There are many options available to accomplish the opening and closing of the garage door. Most modern garages in the Las Vegas area utilize a roll-up type door. Swing-out doors are rarely encountered given the restrictive area of the modern driveway. Swing up doors were once popular but have fallen in disfavor and are not encountered as often as they were in the past.
Types of Garage Door Opening Mechanisms
Opening mechanisms are the heavy-lift mechanical devices that control the opening and closing of the doors. They are available in various types and have their own pros and cons.
– Belt drives are quiet, reduce vibration, fewer moving parts but constitute a relatively high initial investment.
– Chain drives are the most economical and dependable but generate obnoxious noise.
– Screw drives are low maintenance and fairly quiet in operation, fewer moving parts with plastic lined tracks to reduce noise. However in hot climates plastic may experience premature failure or binding.
– Jackshaft openers mount to the wall, are DC powered and operate through pulleys and cables. They are quiet and reliable but more expensive. Jackshaft units and direct drive units also clear ceiling space for limited storage.
How to Make a Garage Door More Secure
Controls consist of key pads or one-touch button remotes. Newer doors can be operated from your smart phone and are networkable. But as with anything electronic hacking can present some challenges to security. A rolling-code opener remote changes the frequency and coding every time it is used. Garage door handles can be zip tied to prevent opening by using a metal rod and hook. For safety an infrared detector projected across the doorway can prevent closing on kids, people and cars that are in the path of the closing door.
Garage Door Emergency Release & Lights
Most openers are equipped with an emergency release and lights that turn on during operation providing illumination egress and ingress to the home at night. Some units convert AC to DC current for operation. DC motors generally run a little quieter. Some devices can be disabled during vacation or other extended absences. There are units that have an incorporated battery to enable opening and closing during power failures and are an available option for DC motored openers.
Garage Door Materials
Garage doors can be constructed from metal, wood or composites. Frames are usually steel or aluminum. Rollers tend to be steel as that metal resists wear where aluminum does not. Wood doors require regular maintenance where as steel is more resistant to the weather. Plastic components tend to get brittle in the heat and cold cycles of summer and winter. A glass pane is subject to breakage, but plastic gets brittle, breaks and discolors with time. Decisions, decisions.
Sliding Garage Doors
The least encountered door and opener combo is the sliding door. These are suspended on interior or exterior tracks and slide to the side. If interior, they cover the adjacent opening wall, depriving access for storage along these walls. Exterior tracks can be subject to damage or compromise by invaders seeking access to the home. Also given the minimal area in most suburban areas, there is no room to accommodate the sliding door.