Garage doors are now an important detail in the construction of modern houses. Although they come in different designs, roll up garage doors seem to be the most common in today’s home. The design has been around for quite some time. But, it has gained popularity in different regions at different times. Below is a brief history about roll up garage door.
The first garage door wave was reported in 450 BC. Then, gatehouses were used to store chariots. This made garage doors a convenient opening for the storage of these important possessions. In the US, these unique structures set pace in the 20th century. The rolls up garage doors are believed to have emerged late 1906.
We’ve had the evolution of roll up garage doors with time. Initially, only manual roll up doors existed. With time, electrical ones were designed and came into use. The material, size, weight, color and many other details used in the making of these gigantic doors have been on evolution too. The door manufacturing companies have been overworking trying to figure out how better to make these delicate doors.
Any man made thing has a lifespan. Roll up garage doors have a lifespan too. Although, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to durability, things like weather, the material used to make these doors, weight of the door and other factors determine how long the door will be of service. The frequency at which the door maintenance is done will also determine its longevity.
Roll up garage doors made of strong material will last longer. Although the material should not be too strong, it may make the door heavier thus affecting its longevity. A balance must be stricken between the right density and the optimum weight. That way, you will make the door long lasting.
Most doors are made of steel and metal in general. Water corrodes metals big time. Rust will not allow the door to last long. The only way to avoid such corrosion is by use of non-corrosive metal which is also water proof.
Tools are made of simple features brought together to make a masterpiece. Roll up garage doors have special features that make them function the way they do. Some of these features include:
1. Door and frame
The moving door panels are an important feature. It is this door panel that opens and closes, upwards and downwards respectively to secure the cars and other machines inside the garage. The door offers security as its core function. Without the pass to the garage, one will be denied access.
Now, this door does not exist in isolation. It slides through a frame. The frame is the link between the door and the wall. These three link up to reinforce the security of the building. The reinforcement denies unauthorized individuals access to the garage.
The roll up door is one designed to move. Without hinges, this may not be possible. The roll up door has unique hinges. With a frame to slide on, the hinges ensure the door does not bang the ground as it slides down for closure.
3. Steel jambs
This is not a feature for all doors. Some have this while others do not. For those with this, the steel jambs act as hinges at the top of the wall and door.
4. Door bracket
This is a special feature that allows the door to move along the guides. The brackets attach to the guides and should have a little space to allow for the expansion and contraction of the guides during motion due to friction. With that allowance, there’s also enough room for maintenance like greasing and others.
A door is always fixed to the frame in a way it can slide when opening and closing. The path through which the door bracket slides on is the guide. The guide should always be in a fine condition for perfect working conditions.
6. Door sound
Not many people think about this feature. It is a critical one though mostly ignored. By the time you’d have realized different doors produce varying door sounds. Some sounds are annoying while those produced by others door do not irritate. Before settling for a roll up door, open and close it to hear the kind of noise it produces. Avoid the noisy doors as this may mean different things.
A noisy door may be a sign of poor maintenance. Or, it may signify poor installation. Not only that, a noisy door may be a sign of a hidden problem. The best doors slide smoothly without unnecessary noise.
Most manual doors have locks at the point of intersection with the ground. For automatic ones, most lock automatically without the need for you to put your own lock. You should therefore get a strong lock to ensure you do not expose the things inside the garage to burglary or theft.
Most doors are meshed. This unique design is one of the trademark features defining garage doors whether roll up or not.
Installation of a Roll up Door
Installation of a roll up door garage should be strictly done by an expert. This is because the practice is risky and requires expertise. By doing it yourself, you risk your life and those around you. That mentioned, let’s go straight to the installation process.
i. Take measurements of the wall opening
You realize before the installation of a roll up door, you have a wall opening. The first thing to do is take measurements of the opening. Record the readings. It is important to keep in mind that every door size has particular head and side room requirements.
ii. Mounting plates
This depends on the type of material in use. Steel jambs do not require any mounting. For the others, this is a requirement. Bolting or welding can be done to finish the installation. Once this is done, we can move on to the next step.
iii. Fixing brackets and guides
These two are responsible for the proper movement of the roll up garage door. The guides should fit perfectly in the brackets and some space left for some obvious reasons. Mobility of the door is key and that is why there should be optimum room left for movement. Regular maintenance will keep the door in a fine working condition.
iv. Fixing ends
A roll up garage door has two ends – tensioner and non-tensioner. Both the ends should be fixed well and done separately. The first to be fixed is the tensioner end followed by the other.
v. Door assembly
Once every other part of the door has been fixed properly; the door should be fixed last. This should be done by a fork lift. If not done with caution, this process can be hazardous and may lead to casualties. This means, all safety tips should be observed. The professional doing the assembly should be well experienced and trained. Without proper training, he/she can cause accidents which may lead to the loss of life.
By the time you get to this point, so much work would have been done. It would be unfair to let all that effort go down the drain by bottling in the last minute.
vi. Check how the door works
It is not enough to install the door. Remember any human made tool can be faulty. With that in mind, remember to check if the door works well. Try moving the door the way it should. In case any issue arises, it should be fixed there and then.
After a successful installation, there should be regular follow ups to check and see if any problem develops later. This is to ensure the installation process was successful. From there, the door should be used well to allow it be in operation for a long time.
Every construction site poses safety threats. That said, it is important to know the hazards likely to happen in a roll up garage door installation site. So, what are the possible hazards and what can be done to prevent them? If they are inevitable, what can be done then to minimize damage?
A moving door is the most likely cause of accidents. Manual and electric doors are equally hazardous. Why is it so? A manual door moves under the influence of gravity. The heavier the door the higher the momentum and the more impact it can have upon landing on a human. This may lead to loss of life or even serious irreparable damages.
An electric door on the other hand can be impactful too because it’s moving under the control of electric motors. It is almost impossible to stop such doors. If a human body comes across this, the person may be badly hit to the point of losing their life. How do you prevent all this from happening?
Avoid moving under garage doors. You should keep distance or stand where you can have a view of the door. The only time you should move is when you’re sure the door won’t move and do so only when it is a must. Now, this is not optional. Children should never be allowed in garage door construction sites. These young ones lack proper judgement abilities and will likely get to trouble unaware. In case it happens, move to save the life. Do so while cautious not to be hit also. Reach out for help and call an ambulance.
Electricity is man’s greatest invention though it is one of the deadliest man’s innovations. Live current will strike you and kill you in a second. That is why electric roll up garage door are the deadliest. Keep kids out of reach and be cautious yourself. Switch off electricity when working on the door. Turn it on when done with the door. Besides, wear non electrical conductors. This is where protective equipment (PPE) comes in. Have the right gloves and boots. With proper PPE on, you are safer than without. With electricity, you stand less survival chances in case an accident happens. That is why you need to exercise the highest degree of caution. It is a matter of life and death.
You already know what happens when a substance under pressure is released. The thing moves at a high speed and will crash anything it comes across with. Springs are a feature of garage doors. When these springs are compressed and suddenly released, they may influence an open roll up door to dropping down closed in a thud. Imagine such a door meeting a human being on its course. It will be tragic. The impact will be transferred to the human body. A weighty door will crash dead a human body. That means loss of life.
How do you prevent such hazards from happening? Avoid doing the installation, repair or maintenance by yourself. That is a simple way of inviting accidents. Only experienced experts should do the job. These professionals know what is likely to happen in case things go wrong. The only difference is they also know what to do in the event of hazards. Besides, they have been trained to give attention to details and know what to do to keep everyone safe.
Unless you are an expert in garage door installation, stay away! No amount of research will equip you with enough skills to fix a roll up garage door.
The life of a roll up garage door depends on how well it is kept. Usage and maintenance shapes the longevity of a garage door. You therefore need to understand how and when to do door maintenance. There are simple maintenance practices like lubrication and others that do not really need expertise. Other maintenance practices require you to hire a professional to do a proper repair.
Experts recommend bi-annual checks for garage doors. This means, doing a proper check twice a year just to ensure the roll up door is in a proper working condition. Door negligence can have dire consequences. Well, maintenance will cost you but will ensure you spend less over a long period of time. You’d rather spend little amounts regularly in checks and maintenance than spend a lump sum doing a door overhaul.
So, what are the consequences of leaving a door neglected? For automatic doors, this exerts unnecessary pressure on the door opener. With time, this may become hazardous. A spring under pressure when released can crash dead a human if the two bodies meet. Therefore, maintaining your door prevents hazards.
Another consequence is financial damage. A neglected door will one time jam and stop working completely. It’s even worse for automatic doors compared to manual ones. To correct this, you will need to spend proper money and your quality time.
Maintenance and repair are quite identical. While maintenance involves routine procedures to keep the door in fine working conditions, repair involves doing a major procedure to correct a problem the door has shown. Repairs tend to be more expensive and you need an expert to do them. The more you neglect your roll up garage door the more times you should expect your door to call for repairs.
In most cases, repairs and maintenance practices are inversely proportional. The more effort you put in the maintenance of your door, the lesser repairs you’re likely to pay for. Repairs also take time and must be done by an expert. These professionals charge different prices based on their experience and the costs incurred.
One question many people would like answered is whether it is okay to do a repair by yourself. Well, it is but you expose yourself to unnecessary risks. Depending on the type of repaired called for, it is important to consult an expert. That way, you will know what to do and what not to do.
Size is an important criterion for the selection of a roll up garage door. The bigger the door the heavier it will get. Size directly affects the weight of the door. The size of the garage and that of the occupants of the room will determine how big the door should be. In most cases, garage doors match the width and height of the garage room. Therefore, the wider the room the wider the garage door is likely to be. Besides, if the garage room has a longer height, the door will also assume the height.
In some cases, this does not apply. The garage room may be too wide. In such cases, the door will be less wide. Alternatively, we could have the door split vertically so that we have splits of roll up doors. This is critical as very wide doors could be a threat to safety.
Another reason for splitting could be to maintain an optimum weight. When the door is too heavy, it puts the springs and hinges under pressure. With time, the holders may bow down to pressure and cause havoc. Such accidents may lead to loss of lives in case someone is hit. Besides, when the door is too heavy and manual at the same time, it makes it hard opening and closing it. The weight is acted upon by gravity and this makes it more problematic.
During the design process, experienced roll up door experts determine the right size for your door. A lot goes into consideration. In the end, the perfect size is determined. This is why it is important to give these experts space to do their work. That way, you will get the right door size for your garage.
Roll up garage doors are mostly made of steel. Although, other materials can be used to make these doors, but, why is steel the most commonly used material in the construction of roll up garage doors? Steel vendors sell them at a reasonable price. Therefore, you can keep your costs low when preparing a budget. Everyone would want to spend less for the best- it is called value for money.
Steel doors are also durable. The material requires lesser maintenance and repairs. This makes them cheaper to live with and even more convenient. Besides, steel is easy to paint and come in an eye appealing design – resembling wood. This gives it an aesthetic advantage over other materials. The material is also lighter compared to most others.
Most roll up garage doors are made of metal. We know the manner which water and metal reacts – rusting is inevitable. To combat this likelihood, it is important to get a metal that is water resistant. That way you can prevent your garage door from rusting, which may be a safety threat.
Most metal are susceptible to rust. How do you deal with that when you have such a metal? One way is through painting. This means, you should get a metal which is easily paintable like steel. With such a metal you can easily beat rust. Although, this calls for regular checks and repaints to avoid exposing any part of the door, once you spot any chance of rust, take care of it instantly to avoid the situation from crawling to other parts of the door.
One take home point you must never forget is the importance of the metal material in determining your door’s water resistance property. Avoid material with low water resistance levels.
The use of roll up garage doors is on the rise. For a century now, the doors have been in operation and more users love the idea. The door has its strengths and weakness as compared to other garage doors. But, the fact that garage owners prefer this kind of door only means one thing. It shows the shortcomings are outweighed by the gains. The door must be handled with care at all times and the right material used. After installation, it’s only prudent that you do proper follow up to ensure no issues arise in the future.