Common Mistakes: Installing Garage Doors

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DIY Garage Install

Garage door installation is now considered as one of the projects at home that homeowners can do themselves. In the past, installation of garage doors was mainly done by door contractors and professionals because of the heavy equipment and the technicalities of the connections.

Today, there are now many DIY kits about door installation which guide homeowners to do the task by themselves. Unfortunately, due to the lack of knowledge, most homeowners commit mistakes during the installation process.

If you ask the experts, they will tell you that even minor errors can cause a major damage in the long run. For beginners, this list of common mistakes will really be helpful:

  • Lots of people create plans on the door installation themselves but fail to plot the interior of the garage. The position of the garage door must correlate very well to the garage interior especially in terms of wirings and fixtures. There are numerous homeowners who commonly make the mistake of putting a light fixture or an outlet in the middle of the ceiling which is primarily where the door motor lift will be installed.
  • Another common but very dangerous mistake is installing the lift motor slightly off-center from the assembly. Some people have this misconception that this off-center connection will give room for obstructions but what they do not know is that the door can twist during operation which will then cause damage to other parts. You will end up paying more because of the repairs that you will be doing for your door.
  • Experienced contractors are well conscious of the importance of adjusting the garage door openers and their lift mechanisms until the gasket seal reaches the floor. There are some homeowners who do not make adjustments which can cause air to leak out at the bottom of the door. They have to be aware that the first panel should touch the floor. Doors are supposed to help in insulation and having an open space completely defeats the purpose. You always need to be keen on adjustments. If your tuning comes up short, there will be no seal and if you adjust too much, the door will be too stressed.
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Garage Door Parts-How To Avoid Common Mistakes When Ordering

All garage door parts orders are not created equal.

Let’s say you’ve never ordered cable drums before, and are not familiar with pricing.  You think “I need two,” so you put quantity “2″ in the shopping cart.  But drums come in pairs. Imagine seeing a larger-than-expected package in on your doorstep.  You open the package immediately to see why your garage door parts order is being shipped in such large packaging.  Upon opening the package, you discover that you have four cable drums to repair your single garage door.  What went wrong?

When ordering something like cable drums, customers would be well-advised to check the shipping unit.  The same goes for cables themselves.  Both are examples of garage door parts sold in pairs. Extension springs are easy to mistake also-you will need to order two when replacing two; they don’t sell in pairs (please see the garage door extension springs page for more tips on ordering).

We hope you are having a safe winter–stay tuned for more tips when ordering garage door parts.

Garage Tracks – What Can Go Wrong?

Galvanized garage door tracks really should not rust, but they can get clogged with dirt and debris. And in some parts of the country road salt can undermine the galvanization and cause the metal to corrode.

The rollers that run up and down the tracks are also prone to wearing down. Replacing rollers is an easy job as long as you get the right size. Two-inch wide track uses what are usually called 2-in. rollers, but the diameter of those rollers will likely be less than 2 in. When shopping for replacement rollers, you will find both steel and nylon products. Steel rollers tend to last longer and cost less, but they are also considerably noisier than nylon.

Faulty garage door springs can also cause problems with the operation of the garage door. And the cables on the garage door can become worn and even break, which can lead to more serious problems if the cables aren’t replaced right away.

That’s why it is a good idea to periodically perform a little inspection and maintenance on your garage door, paying special attention to the tracks and rollers.

Another way garage door tracks can be damaged is if you bump into them (with a car, motorcycle or some other heavy object). The newer, thinner tracks in particular can be bent with such contact. When that happens, it is usually best simply to replace the track.

If your garage door starts making more noise when being raised and lowered, that could indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. How To Quiet a Noisy Garage Door provides some of the most common causes and solutions to garage door noise.

Garage Door Tracks?

garage-door-tracksThere are two basic types of garage door tracks, but each has several variations. The first style is a vertical track for overhead doors that lift upwards. Sliding door tracks are the second type, used for doors that travel sideways. Vertical track styles usually differ depending on the type of door being used.

Vertical garage door track lifts come in three main styles. The most common residential application is called the standard lift track. This type runs vertically about 76 inches (1.93 m) and then curves in a horizontal direction into the interior of the garage. Standard lift tracks can be used for canopy doors and retractable doors. A canopy door is the type that swings outward slightly as it is opened.

These same up-and-down lifts are often used in industrial or commercial settings as well. In such cases, one portion of is much the same as the standard lift track. A second vertical lift track is set above this first, however, but is set back slightly. This spacing allows room for a spring assembly, which adds lift strength and makes heavier commercial doors easier to open and operate.

The third type is the high lift system, which may be found in residential applications with high ceiling heights inside the garage. This type uses a combination of both the standard and vertical lift systems. In a high lift, a vertical track connects to a short horizontal track, and then to a second vertical track.

Guias curvasSliding garage doors have two horizontal tracks, one at the top and one at the bottom of the door. These are used for panel doors with hinges that enable them to bend or fold against the side walls of the garage. Doors that operate on sliding tracks do not place extra weight on the garage ceiling.

Roller garage doors operate with just a vertical track. These doors are made with horizontal sections that roll up inside a horizontal drum assembly. The rolled door is stored directly above the garage opening and does not require space inside the main garage area.

Modern garage door tracks are usually manufactured from galvanized steel for strength and protection against corrosion. Older tracks often used unprotected steel, which was then painted and offered little in the way of rust resistance. Strong, durable garage door tracks are important to provide better operation for automatic garage doors.

It is common for garage door tracks to become damaged due to corrosion caused by their exposure to road salts. Such salt damage also frequent happens in garages exposed to ocean breezes. Other problems that may occur include metal fatigue or shifting of the foundation of the garage itself. Cleaning and aligning tracks and rollers can keep the system operating smoothly.