How much do you know about your garage door? Yes, it opens and closes. There’s a box in the middle of the garage that does that when you hit a button as you walk out to the car or as you pull up to your house. That’s about it, right? You should probably know a bit more about your garage, so here’s a refresher course for most and something new for those who don’t know their garage basics.
The Heavy Lifter of Your Garage Door
While the door is, obviously, the most important part of the garage, as well as the insulation and tight perimeter seals, the torsion spring is where all the magic happens. It’s not pretty and it can be very dangerous to try and fix issues with the spring yourself. The torsion spring is what takes the weight of the garage door as it lifts it up and down along the tracks. Garage doors can weigh upwards of 300 pounds and the spring has to control the motion evenly or the door can fracture along the rails and slam down or fall apart onto your car or, even worse, onto a person standing at the front.
Garage doors, namely the torsion springs are made to handle about 10,000 cycles – that’s both up and down. We open and close our garage doors, on average, about 1500 times per year. That gives us a little more than six years, almost seven. For the most part, the springs can and do last longer than that. Just remember, having a professional deal with the spring is the best way to go for a garage door repair.
Drive Mechanisms for Your Garage Door
There are three different ways your garage door can be raised and lowered from the operator itself, a belt a chain or a screw.
A belt is the most expensive but also the quietest of drive options. The chain is oldest technology and loudest – it’s great for when you have teenagers who might try to sneak out. The screw is the “middle of the road” drive but it does wear out the trolley system faster.
The Garage Door Operator
The motor of your garage door opener is normally ½-hp. It doesn’t need much more to stop the door when needed. The T-Rail, or track, shields the drive mechanism as it opens and closes the door. Every opener has height adjustment mechanisms to ensure the door opens and closes without incident.
You also have the sensors that stop the door from closing if something is blocking it and you have the emergency lift should the operator go out.
The garage door is a simple yet fantastic invention. We suggest, though, letting professionals handle it when something goes wrong. Let us know when you need help!