Frequently Asked Questions About Garage Doors

Listed below are the most commonly asked questions and answers about garage doors.

Q. Why should I use a professional garage door dealer/installer?
A. The installation of a garage door is not a do-it-yourself job. A garage door is the largest moving object in your home and because of the large number of small parts; installation of a garage door is highly technical. Connecting the springs can be particularly dangerous and proper installation is critical to the performance of your door.

Professional garage door dealer/installers can typically install a door in a few hours and are careful to make sure safety requirements are met. Installations by most homeowners typically span several days and cause much frustration. In addition, incorrect installation can void certain warranties, so we recommend a professional handle the job for you. One of the other services a professional garage door dealer/installer can provide is the disposal of your old door, if you are replacing a door.

Q. Is 25 gauge steel thicker than 24 gauge steel?
A. No. When comparing strengths of steel, remember, the lower the gauge number, the thicker (and stronger) the steel.

Q. Why should I choose an insulated door if my garage is not insulated?
A. A garage door opening is very large. Insulated doors will help to reduce the transfer of heat or cold air into your garage. This is important for a number of reasons:

1) If your garage is attached to your home, air in the garage can travel through the doorway to your living area.
2) If you use your garage as a workshop, your comfort will be a top priority.
3) If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor of the room above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room above.
4) An insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than a non-insulated door.

Q. What are the benefits of a steel door versus a wood door?
A. Steel doors may require less maintenance than a wood door. Steel doors are commonly pre-painted with a factory-applied baked-on coating. An annual cleaning of the exterior of the door with a common household detergent and warm water at least one time per year should be done. Wood doors are usually unfinished and need to be primed and painted or stained on all six sides of the door upon delivery. It’s recommended that a visual inspection of the paint or stain finish on wood doors one time per year to confirm if another finish application is necessary.

Q. What is required for installing an electric operator?
A. In the event that an electric opener is installed, the top section of the garage must be reinforced with a strut or angle iron spanning the length of the top section.

Q. I want to replace my old door, but don’t know how to dispose of my old one.
A. Most garage door dealers will haul your old door away after the new door is installed for a small fee. Discuss this with your local dealer when you get an estimate on your new door.

Q. When I replace my existing door, can I keep my old track?
A. It’s recommended to replace your track when you replace your door because each brand of garage door has been specifically designed to work with a specific type of track. In addition, replacing your track is an inexpensive way to insure that your entire garage door system is as safe as possible. By replacing your track you also ensure that your door warranty will apply, in the event that you have a problem.

Q. I have a one-piece door now. Can I replace it with a sectional door?
A. Yes. Your professional garage door dealer/installer can install a sectional door for you by installing track and springs to accommodate a sectional door. Depending on the construction of your garage, other modifications might be necessary. We would advise you to ask your dealer to evaluate the job prior to installation, so that any required modifications can be performed.

Q. I’ve been comparing R-values of various doors and am surprised at the variance among them. Can you explain this?
A. Many manufacturers use R-values to show the energy efficiency of their product. This number is calculated based on the thickness of the insulation and its chemical properties. Therefore, most of the published R-value numbers, reflect only the R-value of a section, not of the installed door. A door’s insulating capabilities can be greatly affected by the door’s construction.

Q. How do I know if my door is properly balanced?
A. There are several tests you can perform to tell if your door is balanced. Before testing your door, disengage you electronic opener.

1) Raise your door in 1′ increments, and the door should stay in place.
2) When you lower the door, the door lowers in a controlled manner and doesn’t slam down.
3) When you raise the door, the door rises at a controlled pace.
4) When the door is fully-raised in the open position, the bottom of the door should be aligned with the bottom of the header of the door opening.

Q. Do I need a lock on my garage door?
A. If an electric garage door opener has been installed on your door, it may not be necessary to have a lock. Newer electric openers function as the lock, making it improbable that an intruder would be able to lift your door from the outside. If you have an older opener, check to see if your door can be lifted from the outside.

DASMA, the trade association for the garage door industry, discourages homeowners from attaching a lock when an opener has been installed, because too frequently, a child or other family member will accidentally lock the door. If someone then tries to open the door using the electric opener, the opener will pull against the lock causing the door to be damaged. If no opener is installed on your garage door, a lock is highly recommended.

Q. What type of care and maintenance is necessary for my steel door and hardware?
A. We recommend that you wash your steel door a minimum of one (1) time per year with: (a) One cup of Tide® (or other common detergents which contain less than 0.5% phosphate), dissolved into five gallons of warm water. NEVER BLEND CLEANSERS OR DETERGENTS WITH BLEACH.
The use of a well-soaked cloth, sponge, brush (with very soft bristles) or low pressure spray washer is recommended. Once the door is washed, thoroughly rinse with clean water to eliminate the possibility of residue.

In addition, lubrication of rollers and hinges is recommended on a yearly basis. Visually inspect springs and cable for wear and binding once each year and contact a professional garage door dealer/installer if damage is suspected. Do not attempt to remove, repair or adjust springs. HIGH SPRING TENSION CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH.

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