How Does a Garage Door Work?

Written by dale devries
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How Does a Garage Door Work?
(daniel wildman)

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Types of Garage Doors

Garage doors come in four common types, and each one works a little differently. But whatever door you choose, they all perform one main function: to allow you and your vehicle entry to your garage. Three of these types of door open upward, and one opens sideways. The doors that open upward are called up-and-over, sectional and roller doors. The door that opens sideways is called a swing-hung door. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can install these doors on your own, but you will need the help of a strong friend, because some of them are very heavy.

How the Doors Work

The up-and-over door requires a lot of room in front of the garage. The door swings straight out and up, then runs along a track into the top of the garage. This is a disadvantage for homeowners who don't have a very long driveway. However, if you are looking for a good, secure door, this one should be at the top of your list. This type of door is always connected to an automatic garage door opener.

The sectional door is the most popular type, because it is inexpensive and can be installed easily. You can install one section at a time, which makes the door much lighter. You can also purchase them already put together. This door glides up a track that runs from the floor to a rounded corner at the top, then continues into the top of the garage. Because the door is in sections, there is no need for it to come out in front of the garage; thus, you can pull right up to it when you're opening it. You can open this door manually or with an automatic opener.

Roller doors were made to take up minimal space in the garage when opened, and no space on the outside. These doors roll up into a drum at the top of the garage opening. They are commonly made of thin aluminium strips so they can bend and roll up. They have an automatic lock that locks the door once it is closed, and they are almost always connected to an automatic opener.

The swing-hung door opens just like an entry door from the side. It is hinged at one side and swings out, so you lose the space outside the opening to your garage. These doors are easy to install, but are the least secure of the bunch. They are almost always manual doors.

Advantages of an Automatic Garage Door Opener

Most doors can be connected to an automatic opener that allows you to drive into the garage without getting out of the car. They often turn on a light so you won't be in the dark once the door closes again. You have a controller that you keep in the car; as you pull up to the garage, you push a button that opens the door remotely. Once inside, you push another button to close the door, all without ever getting out of the car. This is not only more secure for you but very convenient when the weather is bad. You won't have to worry about getting wet or slipping on ice or snow just to open the garage door. Some garages are even heated, so you never have to feel the cold at all.

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