Types of Garage Doors
Once you have your custom home or purchase a new home, over time, a garage door will require some attention. Garage door repair is simply something that is an innate part of owning a home. No matter what style or type of home you have, there are four primary four types of garage doors. The primary type of doors installed in homes today are the sectional doors. Let’s consider each type of door before the maintenance each may require.
- Side hinged doors
Side hinged doors are some of the most traditional. Two doors meet in the middle. The hinges are mounted on the side. If you can imagine an old carriage house, you may have a good idea of what they could look like. Today we have seen some return of this style door in high-end homes or for homeowners who are trying to match a theme with the exterior design of their home. Unfortunately, this style of the door does not operate with a garage door opener, so the homeowner is stuck opening and closing it on their own each time.
The most common type of repair needed for the side hinged door is when the door drags on the ground. Over time the hinges become weakened from use. Sometimes new hinges are required. Also, the bottom of the door may need to be slightly trimmed.
- Retractable doors
Retractable doors are one solid piece. Usually made from wood, this type of door is track mounted. A counterweight system lifts it and the entire door is retracted into the ceiling of the garage — this type of door stores entirely out of the way. When choosing a retractable door, the ceiling height of a garage must tell me high enough.
Over time the door may sag on one side or not close all the way. The track also may become dirty, or the rollers can pick up foreign objects. Sting is the worst culprit as it becomes tangled in the door rollers. If the door sags, the springs may need to be replaced, or the weights may need to be re balanced. When not closing all the way, the door may require adjustment on one of the weights.
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- Canopy doors
Canopy doors are very similar to the retractable doors, except they are not concealed entirely along the ceiling of the garage. Part of the door will remain outside. This is an older style of door, and I have only seen it on a few garages of older homes. Counterweights lift the door. Being one solid piece, the door lifts as a single unit.
- Sectional Garage Doors
The sectional door is the most common. Traveling on a track, the door rolls up and rolls back down again. Sectional doors are most commonly made from aluminum, vinyl, wood, or other type of metal. At times vinyl is preferred over wood because it does not require frequent painting, it weighs less, and the vinyl never warps. Aluminum is an excellent choice, but it does dent easily. Other metal doors can be heavy and do rust over time. Spending a little bit more and purchasing an insulated door is a great way to conserve heat in a garage.
Sectional doors are more accessible to repair when it is hit by a car. My elderly neighbor backed into his garage door twice in a year. When a door panel is damaged, the affected sections can be removed and replaced. This way the whole door does not have to be rebuilt.
The most common garage door repairs related to use, are the track and the door opener itself. If a door is not traveling up and down smoothly or is unable to pass a certain point in the track, inspect the track for dents or dings. A dented track will keep the roller from passing by it. A block of wood and a hammer can fix the problem. Place the block of wood where the dent is and then hit it with the hammer. The block of wood spreads out the force of the blow so that a dent the size of the head of the hammer is not left in the track. Also, the block of wood can be positioned so that it reaches were a hammerhead could not. But be careful, as garage door parts are delicate and too hard of a blow may result in an even bigger problem.
When paying attention to the track, the rollers should also be inspected. Mud, rust, and even gum left from lubricate mixed with dust can cause the rollers to stop turning. In the case of mud and oil residue, ordinary household cleaners can be sprayed on the track and then wiped clean. Also, inspect the rollers for things such as a sting or other things that can become entangled around the wheel. A razor knife can be very helpful in cutting it away.
As with any moving parts, the door tracks, rollers, lock bar, and even the hinges joining one panel to the next should be regularly oiled. The lubrication may build up over time and need to be removed, but it should also be re-oiled to preserve the life of the roller.
If one side of a door opens faster than the other, or the door does not close the entire way, the problem may lie in the garage door springs. High tension and torsion springs are best maintained by a professional. Releasing even an older spring can have enough strength left in it to knock a person over. The safest avenue is to call a professional. The torsion springs are the most dangerous.
Garage door openers are another area of concern. Before trying to inspect one, be sure the electric is unplugged. A shock is all one needs to change a day from good to bad. Commonly the belts to open and close the door are the thing requiring attention. Also check for something, even a balloon string, becoming entangled in the mechanism if further repair is needed to be sure to record the brand of door opener. This is important to provide to the repair shop or if ordering parts for it online. Also, be sure to notice the series of garage door opener and the horsepower. Providing the supplier with more information about the garage door opener parts will help to get the right one the first time.
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When all else fails, and you decide to call the garage door repairman, ask around for a referral. Neighbors, people at church, or other parents at the school bus stop might just have had the same problem recently. Different ways are to check local phone book listings or to contact the company you purchased the door from in the first place.
Garage Door Material: Steel vs Aluminum vs Wood?
When installing your first garage door (or replacing your old garage door with a new one), choosing the right garage door material for your home might be a tricky problem to solve. There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting the right garage door materials such as the weather, the local temperature and the seasons that occur in your location. The amount of rain or snow that falls in your place and the compatibility of the garage door material to the appearance of your home are also factors that you just cannot ignore. Although today’s garage doors are already crafted from different materials, the three most popular elements for garage door are steel, aluminum, and wood. To help you decide on what kind of garage door to purchase, let us discuss each one and see what garage door material perfectly fits your preferences and needs.
- Garage Door Material 1: Steel
Probably the most popular garage door material around today, steel is chosen by people who want to have the best value for their garage door installations. Because garage door prices are not low and installing one requires quite a bit of monetary investment, installing a steel garage door will most probably bring the best value for money over time. Steel garage doors are usually found in the home and domestic installations because of their accessibility and affordability. Because a lot of manufacturers produce garage doors made of steel, finding the perfect size to fit your home is a lot easier to accomplish.
Steel garage doors are a lot lighter than wood, and they are indeed much more comfortable to maintain. Aside from that, they can be painted and customized to fit your home as you please. However, steel garage doors often suffer when it comes to electrical insulation. Especially when you are in a place where rain or snow frequently falls, using a steel garage door will give you problems if your electrical wiring isn’t done professionally. If you decide to use steel as your preferred garage door material, make sure that your electrical wiring is all in place.
Reminder: Steel garage doors possess steel panels that vary in thickness. As a rule, the lower the number of the steel panel gauge, the thicker the steel and the higher its quality. Right quality steel garage doors use panels that range from gauges 24-26.
- Garage Door Material 2: Aluminum
Aluminum is a garage door material that shares most of the characteristics of steel garage doors, and they are also very much available in the market. Because they are much more lightweight and affordable compared to steel garage doors, aluminum garage doors are preferred by people who are looking to save money on their garage door installations. Garage door prices tend to become very expensive nowadays, but with aluminum garage doors, you are always on the safe side. Garage doors made from aluminum do not rust, so it is another added advantage that you might consider. However, being relatively light and constructed from less-durable material, an aluminum glass door is much more susceptible to having dents compared to steel garage doors.
If you are looking to follow the tradition of old garage door installation, using wood for your garage door material is the best road to take. Although much heavier you are compared to steel and aluminum garage doors, wooden garage doors possess more aesthetic quality and appeal mainly to people who own traditional-looking houses. Wooden garage doors can be carved and sculpted with designs and inscriptions, making them much more flexible if you are looking for style and appeal. The warmth of having a wooden garage door installed on your home also attracts the possibility of increasing the value of your house if ever you decide to sell it.
Using wood for your garage door material decreases your chances of suffering from poor electrical insulation because wood is a much better insulator compared to steel or aluminum. However, the downside of installing a wooden garage door is the increased maintenance and care that you must provide to protect your investment. Wooden garage doors attract termites and ant colonies especially if you are in a tropical country. Investing in anti-termite cures and constant checking for maintenance is a must if ever you decide to use wood as a garage door material.