Understanding the Components of a Garage Door

A garage door is a valuable home feature because of its protective and aesthetic qualities. Various features and components allow a garage door to perform as expected regarding functionality and style. In this post, we’ll discuss the components that make your residential garage door work. 

What Are the Parts of a Garage Door?

Garage doors feature five main elements that work together to achieve the functionality and style you expect:

  1. Door panels and weather seals
  2. Door opener 
  3. Springs, drums and cables 
  4. Tracks and rollers
  5. Emergency cord

What Are the Parts of a Garage Door?

Door Panels and Weather Seals 

Your garage door’s main purpose is to protect your belongings from anything outside. The panel and weather seal are vital to any garage door’s performance. 

A garage door panel forms a sturdy barrier between your belongings and the outside world. The right garage door panel will protect the interior against damage during a storm and prevent theft. You can choose between numerous door materials that each offer different levels of strength. Common garage door panel materials include wood, fiberglass, aluminum and steel. The door panel is also the key aesthetic feature, so choose a style that complements your home. 

Weather seals also boost your door’s protective qualities. A weather seal is a strip of rubber or vinyl that fills the gap between the door panel and the surfaces above, below or beside it. Weatherstripping helps keep water and dust out of your garage while providing insulation. 

Door Opener 

It’s critical that your garage door opens and closes at your request, but only when you request it. That’s where a garage door opener comes into play. 

The garage door opener is a mechanical system that moves the panel on its tracks. Every garage door opener comprises a motor and sensors. The motor drives the other components that lift or lower the door. The sensors tell the motor when to stop by detecting the door’s proximity to the ground and obstructions that could impede the process. 

Springs, Drums and Cables 

A garage door panel is heavy, which is why it needs features that support its weight as it opens or closes. The springs, drums and cables create a counterbalance assembly that helps the opener lift and lower your door panel gracefully. 

Garage door springs are metal coils above the door that support its weight. The tension from the springs prevents the door from slamming to the ground and offers the strength needed to pull the door to the top. The spring tightens as the door closes, storing energy that it can use to lift the garage door when you want to open it. 

When lowering the garage door, the springs transfer power to the drums at the top of the garage door opening. The drum is an aluminum wheel that holds a steel cable running to the bottom of the door. As the spring unwinds, it causes the drum to rotate and pull the cable, lifting the door. 

Tracks and Rollers 

The tracks and rollers stabilize the garage door as it opens and closes. Each garage door has two tracks running vertically along the door panel’s left and right sides. The tracks trace the garage door opening before curving to run parallel to the ceiling. They establish a path for the door to follow as it raises and lowers. The rollers are small wheels that connect the door to the tracks and allow it to move smoothly. 

Emergency Cord 

The emergency cord is a bright string that activates the garage door opener’s safety mechanism. Every garage door includes a manual safety mechanism that deactivates the motor and disconnects it from the panel. Disconnecting the motor and panel stops the door from opening or closing to prevent an injury. The emergency mechanism will also allow you to operate the garage door manually during a power outage when the automatic opener is offline. 

Taking Care of Each Garage Door Component 

With so many parts that need to work together for your garage door to operate, maintenance is essential. Regular maintenance will ensure your door opens and closes smoothly while also providing the protective and insulative qualities you expect. 

While garage door maintenance is important to do often, performing the task safely requires professional training. Always contact a garage door specialist for maintenance and repair services. 

Here are some tips for maintaining your garage door: 

  1. Check for damage after harsh weather.
  2. Inspect and repair your garage door annually before the winter.
  3. Schedule garage door maintenance with a trusted professional. 

Schedule Garage Door Maintenance With Quality Door Company

Quality Door Company maintains and repairs garage doors for homeowners in western Michigan. We conduct thorough inspections to highlight any issues and keep dependable garage door parts on hand to perform timely repairs. Our experienced technicians will prepare your garage door for years of efficient operation, so contact us online to schedule a maintenance appointment. 


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