Installing a new overhead garage door will bring about an enhanced aesthetic value along with boosting your home’s security element. Garage doors are distinctive from a house’s main entrance door and they hold a critical value. It can be said further that garage doors share an equal sentimental value just like the main entrance door. Garage doors protect your tools, cars, etc. from the harmful and dangerous elements outside as well as from the prying eyes of unscrupulous characters.
In this article, we will discuss the various steps needed to install a garage door by yourself, how to insulate it, how to maintain it, and what to do if the main cable of the door breaks.
Installing an Overhead Garage Door on Your Own
While it is always recommended that you hire a qualified professional garage door technician, some people like to do things themselves. Whoever you decide to have install your new garage door; these are the things they will need to understand in order to get the job done right.
The installation of a garage door is commenced by first noting down the door’s dimensions. Measure the door opening and note it down; never measure the size of the existing door.
- Always measure the height and width of the door opening.
- The garage door’s size has to match with the opening of the door.
Gather Your Tools
You don’t require expensive or complicated tools to carry out the installation of your garage door. The only tools needed are a measuring tape, hammer, locking pliers, screw drivers, and a drill with an attached socket.
The Base of the Door Should be Laid Out
The garage door’s base has to be laid well enough after taking the required measurements; for this purpose, always try to use sawhorses. Furthermore, all weather stripping should be affixed to the base. Afterwards, hinges and lifting handles have to be fastened.
Position the Base
This is a vital step taken while installing a garage door; put the base into the frame of the door in a proper manner while utilizing a level, and once it is in its right position, hammer nails into each doorpost partially. While doing so, slightly bend the nails to ensure they are firmly in place.
The track’s horizontal, vertical, and curved components need to be assembled as well, so you can refer to the instructions of the manufacturer.
Install the Panels
After installing the first panel, the second panel needs to be installed on the top as well. The panels need to be held firmly in place, so nails need to be hammered into the side frames. Afterwards, you need to insert the hinges.
Any remaining panels have to be installed in the same way. Keep in mind that all the panels have to be securely adjoined to the door frame.
After securing the sections, the rollers can be now be installed. You also have to secure the track’s brackets and for this reason, the rollers need to be correctly positioned in the track which has been erected. But ensure that you don’t press the rollers all the way against the track because friction has the tendency to damage a door.
The vertical tracks have to be secured against the frame of the door. Afterwards, use the taken measurements and start leveling the horizontal and curved pieces on the tracks. This is done to make sure the tracks are pointing away from any openings and they are linear.
With the manufacturer’s instructions as your guide, install the springs and lift the door to half length. Once done, fasten the springs to the door’s pulley system.
Insulating Your Garage Door
Insulation will lower your energy bills and ensure that your home stays warm in winters and cool in summers. Garage door insulation is important because the last thing you would want is cool or warm air leaking from under the door.
It not only lowers your bill, but it also shields undesired street noise and makes your garage quieter, peaceful, and sunnier. Installing insulation is not an easy task and it is better if you hire the services of a qualified professional or technician; there are 3 different types of insulation to choose from. There is batt insulation, reflective insulation, and foam board insulation. Regardless of the type, they are all energy efficient on an equal footing.
This insulation is made from fiberglass and is flexible; it is fitted inside the walls of the exterior. Paper or foil is the real cause of insulation as it builds air gaps and barriers which help insulate your garage. It is available in R-3 and R-4 thickness levels depending upon the insulating values.
Foam Board Insulation
This type of insulation is made from polystyrene and it is laid out in durable and rigid panels. The great thing about this kind of insulation is that the panels are relatively thinner and they can still provide an excellent insulation value, typically from 0.1 to 1 inch. This value is the thickness per inch of the insulation. Foam board insulation makes use of aluminum or vinyl.
Reflective insulation does exactly what the name suggests; it reflects radiant heat. In this type of system, aluminum foil is utilized which is highly reflective and it is installed on both sides of the insulation material. Reflective insulation can be rigid boards or insulation rolls.
The material consists of cardboard or polyethylene bubbles. Since this type of insulation material deflects heat, it is perfect for garages that have the tendency to heat up a in hot climates and during summers. The R value of this insulation is from 3.5 to 6.
Applying the Insulation
There are three very important steps to take care of before you go about and install the insulation. The steps involve selecting the appropriate insulation material, measuring, cutting, and applying finishing touches.
For example, if you chose foam board insulation, you will require a foil-faced foam board, a measuring tape, and a knife or blade. Once you have collected the necessary tools, each door frame panel should be measured out, and the required process has to be followed through.
How to Maintain a Garage Door?
Maintaining a garage door is no rocket science; while it can be undertaken by anyone, they should know what they’re doing and they should be well-aware of the proper procedures in doing so. By regularly maintaining a garage door, you will no longer have to face the hassle of a stuck door in the morning when you are about to leave for work nor will you be worried about any potential injuries your puppy might receive if the door slams shut.
Here’s how you will proceed.
To prevent any potential problems from arising, it’s best to inspect your garage door on a daily basis; check for wear and tear on any of the vital components such as springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, hinges, etc. Listen for any squeaking, creaking, or obnoxious sounds as well.
If you feel something is wrong, then you can either get it inspected further by a professional or do it yourself. If you decide to do it yourself, you must possess adequate knowledge of a garage door. For example, you can easily replace faulty rollers. On the other hand, a professional will be able to repair or replace the damaged part quickly.
The Door Should be Balanced
The balance of the garage door is a vital element that needs to be checked during maintenance. If your garage door has an automatic opener, detach it and close the door. Then lift the door manually (Okay, so this is a bit Herculean in nature) and check to make sure you receive little to no resistance in doing so.
If you feel overwhelmed by the door or it is difficult to open the door, then it is probably unbalanced and will need rebalancing. Call in a qualified professional to do the needful.
Lubrication is important and when you’re maintaining your garage door, you shouldn’t forget to lubricate the door’s multiple moving components. And it’s not even complicated or expensive.
You can use engine oil for lubrication as it is cheaper and effective; never apply grease as it attracts dirt and grime. But it’s better to utilize a lubricant which is non-silicone based. Important sections and areas like the center door panel hinges and the locking latches have to be lubricated. But avoid lubricating the plastic bearings and plastic rollers.
What to do if the Main Cable Snaps?
A cable is a critical component of a garage door system and it is used to open or close the garage door. In conjunction with the springs, cables are able to control the garage door’s motion. When raised up under its own weight, the cable in the garage door uses the stored elastic potential energy in the spring. At the same time, it also extends around the door’s drum. When the door is lowered, the potential energy is released and the cable disentangles itself from the drum.
Garage door cables are made from individual strands which are formed from single wires cut together. These strands of wire are then slashed together to form a cable. Overtime, these cables become weak and they deteriorate, causing the garage door to get stuck halfway or hanging at an angle. Small wires constitute the main cable and when those wires break, the cable will eventually become weaker. This is called fraying and it is easily visible.
Sometimes fraying can occur early on and that’s when spotting it becomes difficult. Fraying is the main reason why garage door cables fail and garage door cable installation becomes necessary. Therefore, you should make it a point to inspect your garage door’s cable on a regular basis and as soon as you notice any fraying, you should repair the cable or replace it.
The cable of a garage door can be inconvenient and expensive to replace and as a result, many people decide to get their cable repaired. But you should only go for this option, unless you are absolutely sure you can fix the cable.
Repairing a cable requires skills, know-how, and the proper safety procedures. If you go about it randomly, several things can go wrong. The door can become lose and fall off, causing serious injuries or the cable itself can undergo more damage.
It’s always a better idea to change the cable. You can proceed to do so by hiring a professional or doing it by yourself. If you select the former method, be sure to have the right tools and materials in place to successfully complete the task at hand.
It is common sense that the cable’s size is dependent on the garage door’s dimensions, so you have to take accurate and precise measurements of the frame of the door as well as the door itself.
For this task, you will need replacement cables, winding bars, gloves, wrenches, sockets, locking pliers, a stepping ladder, and safety goggles. When replacing the cable, be cautious of sharp edges and frayed cable parts which can cause injury.
Types of Cables
Contrary to popular belief, garage door cables come in three different types mainly torsion cables, safety cables, and extension spring cables. Therefore, you have to determine the cable type which is already installed in your existing garage door.
The method of installing a garage door depends upon the cable type utilized in your garage door and hence, you must first figure out the type of cable used and the method of installing it.
When you have replaced and installed the door cable, ensure that the tension is equal on every side of the door. If you are unsure on how to proceed with garage door cable installation, you should hire a qualified technician to do so.