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Are you considering installing a new overhead garage door in front of your garage? However, are you perhaps concerned that it is not a wise decision because of all the information, and misinformation, available for consumption on the Internet?

This concern is valid and deserves the necessary attention. The reason for all the information available on the Internet is the increase in the move to the digital world. This move is as a consequence of the digital revolution.

Statistics quoted by www.internetworldstats.com show that 58.7% of the global population has access to the Internet. Furthermore, 94.6% of all North American residents have access to the online world. Unfortunately, there is very little oversight of the content posted on the World Wide Web; thus, it is easy for anyone to publish myths and misinformation about overhead garage doors online.

Therefore, by way of sorting out the myths from the truth, let’s have a look at several myths and debunk them along the way.

What is an overhead garage door?

At the outset of this discussion, let’s consider a succinct definition of an overhead garage door as opposed to swing doors that are attached to hinges on the sides of the garage opening.

Thus, an overhead garage door is essentially a door whose opening and closing mechanisms are installed at the top of the door. Doors that open and close from bottom to top and top to bottom, respectively as well as doors constructed of several panels and roll up and roll down, can function as overhead doors.

Types of overhead garage doors

Commercial garage doors

There are multiple types of garage doors for a wide range of different purposes.

Garage doors are traditionally divided into two primary types: commercial doors and residential doors. And, it is essential to understand the difference between their structure, function, and uses. Otherwise, if the installed door does not fit the application, it will have a significant impact on the door’s warranty as well on the building’s security, safety, and efficiency.

At this juncture, it is vital to note that commercial or industrial garage doors will work if installed in front of a residential garage. However, the question that begs is: Why? Succinctly stated, why would you install a door that does not match its application? Commercial doors are typically more expensive than residential doors.

Thus, let’s take a quick look at the fundamental differences between a commercial and a residential garage door.

Size

The biggest difference between the commercial door and residential door is its size. Residential doors are seven feet high and circa eight or nine feet wide. It is possible for the residential door to be as high as twelve feet, but these doors are only available on special order.

Commercial garage doors, on the other hand, are specifically made to suit their application. For example, if the door is part of a truck depot, it needs to be tall even to allow the biggest semi-trucks to enter and exit the depot.

Furthermore, heavy-industry factories most often need doors that are even bigger to allow for the smooth movement of oversized machinery in and out of the factory.  A typical example of a factory requiring huge garage doors is an iron smelting foundry with gas turbines or an electricity-generation power plant.

Appearance

Commercial garage doors are designed for functionality, not aesthetic beauty, whereas a residential door must play the dual role of functionality and aesthetic beauty.

Additionally, when considered in relation to the surrounding structures, a residential garage door makes up a substantial part of the building’s exterior. Thus, this is the rationale behind the need for aesthetic beauty as the door’s visual impact is exponential related to its size. Therefore, residential garage doors tend to have features like windows and multiple color options. They are also constructed out of a variety of materials such as wood, fiberglass, aluminum, and steel.

A commercial garage door, on the other hand, does not need to be aesthetically pleasing. It only has to serve a function. Also, factories are much bigger than residential houses; thus, the door’s visual impact is minimal. Therefore, most commercial doors are constructed of steel and are manufactured in basic flat or roll-up designs. They are also usually left unpainted or painted white.

Heavy duty or light duty use

One of the fundamental differences between a commercial and residential garage door’s function is that a commercial door typically has a heavy-duty application in that it needs to be opened and closed multiple times in a twenty-four-hour period. On the other hand, a residential door is only opened and closed a couple of times a day, once in the morning to take the car out and once in the evening when the homeowner and associated family members return home from work.

Thus, it stands to reason that the commercial door needs to be constructed for heavy-duty use while a residential door does not need to be as hard-wearing as the industrial door.

Boost your home’s curb appeal and functionality!

Install an overhead garage door and start getting al the benefits that this great appliance can provide.

Residential garage doors: Parts and construction

Reconnecting Your Garage Door Opener

A residential garage door can add style, elegance and functionality to your home.

The first overhead garage doors consisted of a single-piece paneled door. And the opening and closing mechanism was an “unequal parallelogram-style hinge lifting mechanism” that was attached to each side of the door and the garage opening.

Modern garage doors are now typically constructed from a door consisting of several panels that are hinged together. And they have rollers attached to each side of the door that run along a system of tracks mounted on the wall next to the garage opening. At some point, the rails need to run horizontal to the roof; therefore, they are suspended from the ceiling so that the door can open fully.

This door can either be manually opened and closed, or an electric door opener can be installed that opens and closes the door at the press of a button.

The electric garage door opening system consists of a motor, battery backup so that the door still be opened and closed in the event of a power failure, door opener remotes that connect to the motor via WIFI or Bluetooth, and a keypad that will open the door when the right combination of keys is pressed.

Finally, modern garage door openers are Internet of Things (IoT) ready. They plug into the modern smart home network where all the appliances and lights are remotely controlled by Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, or a smartphone app.

One of the myths around adding your garage door to the smart home network is the fact that it will be easy for intruders to gain entry into your home by hacking into the home network.

However, this is not true. Most smart networks are closed systems. Ergo, the only way to get in is to hack into the home’s WIFI router. Once in, the next step is to hack into the electric garage door opening system.

Not only is this challenging, but it is also time-consuming. In essence, it is far easier to break into a home through a garage door that is not linked to the smart home network.

Garage door installation and maintenance

Most of the common myths related to overhead garage doors are related to the installation and subsequent maintenance. Thus, to debunk a few of these myths, let’s consider them one at a time:

Garage doors are maintenance-free

This is not true. Garage doors might be robust and reliable and require minimum maintenance; however, they need to be regularly maintained.

For example, the opening and closing system, even if only manual, consists of moving parts that need to be regularly checked for wear and tear. And, many of these moving parts need to be greased; otherwise, they will seize, turning what is supposed to be routine maintenance into a costly repair. Additionally, it is essential to have a keen understanding of what parts should be greased and what elements should be left alone.

Also, it is vital not to lubricate the torsion spring opening mechanism if that’s what the door uses to open and close smoothly. While, on the other hand, if the door opens by running on wheels in tracks, the bushes in the wheels need to be checked for wear and tear. Otherwise, the door will not open and close smoothly, sticking on the one side, and causing the door panels to crack and break from the uneven tension placed on the door.

Finally, if you have installed a wooden garage door, the varnish or paint coating needs to be replaced after a while, especially if the door faces the hot summer sun. Otherwise, the door will crack and break, necessitating expensive repairs, or even a new door.

DIY installation and maintenance

It is possible to install and maintain parts of the garage door system by yourself. However, it is preferable to hire a professional garage door company to install and maintain your home’s garage door.

The moving parts, including the tracks, rollers, and the electric door opening system, need to be installed by a professional. Additionally, the door’s smooth operation and the least wear and tear on the moving parts depends on how well balanced the door is when it is hung during the installation.

Also, should the door be taken off the opening and closing system to repair or replace parts, it must be adequately hung again, so the system and the door are in balance with each other.

Residential garage doors: Common issues

Custom Wood Garage Doors

Custom wooden garage design.

Should your residential garage door suffer any mechanical or electronic issues and you need to hire a professional company to repair your garage door, the best thing to do is to google “garage door repair near me.” Google will return the companies closest to your location.

However, for the sake of completeness, here is a list of some of the more common issues that an overhead garage door owner might face:

The door comes off its tracks

It is possible and highly probable that the garage door will fall out of its tracks if the tracks are no longer in alignment, the brackets at the end of the tracks have come loose or fallen off, and the brackets’ bolts holding the rails in place have pulled out of the wall.

It is important to note that a door that has fallen out of its tracks is a safety hazard. You, and your family members run the risk of being hit by a falling door if you attempt to open or close it in this condition.

Therefore, the solution to this issue is to leave the door as it is and call a technician to come out and reinstall the door on its tracks.

The door doesn’t open or only opens partially

A seemingly frozen door can be as a result of one or more of the following issues:

  • The automatic opening system’s remote’s battery has died
  • The door is no longer properly balanced and running smoothly in its tracks.
  • A part of one of the tracks has been bent, holding the door in place.
  • If the opening mechanism uses lifting cables, at least one of the cables has snapped.
  • On the other hand, if the door uses a torsion spring system to open, one of the spring’s as come loose and is no longer attached to the garage door.

Apart from replacing the remote’s battery, which you can probably do yourself, it is vital to hire a professional technician to troubleshoot and repair any other of these issues that might be causing the door to freeze.

The door’s safety mechanisms have failed

All garage doors are required by law to include a photoelectric backup system as well as a safety reversal system.

Primarily, the photoelectric backup system consists of two beams aligned perfectly, one on either side of the garage door opening. Its principal function is to prevent the garage door from closing if the beam is broken.

If the door opens but will not close, there is a good chance that the photoelectric backup system has failed. This issue might be sorted out by cleaning the source of the two beams. However, if this method is not successful, it’s vital to call a technician out.

The safety reversal system is similar to the photoelectric system, except that it causes the descending door to reverse if it comes into contact with an object. If this system fails, the closing door will keep on closing irrespective of whether there is an object in the way or not. Again, the best solution to this potentially disastrous scenario is to contact an experienced garage door installation and maintenance technician.

Final thoughts

This article debunks the common myths and highlights the related truths about overhead garage doors. However, should you wish to know more, contact Garage Door Denver for more information.

Boost your home’s curb appeal and functionality!

Install an overhead garage door and start getting al the benefits that this great appliance can provide.