How many garage doors does a homeowner buy in his or her life? At least one or two… but likely more if they move home more often.
To help you better understand garage doors and how they work, we’d like to go through a basic introduction to the most used terms. This will help you more clearly understand what a garage door company will tell you if they are installing a new garage door, or performing servicing or repair work on an existing one. In this blog, we will focus on the components that make up a garage door system and give a little information on each.
COMMON GARAGE DOOR TYPES IN PERTH
Here are the common types of garage doors and dimensions, plus common insulation and exterior materials used.
- Most garage doors sold in Australia are sectional, overhead doors that retract along the ceiling of the garage.
- These doors are made up of sections, usually 4, with individual heights varying between 46 and 61 cm.
- The heights of residential doors range between 1.8 and 2.4 m. Widths vary from 1.2 to 5.5 m.
- Their thicknesses range 40 to 60 mm.
- Garage doors come both insulated and non-insulated. When they are insulated, it is with plastic, polystyrene or polyurethane insulation.
- The most common exterior material is Colorbond Steel. Also used are wood, fiberglass, and PVC. In addition, there are garage doors made with glass with extruded aluminum frames for modern and contemporary style homes.
ENSURING A GARAGE DOOR WORKS
The terminology becomes more complicated behind the door. It takes numerous small parts working together to ensure that the whole thing operates smoothly and hassle-free, and the individual strength and type of part differs with the weight and style of door.
- A properly weighted spring system (also called the counterweight system) is what allows you to open the garage door manually with one hand. A well-balanced door weighs between 3.5 and 4.5 kg. There are two models; torsion and extension. The first is a spring system shaped like a coil, inserted in a steel shaft and located over the door. The second, extension, is also a coil spring system, but they are placed over horizontal tracks. As their names say, when the door closes, the springs extend. A torsion system requires a little more space over the door to operate the door (30cm). An extension system, a little less (20cm). Both spring system can last around 5 to 7 years before they stop working optimally or break, even with proper servicing.
- Hinges form the joints allowing the door sections to bend and retract up along the ceiling as the door opens. For large garage doors, it is advised to use double hinges to adequately hold the door when it stays in its open position, and either way needs to be of high quality.
- There are also 3 types of standard rollers: steel, black nylon and reinforced nylon in white – nylon is quieter. For steel rollers, it’s important to know how many bearings they have – the more the better. A high-quality roller also rolls in its track, rather than slide across it.
- Lifting cables are braided steel wires that are calibrated according to the total weight of the door. The bigger the door, the stronger the cables.
- There can also be vertical or horizontal tracks that support the door. The thicker the steel used here, the less chance the tracks may twist or tilt under the weight of the door, so you need to ensure a high-quality track is used.
- If a double garage door is left open for long periods, you would want to ensure that proper reinforcement struts have been installed to hold the door open.
- For all components, note that the thickness of steel indicates their quality and longevity. This is measured in gauges, with a lower gauge indicating thicker steel. For example, 14‑gauge steel is around 37% thicker than 18‑gauge steel.
- The steel used for the hardware components is galvanized at a level relatable to the normal use it was intended for. There are some steel components with a higher level of galvanization in very humid locations (e.g. springs).
THE WEATHERSTRIPPING SYSTEM
There is a tendency to overlook this part. However, weatherstripping is as important as the door insulation.
- Weatherstripping between door sections: Some higher-quality garage doors come equipped with triple-contact weatherstripping and a thermal break, which stops the cold from passing through this part of the door.
- Exterior frame weatherstripping: This is very important so it’s quality should be verified. In the case of PVC, it is recommended to check its flexibility during cold weather. In general, the more you pay for weatherstripping, the better quality PVC you get.
- Bottom weather seal: This is U‑shaped and slides into a PVC or aluminum retainer. Once again, this should be of superior quality. Those made from thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) are the most effective and remain flexible even at very cold temperatures.
We hope this helps in understanding garage doors, and what is involved in producing a great garage door at a great price in Perth. If you would like to discuss further a certain part of your garage door, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us using the contact details below.