Garage Doors 101: An Introduction to Garage Door Basics

Published on December 25, 2017

On average, most people will buy between one or two garage doors during the time they own their homes. When you need to replace your existing garage door or have it repaired, it is important to have a general understanding of garage door basics. This will help you make the right decisions when buying a new door or having your existing one repaired.

Garage Doors

In regards to the door itself, there are some essential items you should be aware of, as follows:

  • Garage doors can either be uninsulated or insulated.
  • Insulated doors are better suited for colder climates
  • Insulated doors use an R-value which is a measure of their effectiveness in blocking out the cold.
  • Higher rated R-values means better insulation. For instance an R-6 value has less insulation than an R-18 insulated garage door.
  • Garage doors can be made from galvanized steel, wood, PVC and fiberglass.
  • Some styles include glass windows in their design.
  • The most common types of garage doors are sectional doors that open overhead and have four sections.

Garage Door Weather-stripping

Weather-stripping is an important feature you will want on your garage door. It helps stop rain and snow from getting inside the garage, as well as blocks cold air drafts. There should be some sort of weather-stripping in between each door section. The door should also have a bottom weather-stripping seal so when the door is closed, there are no gaps at the bottom. Additionally, there should be weather-stripped around the exterior frame of the garage door opening.

Garage Door Hardware Components

This is where the garage door terminology can become confusing for many homeowners. There are numerous parts and components that all work together to ensure the door opens and closes easily including:

  • Hinges: The hinges should be double-hinges since they help support the weight of the door when it is opened. The hinges are what allows the door sections to remain in place as it is opened and closed.
  • Springs: Garage doors utilize a counterweight system to make it easy to open and close the door with one hand. The spring is part of this system and looks like one giant coiled spring that is normally located above the door. Some doors also have secondary springs used over the door tracks and are common on heavier doors.
  • Lifting Cables: These cables are attached to the spring system and aid in opening and closing the doors.
  • Door Tracks: The door tracks are what allows the door to be opened out of the way, either horizontally or vertically.
  • Door Rollers: The door rollers are small wheels that roll inside the door tracks as the door is opened and closed. For quieter door operations, nylon style rollers are better than galvanized steel rollers.

For the steel components and parts on the garage door, the thing to remember is the lower the gauge of steel the thicker it is. For instance, a 14-gauage door track is thicker than an 18-gauage door track.

For further questions about garage doors, door parts and components or assistance in selecting a new high quality garage door for your home in Canada, please feel free to contact Richard-Wilcox Doors at (800) 667-1572 today!

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