Your Ultimate Garage Door Guide For Atlanta
At National Garage Doors Atlanta, if there’s one thing we know, it’s garage doors. For more than two generations, we’ve been helping people with all their residential and commercial garage door issues- from new door installation to routine maintenance.
People ask us all kinds of questions about their doors all day, every day, so we thought we would take the time to sit down and write about what we know.
This is a compilation of years of experience in our work installing and repairing garage doors. Our goal is to compile as much information as one person could possibly want about this subject and put it in one place. This is our attempt to provide our customers with the most comprehensive, up-to-date information about garage doors they can possibly find in one place.
We hope you find the answers you need here.
Table Of Contents
- Garage Door Facts
- The Anatomy of Your Garage Door
- How Your Garage Door Works
- The Most Common Problems with Garage Doors
- When to Call for Professional Garage Door Repair
- Garage Door Maintenance
- Most Popular Types of Garage Doors
- How to Choose the Right Kind of Garage Door for Your Home
- Garage Door Windows
- Types of Garage Door Openers
- What Are the Best Garage Door Openers in 2022?
Garage Door Facts
Garage doors are one of the most reliable fixtures on your home. Each day, you come home, click the button, and it opens, allowing you to easily access your home. Here are some interesting garage door facts you may not know.
· How many times do you open and close your garage door? On average, people open and close between 3 and 5 times a day. That means, on average, garage doors go up or down 1500 times each year.
· How long does a garage door last? Garage doors typically last as long as 20 years, and sometimes much longer, depending on the level of maintenance it receives. Many will start to see problems with the torsion spring around 9 to 10 years, though repairs can be made in most cases.
· Does a garage door add value to a home? Yes! In fact, adding a new garage door to replace an old, worn door is one of the best ways to update the home, creating a 97.5% ROI on the investment if you were to sell your home.
· How do people use their garage door? While many use the garage door to pull their vehicle in, an estimated 55% of people say that this is the main way they come in and leave their homes.
Knowing these garage door facts may help you realize just how valuable this single entrance into your home could be. It also shows just how important it is to maintain your garage door on a consistent basis due to the amount of work that it does on an ongoing basis. Keep in mind that this is one of the largest and most vulnerable areas of your home if you do not have a secured door in place. That’s why updating and maintaining it is so important.
The Anatomy of Your Garage Door
Just what goes into your garage door? How does it work? As one of the largest moving parts of a home, it is critical that you ensure your garage door works as it should. The problem many people have is that they’re just not sure how it works. There are a few different ways this happens, but the following is a look at the anatomy of your garage door.
The parts that make up a garage door:
· Rollers: Rollers help the garage door move up and down with a smooth, even movement. The garage door glides along the tracks to do this, with the rollers acting like wheels to ensure the process is as easy as possible. Rollers work reliably for a long time, and your first sign of problems could come from loud, squealing sounds from the rollers.
· Roller tracks: There are three tracks that help the door to move up and down. There are two on either side of the door where the rollers move up and down. In the center of the door, there’s a third track, which helps the drive operator move up and down.
· Drive operator: Depending on the model of opener you have, you may have a belt, chain, or screw drive operator. This works along with the motor and the springs to move the garage door. The oldest models tend to have chains, and this continues to be the least expensive option. Screw and belts are more modern, and though they cost a bit more, they allow for a much quieter level of operation.
· Door arm: The curved door arm attaches to the garage door itself and to the drive operator. It moves along with the door when opened or closed.
· Torsion spring: The center spring located above the door is called the torsion spring. It connects to the drums and cables and then winds or unwinds as the door is raised or lowered.
· Cables and drums: There are two drums on either side of the door that turn. As they turn, the cables within wind up and wrap around the drum and work to help lift or lower the door slowly.
· Photo eye: Today’s garage doors have a small sensor, called a photo eye or safety reversing sensor, that senses anything that is in the path of the garage door as it is lowering. If something is detected, this sensor stops the closing of the door and instead reverses it.
· Emergency release: In some situations, you may need to stop the operation of the door. The emergency release allows you to operate the garage door by hand, disengaging the motor itself.
· The garage door: This is the actual paneled door system that opens and closes over the opening to your garages.
· Garage door opener: The opener is the brain behind the system, where the mechanicals are stored to manage the entire process of opening and closing it.
Problems can occur with each one of these areas of the garage door system. When they do, each can typically be replaced with new components.
The garage door operator is one of the most important components of the entire system. The electric motor and gears within the operator provide functionality to the system, allowing for the garage door to lift and lower as you need it to. These motors are powerful enough to stop the door in motion if necessary, such as if something is caught in the sensor.
There’s also a drive guide that’s called a T-Rail. This helps to protect and guide the chain, screw, or belt as it opens and closes the door. The opener also has a height adjustment as well as a force adjustment to ensure the door operates safely. There’s also an inverter and battery with every system.
How Your Garage Door Works
How does all of this come together, then? The process works rather simply as a radio transmission system. That means that when you push the button to operate your garage door, the transmitter will send a message to the receiver located within the operator to open the door. The receiver sends that signal to the transmitter.
Why does your garage door opener only respond to your remote control or button? Most modern systems have a hopping code or rolling code controller chip. Every time the garage door opens or closes, there is a different code used. The chip in place has a memory that can hold a trillion processible codes. The receiver and transmitter are synced with a random number generator that selects a new code every time someone presses the button to open or close. The door doesn’t open unless the right code is provided. This helps prevent people from breaking into the house this way.
There’s also a limitation on the distance in which the code will work. If you push your garage door opener button, for example, when you’re far away, it does not work.
When you push that button, and the receiver obtains the code and then sends it to the transmitter, this causes the reaction you desire, the system powering on to open the door for you.
The Most Common Problems with Garage Doors
Most people do not think much about their garage door until it stops working and becomes a problem. There are some common problems that can occur, and when they do, it is important to address those needs right away. Consider these common issues:
The garage door does not close all the way
In this situation, the door is often off balance. The track itself may be damaged or misaligned as well. In other situations, there could be a problem with the springs that attach to the door.
The door springs are broken
The torsion spring is what helps the door to move up and down. It’s possible that this spring can break, which makes it impossible to move the door. If it is broken, you’ll be able to see that, and you may even have heard a loud noise when it happened. This is the type of repair best suited to professionals for repair.
Rollers are worn and not working properly
You may hear more squeaking when the rollers are not functioning properly. That could be a sign that there is damage to them or that they are not aligned.
Photo eye sensors are not working properly
Sometimes a garage door will not open or close because there is some type of obstruction of the photo eye sensor, the safety sensors that are located at the base of the garage door. If something breaks that sensor’s plane, it will not close until it is moved. If it is not aligned with the other sensor on the side of the garage, that can also create a problem.
The garage door opener does not work
If the opener itself is not operating properly, that could be an indication that there is a problem with the motor, battery, or electrical component. Sometimes the remote may need batteries, too.
People Also Ask
What causes a garage door to malfunction?
A number of factors can cause a garage door to malfunction, including problems with the garage door opener itself, such as it not having power, and the door, such as due to the door being off track. If the remote or keypad is not working, that could be due to a lack of battery power. The garage door opener’s motor may be faulty, or a spring or roller may be misaligned.
What are three common problems with doors between the garage and the house?
The door between the garage and the house could suffer from numerous problems. Three of those problems could include drafts, sticking, or difficulty opening, as well as poor alignment.
What is the average life of a garage door?
Most garage doors tend to last up to 20 years, though with good maintenance, they may last even longer.
Why is the garage door not closing properly?
Garage doors may not close properly if there is a misalignment of the drive arm, it could be off track, or there could be damage to the springs. Sometimes the eye sensor is misaligned, not allowing the door to close.
When to Call for Professional Garage Door Repair
Naturally, a lot of what we are about to say depends upon your level of confidence and skill with repair work. While there are some homeowners who are confident they can repair things, their skill level may not live up to their confidence. If you’re in this category, you need to seriously weigh out how much your time is worth because we get a lot of calls from people that have started the necessary repair work but get in over their heads.
Sometimes, calling a garage door repair company is just worth the money right off the bat. We encourage you to reach out to us anytime you don’t want to or cannot do the work yourself. At the same time, there are some types of tasks that you just should not do on your own. That includes:
· Any time there is a need to adjust the garage door torsion springs, let a professional handle the work because it can be very dangerous.
· Any instance in which there are electrical problems with the garage door.
· You have a broken spring, or the door itself is misaligned.
· You need to install a new garage door.
· You just don’t know what the problem is and need some help finding out.
That being said, there are times when you can repair the problem yourself. You may save yourself time and money by doing these tasks on your own:
· Performing all of the self-tests and inspections above to look for notable problems.
· Cleaning the garage door surface.
· Quieting a noisy garage door by using a lubricant on the hinges, rollers, and lift cables (do this every three months when possible)
· Tighten all of the nuts and bolts to improve the smooth function of the door.
· Replace any worn rollers or hinges.
There’s never a bad time to call a professional. If you’re unsure, let us help you.
Garage Door Maintenance
Your garage door sees a lot of action during its lifetime. It’s also on the list of some of the most expensive things around your home to replace, which is why you want to give your door a little love now and then. It’s a simple idea that garage door maintenance prolongs the life of your door.
Maintenance may help to extend the life of your garage door while also ensuring it remains safe to operate. In some situations, maintenance tasks may also help to ensure your garage door is less likely to require an emergency repair due to it not working.
What Does Maintenance Include?
It’s always best to learn what the manufacturer requires for maintenance on your garage door before you do anything else. If you have the owner’s manual, check there first. Most garage doors benefit from the following maintenance steps.
At least twice a year, inspect the garage door. Pay attention to these areas:
· Is the garage door louder than it used to be?
· Is it moving in a jerking motion, or is it smooth?
· Does it operate reliably every time you enter the code?
· Do all of the mechanics look to be in proper alignment?
· Are the panels all aligned and even?
Complete a few safety tests. To do this, you’ll want to start with the garage door’s balance. Disconnect the door from the opener to allow it to operate manually. Then, lift the door about halfway up and let it go. Does the door remain in place? Does it slip? If it slips, it’s not balanced and may need repair.
Next, look at the mechanical reverse feature on the door. Position a piece of wood on the garage floor just in the path of the garage door. Then, try to close the garage door. What happens when the door hits the piece of wood? It should reverse direction.
Door photocell testing is next. Find the photo sensors located at the base of the garage door. When aligned properly, these should light up. If not, adjust them to ensure they do. Then, test it by waving your hand between the sensors as the door is closing. If this causes the door to stop and reverse direction, all is good.
Look at the garage door hardware next. Perform a visual inspection of the following components:
· Look at the door tracks and all hinges. Be sure all are tightened into place, and no loose bolts exist.
· Look for any signs of wear and tear on the rollers. If you have worn steel rollers, they will look lopsided. If you have nylon rollers, they tend to crack over time.
· Next, inspect the lift cables attached to the door to look for any significant rust or damage to them.
Check the service chain or belt as your next step. If there are any groaning sounds as the door operates, that could indicate too much slack in the drive chain or belt. You may need to use lubricant on the metal components to help with corrosion avoidance.
Service the seals and spring
Look at the seal along the bottom of the garage door, which helps to keep weather and pests out. If it is damaged, you need to replace it.
For the springs, be very careful. These are under a high amount of tension, so any type of replacement of them or adjustment to them needs to be done with extreme care as significant injury can occur. It’s often best to have a professional handle this type of adjustment. Don’t try to adjust the garage door torsion springs or any of the bolts that are painted red in color.
Garage Door Surface
It’s a good idea to clean the surface of the garage door from time to time. Removing the debris on it helps to ensure it lasts longer and may help to minimize any corrosion, depending on the type you have.
How you clean it depends on the type of door. For wooden doors, it is best to use a towel and water to wash them down and then dry them. Power washing them can cause damage to the wood. If you have a vinyl or synthetic garage door, be sure to use a mild cleaner to minimize any damage to these doors.
Battery and Bulb Replacement
You don’t need to wait for these to fail (usually at the worst time possible) to repair them. Instead, unplug the garage door opener. Then, use a screwdriver to remove the cover that’s on the opener. Within it, you’ll see the battery. Remove it and add a different one to it. Also, replace the batteries in all of your remotes each year at the same time.
You may need to replace the garage door opener’s light as well. There are light bulbs located within the opener that needs to be replaced. Be sure to do so with the same wattage as the bulb within it or recommended by the manufacturer.
There are other things you may have to do from time to time:
· Adjust the door’s speed when opening and closing. If it is moving too slowly, for example, you will need to adjust the tension in the springs. This is a task that is best left to a professional.
· Reduce the amount of friction between the door and the stop. To do this, you’ll need to locate the track brackets by loosening the nuts that hold them into place. You can then move the track itself until it does not bind.
· Adjust a stuck wheel. There may be times when the wheel gets stuck in the track. When this happens, you’ll need to adjust the track brackets. Be sure there’s a quarter of an inch to a bit more of play between the track and the door.
Call us if you’re interested in professional garage door maintenance to take that right off your “honey-do” list.
Most Popular Types of Garage Doors
There are numerous garage door types on the market, each with its own features and functions. While that may be the case, there are just a few different models that are commonly used in residential settings. Take a look at those here.
Sectional garage doors
These residential garage doors are the most common option used in homes. The door itself is not a single sheet of material but rather broken into several sections that are then held together by hinges. Each of the horizontal panels are connected by hinges and have rollers on them that move along the tracks on either side of the door. The panels themselves come in various shapes and styles, which could include arched or square options.
A carriage-style door is much like the French doors within the home in terms of the way they open. There are two doors that open from the center outward, swinging open. These doors are often made of wood and then hang on vertical hinges. These types of doors are popular because of the way they look and, in some cases, they may match the rest of the home’s aesthetics. Because of the way these doors swing outward, they need more room to open and close, and they often take longer to open.
Roller garage doors
Though they are less common, roller garage doors are still a very valuable investment. They are readily used for outbuildings as well as commercial areas. They are durable and tend to be very easy to use. The roll-up design of them helps to free up space in front of the garage. For those who want to maximize the amount of space and are not interested in the aesthetics of the door as much, this type of option can work well.
Tilt-Up garage doors
For smaller spaces, tilt-up garage doors could be a viable option. These are an alternative to sectional doors. Instead of sections or panels, this door just tilts upward and rolls into place. A retractable tilt-up garage door and a canopy tilt-up garage door are two of the most common options within this area.
Slide to the side
Though less common, this is an option for some homes. This type of door works much like others along rollers, but instead of going upwards over the top of the garage space, they go to the side. The panels bend to one side of the garage and then sit alongside the wall. While they may seem like the newest option, they are actually some of the oldest forms used. A trolley carries the door panels to the side when you activate the button.
How to Choose the Right Kind of Garage Door for Your Home
There are so many options it can be hard to know which type is the best-suited option for your specific needs. The good news is that most homeowners can select from multiple options and expect very good results. Here are some things to consider.
Consider the appearance of the home
Does your home have an ultra-modern feel or more of a traditional home? You may want to choose doors that fit that look. For example, on a ranch-style home, a wooden garage door, perhaps a carriage-style door, could add a nice appeal to it. Or, consider a garage door that rolls up if you have an ultra-sleek and modern-looking home.
Consider the space
Some types of doors require much more space to open than others. If you pull into your driveway and you have a carriage-style door, you need to leave ample room in the driveway to open the door. That means if you park in front of the garage door, you’ll have to move your car before you can actually open the door.
Colors and features
This is one area where you should not feel limited because there are so many options available. Metal doors can look like they are wood. You can choose from a rainbow of colors, too. Various patterns can be selected.
Garage Door Windows
There are pros and cons to having windows on your garage doors. Some of the issues to consider include:
Do you want people to be able to look inside your door to see if you are home, or do you want complete and total privacy?
While having a row of horizontal windows down the side of your door is very popular right now, if you have a traditional-looking house, that might not match the style of your home. On the other hand, adding this type of door might be just the thing to take an average-looking home and improve it a bit.
Activity Around Your Home
It’s basic statistics. The more activity that occurs around your garage door, the more likely you are to have something eventually knock up against it, which means any windows you have could easily break. It’s something to consider when choosing the style of door you want for your garage.
People Also Ask:
What is the most popular garage door style?
The most popular type of garage door is a sectional door. These have horizontal panels that sit on top of each other. When opened, the panels move up the tracks and separate to go over the curved area.
Which type of garage doors are best?
There’s no one specific type of garage door that is better than all of them. You can choose a sectional garage door for its convenience and ease of use or a carriage-style door when you want more overall aesthetics. Consider your budget, too.
Which two types of garage doors are most commonly used?
Sectional garage doors and carriage-style garage doors are the most common options for residential properties.
What type of garage door is most durable?
The most durable type of garage door is a steel garage door. These tend to offer the most flexibility and overall durability. They also can add the most value to your investment.
Types of Garage Door Openers
When choosing a garage door opener, know that you have ample options. Though it is very common for homeowners to always choose the same type of door that they have used for years, there are other options that can be a solid choice overall. Here is a look at the most common options and how they operate.
Chain drive garage door openers
A chain drive opener is a very common option often found in older homes. This type has a chain that connects the motor to a trolley. As older style openers, these are becoming less selected because newer models are both more affordable and better in terms of their operational efficiency and overall reliability.
Chain drive garage door openers are also loud and tend to stay that way no matter how much you lubricate them. That’s due to the metal-on-metal contact that occurs. There is also a lot of vibration when they are used. Still, the biggest benefit to them is their lower overall cost. They tend to be reliable and long-lasting, too.
Belt drive garage door openers
This particular option is designed with a rubber belt rather than a chain. Switching this out does not really change the way it works, but it does help to eliminate much of the noise since there is no metal-on-metal contact. These offer more of a smooth motion.
Screw drive openers
Screw drive garage door openers are a third common option. They have a trolley that rides on a threaded steel rod. The opener’s motor operates the rod, rotating it to move the system. One of the key benefits of this type of motor is that it is a better option for overall maintenance because it has fewer parts and, therefore, is less complex to maintain.
Screw-driven openers can be temperature sensitive, though, and that can be a problem in some situations. They are also louder than most belt-driven openers. Newer models are less sensitive to temperature. They are also some of the fastest at opening and closing the garage door.
What Are the Best Garage Door Openers in 2022?
Most people just want to know what the best garage door openers are for 2022. There are a lot of models on the market that could prove to be worth your investment.
This garage door is a good option for several reasons. It is highly reliable and super quiet. It also has a battery backup when the power goes off. Other key features include the soft close and open, deadbolt locking each time it closes, and nice features like providing delivery person access.
This model of garage door opener is a good solution for those who want more tech and functionality. It has a hub and sensor with Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth communication setup. It has safety sensors in place, too. You can upgrade to the version that has a camera in it as well. It also will close automatically at night.
Genie Stealth 500 Essentials
This is an excellent option in the more affordable line of garage door openers. It has a belt-driven system, and though it does not have Wi-Fi capability, it is highly reliable. It also comes with LED light bulbs that you can control.
Skylink Atoms ATR-1611C
This model is a chain-driven model, which makes it one of the most affordable options. It has a powerful motor and a soft start and stop feature. You can control it with a single button.
This is another Chamberlain model that offers some key features. It is best suited for those who want a very quiet garage door that they can count on to work reliably. It also offers a lot of smart features, including smartphone control with the myQ app. There is also an integrated corner-to-corner LED lighting option that ensures that there is ample lighting coverage in the garage. It also comes with a battery backup so that it works reliably even when the power goes out.
People Also Ask
Is Chamberlain better than Genie?
Choosing between these two manufacturers can be hard since both offer outstanding and highly reliable products. Both have long histories and good warranties. In addition, they are designed to provide easy installation.
What is the most popular brand of garage door opener?
There are a lot of opinions on which garage door brand is the best, and often it is more important to look at the individual features of each type to determine which is the best choice for your needs. Chamberlain is one of the most reliable, as is Genie. LiftMaster is another option.
How much horsepower do I need for a 2 car garage door?
Two-car garage doors tend to need about ¾ horsepower for the garage door if it is an insulated or wooden door. Carriage garage doors require 1 horsepower.
Is a chain or belt-driven garage door opener better?
Both models are reliable, but a chain-driven belt will cost less than a belt-driven model. For those who want a quieter function, though, the belt-driven model is the best option on the market.
About National Garage Doors Of Atlanta
For more than 20 years, we’ve been Atlanta’s #1 local garage door company. With more than 50,000 commercial and residential garage doors serviced, we’ve seen just about everything possible with your door.
From routine garage door maintenance and repairs to new door replacement and installation, our certified door technicians are here to help you with any issue you may have. Contact us today for any help you might need. We work hard to provide same-day service. We’re your local fast, affordable garage door service.