.

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