UK and Spain
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Garage doors - well, the choice is quite varied, electric garage doors, automatic garage doors, up and over garage doors, remote controlled garage doors, metal garage doors, roller garage doors, sectional garage doors, wooden garage doors, traditional garage doors and more modern garage doors. In fact, more garage doors than you can shake a remote control handset at!!
The original traditional up and over steel garage doors and side hung timber garage doors, although still available, have made way for more modern sectional and roller shutter garage doors.
Automatic garage doors (also known as electric or remote control garage doors) have also become more fashionable over the years and the fitting of electric operators is rapidly becoming the norm. Remote controlled garage doors are especially handy, particularly on those wet and cold 'English' days when it's easier to just open the garage doors by remote control, without getting out of the car!!
If space in the garage is an issue, try rolling shutter garage doors or perhaps sliding garage doors.
Overhead garage doors - a typical overhead garage door consists of several panels hinged together that roll along a system of tracks guided by rollers. The weight of the door is balanced by either a torsion spring system or a pair of extension springs.
Single panel garage doors - a single panel doors are constructed from one monolithic panel. From the closed position a single panel door will slide up and overhead on rails to the fully open position. A disadvantage of monolithic panel doors is that the swing up arc of the door occurs partially outside the garage. This means a vehicle must stop and park several feet in front of the door to avoid being hit by the garage door when it is opened.
Sectional garage doors - sectional doors are usually constructed of six to eight panels and slide up and overhead. Sectional doors occupy exactly the same amount of internal garage space as a monolithic door. Sectional doors have two distinct advantages over single panel monolithic doors: - Sectional garage doors do not require any space outside the garage to open. A vehicle may park very close to the garage before opening the door. Each panel of a sectional door has its own connection to the door track. This increases reliability and robustness compared to a monolithic doors which has only a couple of track connections for the whole panel.
Insulation of sectional garage doors - garage doors can be made out of many materials, but steel, aluminium, wood, and vinyl (polyethylene) are the most popular materials. A few manufactures are making energy efficient garage doors by putting foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation in monolithic panel and sectional garage doors.
Roller garage doors - roller garage doors are usually constructed of corrugated steel. Other materials can be used (eg; transparent corrugated fibreglass) where strong impact resistance is not required. Corrugations give the door strength against impacts. A typical single car garage roller door will have a preloaded spring inside the rolling mechanism. The spring reduces the effort required to open the door. Larger roller doors in commercial premises are not sprung and use a manual pulley and chain system or a geared motor to raise and lower (roll up and roll down) the door. Roller doors cannot be effectively insulated.
Materials and insulation - a common material for new garage doors is steel sheet formed to look like a raised panel wooden door. Steel doors are available in uninsulated, insulated, and double skin steel. A design mimicking carriage house doors has become quite popular since about 2002, and many manufacturers clad the exterior of a steel door with composite, vinyl boards, or DecamTrim to give it the appearance of wood. Steel carriage garage doors are becoming the most popular carriage door due to weight of the door, no rotting, and a large amount of designs. A more economical alternative for garage doors is steel stamped construction.
Torsion spring lift mechanism - a torsion spring counterbalance system consists of one or two tightly wound up springs on a steel shaft with cable drums at both ends. The entire apparatus mounts on the header wall above the garage door and has three supports: a centre bearing plate with a steel or nylon bearing and two end bearing plates at both ends. The springs themselves consist of the steel wire with a stationary cone at one end and a winding cone at the other end. The stationary cone is attached to the centre bearing plate. The winding cone consists of holes every 90 degrees for winding the springs and two set screws to secure the springs to the shaft. Steel counterbalance cables run from the roller brackets at the bottom corners of the door to a notch in the cable drums. When the garage door is raised, the springs unwind and the stored tension lifts the door by turning the shaft, thus turning the cable drums, wrapping the cables around the grooves on the cable drums. When the door is lowered, the cables unwrap from the drums and the springs are rewound to full tension.
Life of a torsion spring on garage doors - most manufacturers of garage doors and dealers of garage doors, either produce and/or sell garage doors fitted with torsion springs that have a minimum of 10,000 - 15,000 cycles. This number of cycles allows the garage doors to open and close an average of 3 to 7 years. However, it is important to remember that if the weight of the garage door is increased by adding glass, do it yourself insulation, or even several coats of paint, the life of the torsion spring will greatly be reduced. Other factors like poor garage door maintenance, loose tracks, or faulty components will shorten the life of torsion springs. Never apply grease to the tracks of the garage door, this will prevent the wheels on the rollers from doing their job. Only grease bearings, and spray light coat of lubricant on hinges and springs.
Extension spring lift mechanism - an extension spring counterbalance system consists of a pair of stretched springs running parallel to the horizontal tracks. The springs lift the door through a system of pulleys and counterbalance cables running from the bottom corner brackets through the pulleys. When the door is raised, the springs contract, thus lifting the garage door as the tension is released.
Safety - many accidents take place when the homeowner and/or end user does not take
the time to look at the safety precautions prior to attempting to do-it-yourself.
There are certain processes a DIY person can do to help keep the long term
reliability of their overhead garage door intact:
Maintenance of garage doors - the balance of the door should be checked monthly also. One should be able to
raise and lower the garage door without any resistance and it should smoothly roll
along the tracks and should remain stationary at any point of travel. Usually a
door that does not pass these tests is out of balance and should be adjusted. It
is usually recommended that only a trained door technician with the proper
instructions or a mechanically experienced person adjust or replace the springs.
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