Garage Door Basics: Knowing the 7 Major Parts of Your Garage Door

A regular inspection of your garage door will keep it in safe and operable condition — but that can be difficult if you don’t know the parts that your garage door is comprised of. There are seven major parts to a garage door, and their operation is fairly simple.

  1. The Opener. The opener to the garage door operates on a frequency that is attuned to your specific garage door. Generally, most openers will only malfunction if they need a battery replacement, and they may need a special watch style battery. If your opener isn’t working, it may need to be reprogrammed or replaced.
  2. The Sensors. Potentially the most important safety feature, the sensors on a garage door are designed to make sure that the garage door does not go down when something is blocking it. To test these sensors, put something small and soft like an old pillow in front of the garage door and then close it. If the garage door does not stop, then the garage door’s sensors need to be cleaned or replaced.
  3. The Sections. The sections of your garage door are attached to each other in hinges. Individually, the sections are fairly lightweight, but taken together, the door itself can be quite heavy. Washing and wiping off the sections of your garage door is usually enough to keep them clean and operable, though you may want to look for any dents and scratches at the same time.
  4. The Tracks. The tracks of your garage door are what allow it to move up and down easily. The sections are attached to wheels and these wheels run along the tracks. The alignment of this is very precise: if the tracks are misaligned at all or if the wheels pop out, the garage door will no longer experience smooth operation. You may wish to oil tracks or the wheels within them if they are sticking.
  5. The Spring. The garage door spring is what helps the garage door lift. It’s extremely dangerous because it is under a significant amount of tension: you should never attempt to fix a spring yourself. If your spring is not working, you will know: the garage door may open a little and then refuse to move, and it will feel very heavy if you try to lift it.
  6. The Seal. The seal along the bottom of your garage door serves two purposes: it provides insulation within the garage itself and will work to limit flooding in the event of rain. Your bottom seal is fairly easy to replace. To inspect it, simply make sure that the entire seal is still flush against the ground and that the seal itself is not discolored. The seal should still be flexible enough to be moved: if you move it back and forth and it starts to break, it needs to be replaced.
  7. The Hinges. The hinges to the garage door are placed between each section of the door. The hinges are incredibly important: if they break, the sections may fall out of the track. Generally, hinges should be oiled every time you complete an inspection — at least on an annual basis. Oiling the hinges will help them last longer.

Every time you inspect your garage door, you should look at each of these seven aspects separately. This will ensure that your door remains safe. If there are issues, you will want to consult with a professional repair company, such as Action Garage Door, as soon as possible.