Garage doors are extremely useful, but they can also be difficult to understand. It’s easy to overlook this component of your home or business as long as your garage door opens and closes properly. To prepare for any issues that may arise with your garage door, it’s important to learn as much as possible about these types of devices, and in this guide, we’ll acquaint you with everything you need to know about your garage door.
How Do Garage Doors Operate?
Torsion spring systems and extension spring systems are the two types of garage door systems. Spring extensions are attached to cables that connect to the bottom corners of a garage door. When the garage door is closed, these springs stretch, and when it is opened, they contract and pull the garage door upward.
Torsion springs are used in most garage doors instead of extension springs because they are more durable. These springs are typically located above the opening of a garage door, and they cause the garage door’s opening cables to wind as the door lowers. These springs unwind and exert kinetic energy when the door is lifted.
Garage doors are opened by a type of motor known as an operator, whether they use extension spring or torsion spring technology. It takes very little energy to open or close a garage door; most of these motors have 1/2 horsepower engines and only use six amps of 120V power.
These motors may also include inverters, which convert DC electricity to alternating current electricity. Furthermore, most motors include small buttons that allow you to adjust the height of the garage door when it is closed.
To move, garage doors employ a variety of drive mechanisms. Drive belts are the quietest types of drive mechanisms and are typically made of kevlar. Garage door chains are the loudest and cheapest option on the other end of the spectrum, and the garage door screw is a happy medium between these two extremes.
When a garage door motor is turned on, the spring mechanisms begin to move, and the garage door’s segments move up and down the track using one of the drive mechanisms we’ve discussed. When the garage door is fully extended or retracted, the operator comes to a halt and the garage door comes to a stop.
What Are the Different Parts of a Garage Door?
A garage door is made up of several different parts. If you want to learn more about your garage door, you should become acquainted with each of the following components:
Sections: Your garage door is made up of several lateral sections that are held together by hinges. These sections can be made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum, or even glass.
Tracks: Your garage door’s sections move up and down on tracks. These tracks are mounted vertically on either side of your garage door.
Hinges: These components are located between each of your garage door’s sections. They allow your garage door to slightly fold up and down as it moves up and down.
Motor: The motor gives your garage door the ability to move up and down. It is located on the garage ceiling.
Bottom fixtures: These components are located on either side of your garage door’s bottom. They provide structural support for your garage door and serve as attachment points for your door’s lifting cables.
Torsion springs: When the motor is turned on, these springs raise and lower your garage door sections.
Cable drums: These drums hold the lifting cables for your garage door.
Top fixtures: Also known as top brackets, provide attachment points for your garage door’s lifting cables. They also provide support for the garage door.
Operator hanger: This component supports the garage door motor.
Rear track hanger: This component attaches to the back end of your garage door track to provide additional support.
Safety sensors: These components are installed at the base of your garage door and ensure that the door does not close if there is an obstruction beneath it.
Emergency pull cord: You can disengage the garage door motor by pulling on the emergency pull cord. You can manually raise or lower your garage door once it has been pulled.
Automatic garage door opener: This button is usually located near the garage’s inner door. It allows you to raise or lower your garage door. In some cases, another garage door opener may be stationed on the outside of your garage that you can use by entering a keycode to open your garage door.
Garage door remote: These devices allow you to open your garage door from a distance.
How Long Will a Garage Door Last?
Garage doors typically last 10 to 15 years. If you don’t open your garage door very often, you can make this part of your building last longer. Also, keep in mind that it isn’t always necessary to replace your entire garage door when it fails; instead, it’s usually just a broken spring, hinge, or motor.
Common Garage Door Issues
Aside from the obvious problem of not opening or closing, garage doors can have a variety of other problems. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s time to contact a professional:
- The door is off track
- The garage door is sagging
- The opener remote isn’t working
- The garage door opener is making strange noises
- There are visible gaps or light peeking through the top or bottom
- Unbalanced door, revealing light
All of these can be symptoms of a larger problem that will only worsen if not addressed.
Routine Garage Door Maintenance
Garage door routine maintenance typically consists of simply inspecting the door, the opener, the various components required for it to open and close properly, and then making any necessary repairs or adjustments. This is something that a handy homeowner who knows what to look for can do for themselves. Those who are unfamiliar with the operation of a garage door can seek the assistance of a garage door repair service professional. These tune-ups typically cost between $50 and $100 and include a thorough inspection as well as the application of lubricant to specific areas to ensure less friction and smoother operation. The most important advantage of having a garage door tune up performed is simply catching potential small issues before they become larger, more expensive ones.
Repairs to Garage Doors
There is routine maintenance and then there are the more unexpected issues that homeowners are likely to encounter with their garage door. Broken springs, damaged garage door panels, the garage door coming off track, broken chains and cables, and problems with the garage door opener are examples of these. While preventative maintenance is likely to alleviate some of these issues, the bottom line is that problems can still arise when it comes to something as intricate in terms of assembly as a garage door. Here’s a rundown of some common garage door problems and what homeowners can expect to pay for repairs:
- Broken springs: Spring replacement, including parts and labor, typically costs around $200.
- Panel replacement: Small nicks, dents, and holes are usually better filled rather than replaced. When a garage door needs to be replaced, the cost is largely determined by the material used. Steel panel replacement typically costs around $150, whereas wood panel replacement can cost up to $200.
- Cable and chain repair: Although these components are inexpensive, installation takes time. As a result, chains and cables that need to be replaced typically cost between $150 and $200.
- New opener: The cost of a new opener varies depending on the model and style, but it typically ranges from $200 to $500.
- New garage door: If a new garage door is desired or deemed necessary, the cost of these products can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the material, size, and so on.
DIY Garage Door Repair vs. Hiring a Local Garage Door Repair Company
Although DIY garage door repair and installation is the most cost-effective option, it does necessitate considerable skill and tools that most homeowners do not have. Because garage door repairs are uncommon, it is best to delegate this task to a professional.
How to Find the Best Garage Door Repair Company in Your Area
Finding a trustworthy company to assist you with your garage problems can be a difficult task, especially if you have several professionals to choose from in your area. Follow these tips to simplify your search:
Do the Research
When looking for a garage door repair company in your area, such as garage door repair Raleigh NC, the most important factor to consider is their reputation. You can look at a company’s previous reviews and testimonials on Google. See what customers have to say about a company’s garage door repair and customer service. Avoid the company if there are numerous negative reviews! Although online reviews are not always reliable, they will help you narrow down your options from the start. Previous customer reviews and feedback are an excellent way to gauge a company’s overall reputation.
Most garage door companies will also have gallery pages where you can view photos of their previous projects. This is yet another excellent way to assess their work quality. If you’re thinking about installing a new garage door, it can also give you ideas about different garage door materials, colors, and styles.
Ask Family and Friends
Personal recommendations are the most trustworthy sources. Seek advice from friends and family. If you notice a garage door installation or repair in your neighborhood, inquire about the service from your neighbors.
Consider Their Expertise
How long has the company been in operation? A busy repair company that has been in business for a few years is likely to know what they are doing and how to keep customers.
Review Garage Door Services
Garage door companies provide a variety of services, so your choice of garage door company may be influenced by the service you require. Some businesses may only provide residential services, while others may provide both. It’s a good idea to go with a garage door company that offers specialized services because it means they’re well-developed.
Request Licensing and Insurance
Because Google is exploding with fake business listings, you need to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate garage door company. Inquire about their licensing and insurance after reviewing their reviews and website. Different states have different regulations for garage door services, so it may be worthwhile to research these before selecting a garage door company. You should also inquire about manufacturer warranties, especially if you are purchasing a new garage door or opener.
Compare Companies and Consider Their Pricing
While it is important to have an affordable service, it should not come at the expense of service quality. Shop around and obtain multiple quotes from various companies. You can then compare the price to the service and find a happy medium.
Finally, ensure that the company’s pricing is transparent. You don’t want to deal with a company that charges hidden fees and labor taxes.