Overhead Door Parts: Safety comes First
Smiles that can touch the heart, laughter that can drive all sorrows away, soft and trusting hands grasping yours when you needed. All these belong to your children – your source of happiness and inspiration. They are the reason why you love to come home after a long tiring day at work and why you push yourself to the limits. To you, nothing is more important than securing their future so that they may live happy lives.
Unfortunately, some children’s lives have been cut short right inside their homes – not in the hands of criminals or negligent car owners, but by a device that’s supposed to protect them in the first place–an overhead garage door.
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, mechanical garage doors, particularly the overhead door parts, pose a real threat to the lives of children. They found out that these doors have caused permanent brain injury and even death to 85 children since 1974. You wouldn’t want your children to be part of that statistics, would you?
But since an overhead door has become a ubiquitous passage in most homes today, proper care and maintenance should be observed to prevent accidents that may lead to fatal consequences. Thus, an understanding of the basic overhead door parts is required.
What are the Different Garage Door Parts?
Your garage door may be the largest piece of mechanical device in your home but it is the small overhead door parts that make it function effectively and reliably. Troubleshooting becomes easier if you know the following parts:
- These may seem tiny, but they help facilitate the opening and closing functions of your door. Sometimes, these functions are hampered due to frozen rollers that have been clogged with dirt, stray hairs and fur. Here are some tips on how to clean them.
- Cable drums. These help keep your garage door in place. These are available in three types: standard-lift, vertical-lift, and high-lift. Each of these correspond with the type of door that you have.
- Tracks and torsion springs. However, there are two parts that bear the brunt of your door’s weight and frequent use: the garage door track and the torsion spring. Think of these components as the glue that holds your device altogether. Any malfunction in these parts mean that something is wrong with your door.
When you look at the overhead door parts, you can see that the tracks for garage doors are usually made of galvanized metal to prevent damage from oxidation. These house the rollers that are responsible for the movement of your door. They are held firmly in place by brackets that are latched to your door’s frame. Does your track tremble each time you open or close your door? Does it pause in mid-motion? Then, it’s time to check it out. These are warning signs that you should pay attention to the soonest time possible. A delay may lead to consequences that you may regret later on.
Start with the area where the rollers pass. Are they dirty? Then, a simple cleaning will do. Use a non-abrasive scrubbing pad, some dishwashing liquid and water. Rinse. If your door still has problems, check the brackets and if needed, secure the bolts with a wrench.
On the other hand, the torsion spring garage door facilitates the opening and closing of your doors. No matter how durable they are, the time will come (usually 7-10 years) when they break due to frequent daily use and the general climate in your area. Once these springs have reached their maximum use, they tend to snap, causing the garage door to malfunction or worse, bend on the side the broken spring is on. Thus, it is important to replace these parts even before the specified time. And while you’re at it, change both springs. You see these overhead door parts are usually manufactured at the same time. So, if one of your garage torsion springs break, the other will surely follow.
Torsion Spring Replacement: DIY or Pro?
Most home and commercial property owners think that overhead garage door repair is an easy job – just choose the right overhead door parts, snap them on and voila – everything’s done. This is, unfortunately, not the case, as there have been many cases where accidents occurred while changing torsion springs.
Unless of course, you have the necessary tools, skills and experience for doing an overhead door parts replacement, especially when you’re dealing with garage door torsion springs. Finding a good replacement for your existing springs alone already requires time, expertise and a lot of patience. Only then should you think of repairing your garage door by yourself.
How to Choose the Best Door Parts
How do you choose the best parts from a wide variety of brands nowadays, when each of those garage overhead door parts manufacturers claim to be the best?
Actually, the best ones depend on the type of your door. The most expensive, highest quality of door parts will never be the best if it doesn’t match or support the following:
- Physical characteristics of your garage door. Remember that your springs are the workhorses of your garage door. The bigger and wider your door is, the sturdier your springs should be. Of course, you also have to consider the materials used for your door. Is it made of wood, aluminum or steel? Your springs and track will carry the brunt of that door so you have to choose ones that can support that weight.
- Length of the torsion springs. If you wish to order these, the easier way is to provide a dealer with your existing springs’ model, serial and PID numbers which you can find at the end of your garage door. If you don’t have these data, you should provide the dealer with your spring’s inside diameter, wind, length and wire size.
- Door cycle. This refers to the number of times that your door is opened and closed daily. The more you open, the shorter the life of your springs.
Once you have collected these data, you can enter the results in a torsion spring calculator to get an exact match for your door. There are some websites that offer free use of such calculators. Here’s how to use one:
- Determine the end type of your spring. Is it closed and square? Closed and ground? Are both ends closed or open? Just tick the type that you have from the selection panel of the calculator.
- Measure your spring. Get a ruler and measure your spring’s outer diameter, length and wire diameter. Key in these data in the calculator and press enter. Wait for the result.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Once your overhead door parts are sent to you by your dealer, you have to uninstall the ones that are attached to your unit. Of course, you can only do this by putting down your overhead door first. Then, you have to remove the torsion springs as carefully as possible because this is the stage when accidents may happen. Why? Just imagine the great deal of force that those torsion springs have, no matter if they’ve already slackened from age. Not to mention that they may break during the process. Surely, paying a hundred bucks to a pro for your garage door torsion spring replacement is still cheaper than spending your precious time and money for hospital bills and medication. And the pain that comes from such an accident? Think of being hit by a hundred pounds! Come to think of it, these springs can lift hundreds of pounds. And once they spring into action, there’s no turning back.
Where Should You Buy?
But the question is, where should you buy overhead door parts and which brand should you get? As we’ve said earlier, the best ones depend on your needs and preferences. But of course, it still pays to consider product reviews based from the experiences of actual users. These people have first-hand knowledge of how a specific brand of garage overhead door parts works and they relate their experiences with other consumers.
These reviews must be honest enough to list down not only the pros but the cons as well. Where do you find such reviews?
That’s where we come in. We have reviews of the top brands of overhead door parts – Liftmaster, Genie, Chamberlain – we all have them here, including Garage door keypads top brand choices. We talk about all parts of garage doors, from openers to the smallest nuts and bolts; springs and tracks and more. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each product we feature.
We also provide you with an interactive Garage Door Parts guide that you can use as a reference, making it easier for you to decide which product to buy. We also have a comprehensive diagram that allows you to locate the different parts of a garage door in a breeze. Read through our product reviews, explore the site in order to get the best garage door parts for the safety of your loved ones.
Maintaining your garage door’s overhead door parts may seem costly and time-consuming, but these inconveniences pale in comparison to the bright, loving smiles of your children.