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What are Automatic Garage doors?

Author: Paul Cowling
by Paul Cowling
Posted: Jan 04, 2020

For many people, garage doors are more than just doors to keep their garage protected, it's a show of style and personality. Automatic Garage doors have gained popularity over the last few years because of the need for automobiles to be secured better.

We would be unloading all you need to know about Automatic Garage doors; everything from the history of these doors, to the materials they are made from, to the different types of automatic garage doors.

So, let us get into the real deal

Truth about Automatic Garage Doors

Garage doors are large doors that open manually or with the use of a remote. Automatic garage doors are garage doors that are controlled with a remote. With these doors, the driver doesn't have to come out of their car to open the door. All that is needed to be done is press the required button on the remote and the door opens up.

There are several stories that tell the histories of automatic garage doors, but the most consistent of those stories is that of Mr. G.C Johnson who in 1926 invented remote controlled garage doors. In the past, garage doors could only be lifted and closed, allowing cars to pass through. But things have since evolved. Garage doors now come in different styles, color and opening systems.

Over time, there have been significant improvements in the kind of garage doors and the opening systems used. In the past, the trolley type opening system was popular. Then came the use of wires and pushbuttons connected along the driveway. It is expensive and stressful using this method. So, in the mid-ninety forties, remote control was introduced to garage doors. And honestly, this was s significant improvement from the wires and push-buttons before it.

From then onwards, the opening technology has improved greatly. From exterior mounted digital keypads, Wi-Fi connections to detect where your car is and when the door should open, automatic garage doors have become more than just doors for the garage, it's now an aesthetic statement.

Materials Used To Make Automatic Garage Doors

As the technology for opening and closing the doors have improved, so also have the materials also diversified. These materials include:

  1. Steel: This is the most common material used for making garage doors. They are built to resist corrosion and rust. Furthermore, doors made from steel last longer and can be textured to look like wood.
  2. Aluminum: Garage doors made from these materials are lightweight. They also resist corrosion and humidity. However, doors made from aluminum are not in high demand because these doors are prone to scratching and denting. They can be painted whichever color you choose.
  3. Wood: Most homeowners favor this material because it is attractive. Although expensive to maintain and needs specialized motor and handle, these doors take garage doors to another level with its beauty.
  4. Fibreglass: Fibreglass garage doors are new to the garage door market. They can be easily dented and are lightweight prone to cracking. Garage doors made from these materials can't be painted in many colors like wood or steel.
  5. Composite: Composite is made from the combination of different materials: aluminum, vinyl and steel.

Types Of Automatic Garage Doors

There are several types of garage doors, depending on the choice of the user and sometimes the location of the garage. The types of garage doors include:

  1. Sectional Garage doors: These doors have panel sections connected with hinges. These doors have wheels that move the door from one side to the other, on a vertical track. Sectional garage doors have high-tension springs above the opening that are connected to cables. This connection helps the door to open and prevents it from drifting down when opened partially.
  2. Most times, sectional garage doors are made from steel. They can be painted whichever color, and aren't expensive to install and maintain. Also, thru come in insulated and non-insulated models.
  3. Slide to the Side Garage doors: Just like the name implies, these doors slide inside and sits parallel to the wall. The trolley on which these doors run along are quite low, allowing for some slope on the floor and ceiling. Also, these doors don't require ceiling mounted operators, neither does it need balancing springs. With the slide to side doors, you can rest assured that the automation process is topnotch; it has built-in retractable motor.
  4. Tilt up/up and over canopy garage doors: These doors are made up of one solid section. The door is made with a pivoting hinge system, allowing the door tilt up into the garage. The door sits parallel to the garage ceiling. The tilt up/up and over canopy doors have become popular among families with relatively small garages.
  5. Roll up garage doors: Although some residential buildings might have Roll up garage doors, it is common with commercial buildings due to the limited ceiling space in these buildings. These doors are designed to withstand multiple and constant use. In addition, these doors are built without springs. Roll up garage doors can withstand rust, freezing and corrosion. Most times, the steel is two inches to three inches long.
  6. Side-Hinged Doors: Usually made from wood, these doors swing open and close from a hinged from both sides of the opening. For garages with less headroom, these doors are perfect. These doors look like barn doors and are in high demands in commercial buildings.

What To Look Out For When Buying Automatic Garage Doors

When you want to buy your automatic garage doors, these are some of the components to look out for:

  1. Hinges: They connect the different sections of the door together, allowing the door move easily along the tracks. They should be constantly oiled to avoid cracking of breaking.
  2. Springs: The opening and closing of automatic garage doors rests mainly on the strength of the springs. Although many people think the motor provides the highest amount of power required, it's the springs that do the major work. Springs of a garage door could either be extension or torsion springs. Extension springs mount horizontally on either side of the door. Torsion spring on the other hand wrap around a bar on the top of the garage door frame. Torsion springs depends on tension to raise and descend the door.
  3. Bottom seal: This is what prevents leaks from entering the garage.
  4. Hanger Kits: They are used to attach the electric garage doors to the ceiling. It also helps attach the ceiling and wall.
  5. Tracks: Tracks include the door tracks and trolley tracks. The door tracks are where the rollers roll on; guiding the doors through the pulley system to raise and descend.

Furthermore, when buying your automatic garage doors, the closeness of the door to the road determines the kind of materials you will use. Aluminum works well if the door is far from the road. It is lightweight and won't be exposed to elements of weather and climate.

If the car is close to the garage, a roller door is a great option. With the roller door, there is no need for tilting;and it takes up less space.

How To Manage Automatic Garage Doors

There are no hard and fast rules to managing and maintaining an automatic garage door. Oiling the hinges is paramount to having a functioning door. Most automatic garage doors, especially those made with wood, need constant checking, repainting and sealing.

For commercial garage doors, due to frequent use, servicing should be done every 12 month. For residential doors, it should be serviced every 18 months. Ensure you employ the service of professionals when you want to service your doors.

Clear up pieces of wood or sands or anything that can hinder the doors from rolling smoothly on the tracks.

The advantages of Automatic Garage doors

Convenience: This is one of the major advantages that automated doors have over manuals. You can use a remote to control the door, never leaving your car.

Easy to use: They don't require any special skill or physical strength to use. With the tap of a button, the door opens and you can drive in.

Disadvantages of Automatic Garage doors

Needs electric power to Work: Its dependence on power makes it unreliable, especially in countries with epileptic power supply. You can't use them when there's no power supply, meaning you would raise the door manually. In addition, if your door is the tilt up type, then you'll leave your car outside till power is restored.

Expensive to buy, install and maintain: The average cost of buying and fixing an automated garage door is $900. Manual doors don't cost as much. Also, the maintenance and servicing costs are not cheap. In a residential building where people frequently drive in and out, there would be need to fix service the doors regularly.

Automatic garage doors have come a long way since 1926 when Mr. G.C Johnson developed a garage door that can be controlled with a remote. We now have various types made with different materials. As protective as these doors are, they are also aesthetic.

To know more about Melbourne Garage Doors, visit our website.

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Author: Paul Cowling

Paul Cowling

Member since: Dec 31, 2019
Published articles: 1

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