How Does a Garage Door System Work?

How Does a Garage Door System Work?

There are numerous garage door components that work together to create its operating system. Your garage door not only protects your vehicle, equipment and storage, it provides security from intruders. It also creates a protective seal to best eliminate elements such as wind, rain and snow from entering the garage.

The average garage door is opened 3-5 times a day, over the year that can add up. However, many homeowners only notice the system when it malfunctions. Yet, it’s beneficial for every homeowner to learn how their garage door works.

By understanding the mechanics of a garage door system, you can identify minor issues before they become significant, know when your garage door requires maintenance or repairs and understand garage door parts.

Standard Garage Door Systems

Garage doors operate via a counterbalance system. A counterbalance system uses force to offset the weight of an object (your garage door). The two main types of garage door systems are:

  1. Torsion spring system: A torsion spring system is the most common type of garage door system. With a torsion spring system, there are cables at the bottom corners of the door, and the torsion springs are above the door opening. When you close your door, the springs wind up and store energy. The springs release this stored energy when you open the door, which helps it lift.
  2. Extension spring system: Similar to a torsion spring system, an extension spring system has cables at the bottom of the door. Unlike a torsion spring system, the springs attach to these cables at the bottom of the door. When the door closes, the springs stretch and store energy, which they release to lift the door upon opening.

Anatomy of a Garage Door System

A combination of its mechanics, parts and hardware and the garage door opener machine allow your garage door to operate quietly and reliably. You can better understand how your garage door system works by learning these different parts.

Garage Door Parts & Hardware

Several pieces of hardware work together to ensure your garage door operates dependably and smoothly. These hardware pieces include:

  • Door: Most garage doors are sectional overhead doors. Garage doors have four or five horizontal panels connected by hinges. They can be made from various materials, like metal, wood, fibreglass and vinyl. Countless styles are available, ranging from sleek panels to decorative glass doors with and without insulation.
  • Springs: Most garage doors feature either an extension or torsion spring system. Torsion springs are most common because of their superior quality, enhanced safety and longer life span. Typically, torsion springs last up to 10-15 years, while extension springs only last up to 5-7 years.
  • Cables: Your garage door’s cables are braided steel wires that work alongside the springs to lift and lower the door. The size and weight of your door determine the thickness of its cables.
  • Drums: The drums are located at the top of the door on both sides. The drums are responsible for holding the cable in place as the door opens and closes. This attaches to the torsion bar and acts as a pulley to lift the door when the torsion springs wind and unwind.
  • Rollers: The rollers connect your door to its tracks and allow it to open and close. Nylon rollers are quieter than steel or plastic. When you properly care for your rollers by routinely lubricating them, they will roll along the track and not slide.
  • Hinges: Hinges are on the garage door panels. They allow the sections to bend and retract when opening or closing the door. Professionals recommend more oversized garage doors have double hinges to help hold the door’s weight while it’s open.
  • Tracks: There are vertical and horizontal tracks that assist with your door’s movement. Steel tracks are thicker, so they can support more weight and resist bending and warping.
  • Reinforced struts: Reinforced struts help support the weight of double garage doors so they can be open for an extended time. 
  • Weatherstripping & Bottom Rubber: Weatherstripping helps prevent exterior elements, like debris, pests and moisture, from entering. You can find it between the door sections, on the outer frame and along the bottom of your door.
  • Centre support bracket: The torsion springs attach to the centre support bracket.
  • Opener: Your garage door opener has a curved arm that attaches to the door. When you open or close your door, the motor in the opener allows the action by activating the spring system.

For lasting strength, dependability and performance, choose Clopay Garage Doors made of quality galvanized steel with a polyurethane foam injected insulation. 

Trust Markham Garage Doors for Your Garage Door System Repair and Installation Needs

Homeowners use garage doors daily to safely and conveniently enter and exit their homes. Thus, you want to ensure your garage door system is in good condition so it functions reliably and efficiently. Markham Garage Doors is a locally owned and operated company servicing homeowners throughout Markham, Mount Albert, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Aurora and Scarborough. Our highly-skilled and friendly technicians will provide you with quality garage door services at an affordable price.

To learn more about our garage door repair services or quality products, contact us today by calling 905-472-9178 or completing our online contact form.

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