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Home   »  FAQ  »  Garage Doors FAQ

Garage Doors FAQ


Listed below are the most commonly asked questions and answers about garage doors. Everyone has unique and specific needs, and if you have a question that is not addressed on this page, call us and we'll be happy to assist you.
Can I replace a section of my door or do I need to replace the whole door?
Depending upon the damage involved to the garage door system, it is possible in many cases to replace a section of your garage door. We can evaluate your situation and give you a recommendation on the best course of action.
What is R-value and how does it benefit me?
R-value is a measurement of thermal efficiency of a garage door, or how well it insulates. 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.
Insulation is an important factor to consider when purchasing a garage door. If you plan to spend a lot of time in your garage, or if you have a room directly above or adjacent to your garage, you will want to purchase a door that offers a high R-value. If your garage is not attached to your home, or you are not concerned with insulation, you can purchase a door with a lower R-value or no insulation at all.
What does the gauge thickness of a steel means?
The strength of a steel garage door is measured by its gauge number. The lower the gauge number, the thicker and stronger is the steel.
What is Headroom?
Headroom is the distance between the top of the door and the lowest point of the ceiling or any obstruction such as a garage door opener rail, pipes, or ductwork.
My garage has very little space (headroom) above the door. What is the minimum headroom required to operate a sectional door?
Standard headroom applications require 12" to 18" of space between the bottom of the opening header and the unobstructed ceiling. However, we can supply custom-built applications. Varieties of special track options are available and make it possible for many unusual garages to be fitted with doors. By using low-headroom track, it is possible to install a door in an area that has as little as 6 1/2" of headroom.
Other special track applications include:
1) Vertical lift track, for use in situations where the ceiling is extremely high and the garage door has room to lift straight up.
2) Follow-the-roofline track, which is used when the ceiling of the garage is pitched at the angle of the roof, making it desirable for the door to follow the same angle, thus providing additional overhead room.
3) Hi-lift track, which is used when the ceiling is unusually high, but the door must still retract to a horizontal position.
I do not have the needed amount of headroom. Is there something I can do?
Yes! Low headroom kits are available. If your door came with extension springs, the needed headroom can be reduced to 4-1/2”. Torsion springs systems can be reduced to 4-1/2”. For more information, contact us 888-550-3667.
I have a window section in my door. Do I have a choice on the placement of that section?
The window section can be placed in either the third (2nd from top) or the fourth (top) section
When referring to the gauge of the steel skin, does a lower number mean thicker steel?
The lower the gauge is, the thicker (and stronger) the steel. For example, 24-gauge steel is thicker than 27-gauge steel. However, a “sandwich” constructed door with two 27-gauge steel skins and a bonded insulated core is stronger than a “steel frame” door with a single 24-gauge steel skin.
Can I paint my Door?
Most steel doors can be painted with any high quality exterior paint (Do not use oil based paints).
Why should I choose an insulated door if my garage is not insulated?
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.
What are the benefits of a steel door versus a wood door?
Steel doors may require less maintenance than a wood door. Most steel doors are pre-painted with a factory-applied baked-on coating. We recommend an annual cleaning of the exterior of the door with a common household detergent and warm water at least one time per year. Some wood doors are unfinished and need to be primed and painted or stained on all six sides of the door upon delivery. We recommend visual inspection of the paint or stain finish on wood doors one time per year to confirm if another finish application is necessary.
Vinyl Garage Door vs. Steel Garage Doors
Vinyl Garage Doors considered more expensive than the steel in regards to upfront costs. When product warranties and maintenance are included, vinyl is often the more cost-effective between the two. Vinyl is highly resistant to dents, while steel tends to develop dents or dings when struck by a ball or other objects.  
When I replace my existing door, can I keep my old track?
We recommend replacing 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.
How do I know if my door is properly balanced?
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.
Do I need a lock on my garage door?
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.

What type of spring is better: Extension or Torsion?
The two types of springs used on garage doors today are extension and torsion springs. Extension springs are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal track when the door is closed. Torsion springs are typically located just above the top section of the door and are mounted to the header. They are wound springs and do not expand or contract when the door is moved.
Some homeowners prefer torsion springs because these springs offer more safety and provide better balance to the door for smoother operation.
Two common insulation materials used in garage doors are polyurethane and polystyrene. Polyurethane and polystyrene both have some distinct advantages and some disadvantages. Both materials are commonly misrepresented and misunderstood.
Polyurethane foam is a two-part system. It begins with two chemical blends that when mixed together expand and cure to fill the garage door panel. During the expansion, the foam flows and completely fills the inside of the panel and comes in complete contact with and becomes fully adhered to the steel skins of the garage door panel to form a composite structure that is of exceptional strength and rigidity. Polyurethane foams are very stable when encapsulated (fully enclosed) inside a garage door section.
Polystyrene foam board must be attached to or inserted into the door sections. The foam must be held in place by mechanical means or by bonding the foam to the door skins by using adhesives (glue).
Insulating with Polyurethane provides a superior product with higher insulation properties and a stronger unitized section.

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