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How do Garage Doors Work?

how do garage doors work

Usually, you don’t give your garage door another thought but when something goes wrong it is good to be able to answer the question, how do garage doors work? New York Gates is always here to help educate you on the basic functions of your garage door. Understanding these things will help you to make minor fixes when you can, recognize problems when they arise, and relay messages to a garage door technician.

It is always best to a little about how everything works in your home. It makes you a better homeowner in the long run, even if you never have to use the knowledge.

The Garage Door 

Garage doors are heavy and we recommend that if you have to replace it that you call a professional. Your garage door is there to keep intruders out, to protect your possessions from the elements and thieves, and to offer extra storage and additional space to your home. Your garage door also acts as a noise and weather barrier which is why insulation is important. 

Some garage doors do not have insulation so knowing your garage door model and specs are important. Knowing things like how much it weighs is really one of your first steps to understanding your garage door. From here you will understand the type of springs that are needed and many other garage door features. 

Torsion Springs and Extension Springs

Most of the credit belongs to the springs of a garage door, it does the hard work, the heavy lifting, and balancing. Torsion springs are the most commonly used and are tightly wound springs that help to counterbalance the weight of the door. The garage door is hundreds of pounds which is why there is so much force behind the springs.

We recommend that torsion springs only be replaced by a professional due to the amount of force behind them. Extension springs, however, run along the side of your garage door instead of on top. You will need to know the weight of your garage door to know exactly what spring to buy and how many. 

Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers are the engine behind the machine. Whether you use a remote control or press a button inside your garage the garage door opener picks up the signal sent from your command using a radio frequency. Once it reads the signal it triggers the springs to do their work and open the garage door via a system of pulleys. 

Your garage door can always be opened manually but the preferred method is always opening the door electronically. Make sure you check the batteries every so often to keep your garage door opener running.

Cables, Drums, and Tracks

When you press the garage door remote it triggers a chain reaction starting with your springs which then triggers the cables to help hold the door in place along with the rollers, drums, and tracks. The rollers move along the tracks to allow the door to move up and down smoothly and with ease. If a cable starts to wear or snaps your garage door will likely stop working.

Sometimes a garage door can keep running with only one working spring but the cable is less likely. If a roller comes off a track it is possible to manually put it back in place yourself.

Keep an eye out for worn rollers, if they’re old and worn your garage door will sound noisier than normal. Any worn or snapped cables need repair right away. Staying on top of these things will allow for a safer better functioning garage door.

Closing Your Garage Door 

Closing your garage door works the same way as opening it the only difference is that the springs help to counter the weight of the door so it does not slam shut. If it were not for the garage door springs your garage door would either fly open or slam shut. 

Maintenance For Your Garage Door 

Maintenance keeps your garage door running in tip-top condition. If you do not perform regular maintenance on your garage door it will not work the way you want it to and you will experience more unnecessary emergencies. At a minimum, you should have a technician visit your home once a year.

During that time they will lubricate all moving parts to help the rollers springs, and other hardware stays rust-free, free of noise, and moving smoothly. Usually, a technician will check for missing or rusty hardware and replace it or discuss it with you. A garage door opener tune-up is something to think about as well in order to keep things running at their greatest capacity. 

Troubleshooting Your Garage Door 

Now that you understand a bit more about the way your garage door works there are some things you can do if your garage door gives you trouble. If your garage door just stops working there are a few things you can check:

– Look in the tracks for rocks or debris. This can stop the rollers from passing along the tracks as they should. 

– Dents in the tracks will prevent the garage door from rolling smoothly down the tracks. A hammer can usually fix this problem by knocking the dent back into shape.

– Check your eye sensors to make sure there is no dirt or debris on them. 

– Check your batteries in your remote and replace them if necessary.

– Look for broken or rusted springs. This can cause serious problems but don’t try to fix it yourself, call a professional.

– Inspect your cables to make sure one has not snapped.

Always use caution when performing a garage door DIY. If you ever question your level of safety just give our team a call and we can help fix the problem and prevent accidents.

Call Us For An Appointment Today

Garage door trouble is what we specialize in and we are here to help solve any garage door issues you have. Our team is here to answer questions you have or to help troubleshoot. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

New York Gates is the leading security gate and commercial garage door supplier and installer in New York City. We service all the 5 boroughs of NYC. 


Get in touch with New York Gates today for a FREE quote.


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