Guide to Garage Doors

Guide to Garage Doors

Your Extensive Guide to Garage Doors from Garage Door Rescue

Let’s face it, your garage door is never going to be high on your priority list for checking it is all in working order or giving it a maintenance once over every 6-8 weeks. It’s only when it breaks, won’t open, closes or jams midway that you realise what a pain it is without a functioning garage door. If you give your garage door a regular once-over, then it helps prevent it from breaking and costing you call out charges for a garage door engineer with expensive repairs or even the cost of having a new garage door installed. Read on for our full Guide to Garage Doors.

So what types of garage doors are there and what are their pro’s and cons?

Up and Over Garage Doors

An up and over garage door is one complete door panel which tilts, lifts and swings up into the roof space of your garage by torsion springs. Up and over garage doors are normally opened manually, however, some are automatic and can be opened with a key fob

Pros of Up and Over Garage Doors:

  • They are the least expensive to install when it comes to a new garage door
  • There are fewer moving parts so they can be easily maintained
  • The parts are easily replaced at a relatively low cost compared to other types of garage doors

Cons of Up and Over Garage Doors:

  • The way an up and over garage door opens; by tilting out and then up and under into the garage roof you are unable to park a car near to the garage door as the door won’t open
  • It takes quite a bit of strength to start the motion of opening an up and over garage door, however, when it is halfway up the springs should then complete the opening function without the need of too much strength or input

Sectional Roll-Up Garage Doors

Sectional garage doors are normally made up of three to eight solid sections which open by moving upwards on vertical tracks on the door frame. The tracks guide the sections up and then they curve sharply into the horizontal tracks inside the garage roof. Sectional Garage Doors are a popular choice now.

Pros of Sectional Garage Doors:

  • The outside vertical tracks which run up the door frame to guide the door opening gives you the maximum door width, giving you a wider opening for driving your car in and out
  • Sectional Garage Doors are less likely to fall off hinges compared to up and over garage doors which can fall quickly and cause serious injury or damage
  • Sectional Garage Doors are secure and not easily broken into
  • They don’t fall off hinges with the potential to injure someone or damage anything passing underneath
  • Sectional Garage Doors are easily automated to take the strain away from manually opening
  • The automation means you can drive up and sit in your car whilst your door opens for you to drive into your garage
  • The automation takes away the manual strain of opening and closing the door

Cons of Sectional Garage Doors:

  • They can limit garage ceiling storage space due to the supporting brackets which connect to the ceiling
  • They are more expensive to install compared to up and over garage doors as there are lots of moving parts
  • Sectional Garage Doors need regular maintenance and the tracks need to be kept clean and lubricated to keep them in good and safe working order

Roller Garage Doors

A Roller Garage Door does exactly that, there are horizontal sections of steel which make up the door which then roll up and into the garage roof space when opened. They are typically seen on warehouses and other commercial buildings, however, a lot more homeowners are now choosing them as an option now.

Pros of Roller Garage Doors:

  • The door rolls up into the ceiling giving you maximum garage door width and maximum storage and ceiling space in your garage compared to other garage doors
  • The roller door gives you the maximum door width, giving you a wider opening for driving your car in and out
  • They don’t fall off hinges with the potential to injure someone or damage anything passing underneath
  • They are one of the most secure garage doors out there and are very difficult to break into
  • They are always automated making it easy to open and close and always come with a manual opener in the unlikely case that the automation doesn’t work
  • The automation means you can drive up and sit in your car whilst your door opens for you whilst you drive into your garage
  • The automation takes away the strain of opening and closing the door

Cons of Roller Garage Doors:

  • A Roller Garage Door is one of the more expensive of garage doors to install
  • Roller Garage Doors need regular maintenance, the tracks need to be kept clean and lubricated to keep them in good and safe working order, however, this is a relatively easy job
  • There really aren’t many cons of a roller garage door, they are easy to maintain, hardly ever break down and if they do get stuck you have a manual opener

Swing-Out Doors

Swing Out Doors are side-hinged doors that open outwards. They can make your home look really classy and retro and they look very much like wooden carriage-style doors.

Pros of a Swing Out Garage Door:

  • They maximise the opening space of your garage door
  • They can look vintage, retro and modern
  • They are easy to open and close and do not require any strength to lift due to their outward swing motion
  • With so few moving parts to break down, side-hinged garage doors rarely break. The hinges and latches are essentially the only moving parts, both of which can be fixed easily

Cons of a Swing Out Garage Door:

  • They aren’t as secure compared to other types of garage doors available as they meet at the centre and make them easy targets for break-ins
  • They require manual opening and closing. They can be automated however this can be very expensive
  • You can’t park a car near to the garage door as they swing outwards to open
  • If not locked correctly and securely they can easily swing open and damage a car parked too close or make it easy for thieves
  • Snow and other obstructions on the driveway need to be fully cleared before the doors can open as they don’t have much clearance at the bottom

Hints and Tips for Basic Garage Door Maintenance and Safety

Remembering to maintain and give your garage door a check and once over every 3-6 months will save you time and money in the long run. Some maintenance activities are applicable for all types of garage doors whilst others are relevant to the specific type of door.

Being Safe

  • Garage doors are extremely heavy and if they come down on someone they can cause serious harm. If you are at all unsure of maintaining or repairing your garage door safely then call a garage door expert in
  • If an up and over garage door jams half way up or down then it is best not to touch the springs. If  the door suddenly drops it can cause serious damage to you or someone else close to you
  • If you are checking an automated door then always switch off the power so you can know it won’t spring into action and open or close on you or catch fingers or limbs in any of the moving parts

Maintenance Tips for All Types of Garage Door

  • All automatic doors have a sensor which prevents the door from closing if the sensor beam is blocked. Sensors will be located on both sides of the door, around the track area and near the floor. Wipe the sensors regularly to remove dust, debris and spiders webs as these will block the sensors and your garage door won’t open or close, or will stop midway
  • If there is a problem with your automated door check the beam of the sensor is hitting the receiving sensor. Most modern doors have a green LED light on the sending sensor that will light up when the beam is successfully hitting its target
  • Lubricate the chain or drive screws with spray-on white lithium grease. The motor powers the door up and down the chain or screw so this will keep it in good working order with no jams or damage occurring to the chains or screws
  • Check the rubber weather-stripping at the bottom of the garage door and treat with spray-on silicone to protect it. If it gets damaged or cracks then replace it as it protects the garage door and keeps your belongs secure and dry inside

Maintenance for Up and Over Garage Doors

  • Nearly all Up and Over Garage Doors are lifted with the aid of powerful spring powered mechanisms that equalize the weight of the door. Do not try to adjust the spring tension that balances the weight of the door as this could cause you serious harm and always needs to be done by a garage door expert
  • Spray lithium grease on the pivot points, avoiding the springs, as this will not help them move more freely
  • Inspect the springs to make sure that they are not slipping off of their connection brackets or that the brackets have not begun to bend over time
  • Be aware if the springs fly off, it can be highly dangerous
  • If your door is an older style Up and Over Garage Door, it may not have a continuous cable running through the spring. A continuous cable is a simple safety device that acts to contain the spring if it should snap. If you have got an older style door we highly recommend you call out a garage door engineer to look and check if it is safe to use

Maintenance for Sectional Garage Doors

  • Inspect and tighten the hardware on the roller track, roller, and roller bracket
  • Check the rollers slide along the roller track and if not then spray with white lithium grease
  • Regularly lubricate moving parts with white lithium grease

Maintenance for Roller Garage Doors

  • Inspect and tighten the hardware on the roller track, roller, and roller bracket
  • Check the rollers slide along the roller track and if not then spray with white lithium grease
  • Regularly lubricate moving parts with white lithium grease

Maintenance for Swinging Out Garage Doors

  • Lubricate the door hinges regularly with spray-on white lithium grease
  • Check the screws in the hinges are tight enough

Garage Door Cosmetic Repair Guide

Eventually, time will take its toll on any type of garage door and the elements will strike.  No type of garage door material is immune, objects can dent metal doors, and wooden doors will degrade under the sun’s UV rays. Learn how to make simple cosmetic repairs on wood and metal garage doors:

Wooden Doors

Wooden doors can be cosmetically repaired the way you would repair any other exterior wood item, exterior-grade paint.

  • Peel off paint that is curling on the edges by light application with a paint scraper
  • Lightly sand the surface, wash by hand with mild soap and water, rinse thoroughly and let it dry
  • Fill in any dents, chips, or grooves with wood filler and sand to smooth
  • Repaint the door with exterior-grade paint and let it dry. Repeat again with a second coat

Metal Door Dents

To fix dents you will need a bucket, sponge, dish soap, aluminium foil, kitchen lighter, and compressed air canister.

  • Wash the dented area using a squirt of dish soap in a bucket of warm water. Sponge onto the dent to remove all dirt. Thoroughly rinse down with water so that no particles remain. Allow it to dry completely
  • Cut off a piece of kitchen aluminium foil so that it is big enough to cover the dent with excess on all sides and press the foil over the dent so that it conforms to the dent
  • Light a kitchen lighter, wave it around the foil and maintain the flame for around one minute
  • Remove the foil and quickly hold a compressed air canister upside-down and spray the dent for about 30 seconds
  • The dent should then pop out by itself

Replace your garage door or keep on repairing it?

Knowing if you should repair or replace your garage will save you money and time. If a garage door is constantly breaking then it is likely that you should be looking into having a new door installed as they are really heavy and could cause serious damage if they break or when you are trying to repair them. However, replacing a garage door that can be repaired is a huge waste of money, as well as impacting the environment by landfilling large non-degradable materials.

When to Repair a Garage Door

  • The solution to doors that do not move could be as simple as dead batteries in the remote control or a flipped circuit breaker so always check yourself and get a garage door engineer to check if you cant find the problem
  • If the door feels heavy then this is often the result of worn torsion springs. Again get a garage door engineer to come out and check if they can be replaced
  • One or two dents can be fixed with a compressed air hack or pounded out from the back with a rubber mallet. Or if it is a sectional garage door then you can replace individual panels rather than the entire door

When to Replace a Garage Door

  • If a door is severely damaged by a force then more often than not the door, roller tracks, rollers, brackets, springs, and a host of other parts can be damaged. Always call a garage door engineer out to check before you decide if you need to replace it and weigh up if it is cheaper to repair or replace in the long run
  • If you have been spot-repairing your door for many years then you may want to cut your losses and replace it, giving you peace of mind it is a new door that will be safe and secure and in most cases have a guarantee
  • If your door is an older style model then it may have safety or functional problems that are difficult to fix so it is best to consider replacing. Call a garage door engineer out to check before you decide if you need to replace it

Keep your garage door and its mechanisms in safe working order by using our hints and tips for maintenance and safety. If you are unsure at any time if you should repair your garage door then we always advise that you call out a qualified garage door engineer who will be able to quickly identify what the problem is, if it can be repaired and what the cost will be.

Guide to Garage Doors

Garage Door Rescue is your local and independent Garage Door experts that can be with you the same day and provide you with an honest and fixed quote for repair or installation in the Wiltshire and surrounding areas.

By | 2018-06-19T08:37:55+00:00 June 8th, 2018|

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