Overhead Garage Doors Run in Tracks
The function of a garage door is to protect vehicles parked inside the garage, adding a measure of security to the vehicles and to the home itself. To accomplish this task, a garage door must go up to allow the vehicles inside, then go down to provide protection from the elements. While traversing up and down, garage doors rely on tracks located on either side of the door to provide a steady path. Each side of the garage door features several wheels that roll inside the tracks; as long as the wheels roll smoothly, they allow the door to glide up, down, into and out of the garage.
Springs Help Garage Doors Up
In order to provide maximum protection from the elements while also securing the garage, manufacturers use heavy materials like wood and metal to build the doors. These materials considerably increase the doors’ weight, a factor that makes vertical movement somewhat more difficult. Garage door manufacturers help accommodate for this weight by using special springs, known as torsion springs, to fight the effects of gravity. When a user or a garage door opener closes an overhead garage door, the downward action actually presses against the pressure of the spring. When the user or opener pulls the garage door back up, though, the torsion spring’s pull helps absorb some of the door’s weight to make opening easier.
Some Garage Doors Fold
Many overhead garage doors are too large to simply rise vertically, so the manufacturer must use innovative designs to fit the garage door into the garage. Two common designs, according to Don Vandervort’s Home Tips website, include the fold-up and tilt-up doors. Manufacturers design tilt-up doors as one solid piece of material, and the user or a garage door opener must move the entire door outward, upward and back into the garage, where it enters parallel to the roof. Fold-up doors, in contrast, are composed of multiple horizontal panels. As the user or a garage door opener moves the door, each panel raises or lowers, following the tracks and flipping from a vertical to a horizontal position as it enters the garage. Like the tilt-up door, fold-up doors enter the garage and rest parallel to the ceiling, but they enter that configuration panel by panel rather than in one single motion.
Garage Door Openers Move Doors
Because the heavy materials and size of garage doors often make them very heavy, designers often incorporate mechanical units to open and close the garage; these units allow users to open and close the door without having to exit the car, and allow users who do not possess the strength to manually move a garage door to do so with the press of a button. When a user activates a garage door opener, an electric motor connected to a chain, screw or belt exerts pressure on the door. To open the door, the opener simply pulls the door up; to close the door, the motor runs in the opposite direction to push the door down.
Read more at How Overhead Garage Doors Work