A garage door in most homes is opened and closed at least 2-3 times a day. This door is made up of a complex mechanism to open and close easily, and keep your stuff safe inside. But does anyone stop to think about how a garage door works? Maybe not, until it unexpectedly starts to break down. In such cases, you will be able to fix things yourself if you understand the mechanism behind its working. You will also be able to conduct regular repair and maintenance to ensure that your garage door works smoothly throughout the year.
By getting familiar with the anatomy of a garage door, you can easily replace hardware components whenever you need to. In case you hire an expert, you will be able to explain the problem better and also oversee the entire repair work. Start by getting acquainted with the different components of a garage door system. The most common garage doors are made of steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. The overhead section glides along a track on rollers attached to the ceiling of the garage. There are different individual parts that simultaneously work together every time you open and close the garage door.
● Openers: Garage door openers are very important to avoid unnecessary mishaps and ensure better performance. They come in different types so that you can easily control, open and close your garage door. The complex mechanism consisting of different types of pulleys. The chain drive, belt drive and screw drive are fixed in its motor to open and close your garage door. The opener also has a quick-release mechanism for extra safety during emergencies.
● Springs: Garage door springs are very important to the lifespan of your garage door and continuously undergo wear and tear. You can judge how long your garage door will last by calculating the lifespan of the spring. These springs stretch to their maximum during use. A spring has around 10,000 cycles. So if you use your garage only twice a day, it may last for around 14 years. You can manage things easily by monitoring daily use. However, improper alignment, temperature changes, and weather can cause the springs to snap before their time.
There are two types of spring systems:
Extension Spring System: Uses springs attached to cables attached to the bottom corners of the door. Energy stored in the extended springs lifts the door when you open it, and the springs stretch when you close the door. A safety cable is necessary in case the springs break to ensure that the energy released does not harm life or property.
Torsion Spring System: Torsion springs are mounted above the door opening. When you close the door, the springs wind up create stored energy. The springs unwind when the door opens, and this energy lifts the garage door.
In both cases, the steel springs can weaken after some time or break. The springs may also weaken and not be able to lift the weight of the door.
● Rollers: Consist of small wheels placed inside a garage door with ball bearings to help it move up and down easily. The right rollers made from appropriate materials can increase the lifespan of your garage door, making it more energy-efficient and long-lasting. Appropriate rollers are chosen based on the weight that they will need to carry. They also improve resistance to different environments and adverse weather.
● Hinges: are vital to a garage door, allowing it to bend in the required directions. These hinges are usually placed on the garage door panels, and also hold the doors fast when it’s open. It’s important that a bigger garage door has double hinges for the same reason.
● Cables: are very important to a garage door, since they bear the weight of the entire door. Made from good quality steel, they match the dimensions of your door. These cables need to be very sturdy since they are subject to wear and tear several times a day.
● Tracks: help your garage door move smoothly without hiccups. Never ignore damaged or misaligned garage door tracks or broken drum connections. Try lubricating the rollers, look for broken cables, fix them immediately to avoid future problems with the tracks.
● Drums: keep your garage door balanced based on the door height, weight of the door, cable thickness and length. There are three types of that work with the springs for smooth and balanced operation.
Standard lift – used for residential garage doors
Vertical lift – these drums are used in industrial setups or in warehouse settings.
High-lift –these drums provide vertical rise for the door, and horizontal track that goes closer to ceiling.
● Weather-stripping: is fitted along the door frame to maintain insulation and keep out moisture, dust, and the elements. The garage door and its parts are usually made from galvanized steel to ensure the dependably of your garage door and the safety of your belongings.