Top section reinforcements is an every other day occurrence in the garage door business. There are several reasons why these repairs are needed but it mainly comes down to 2 leading factors. The first major reason would have to be inferior made garage doors that are made poorly. These poorly made doors have fewer stiles than the leading brands on the market. Usually these types of repairs are consistent with 2 car garage doors because they are longer and weaker in the middle especially if they are connected to a garage door opener. Affordable Garage Doors highly recommends adding top section reinforcements to all new garage doors if they are not wind-loaded. The other leading cause for top section reinforcements would have to be broken torsion springs or torsion springs loosing strength and needing more tension. Torsion springs are actually your garage door opener and the garage door opener just gives the door an opening & closing limit along with momentum to open and close your door. When a door has a garage door opener it will be attached to the top section from the center stile. This puts all of the stress on the center of the top section and when something goes wrong with the springs you will see the damage done to the top section. If your garage door doesn’t open and close smoothly and it has for several years, then you probably should call to have someone come and inspect the door. If you see the top section doesn’t have a support strut running horizontally across the top section and we are at your home installing new garage door springs or a new garage door opener then we are probably going to recommend adding top section reinforcement. Garage door struts stiffen sections of the door to prevent them from bending or breaking. Struts help make each section rigid so the door will open and close smoothly. If the sections are not rigid, your garage door will bend as it opens and closes. Residential single doors typically do not need struts unless it is a steel door that is motor-operated. We recommend adding a strut across the top section to prevent the top of the door from bending if the opener force is out of adjustment or it is a new installation and you are using a garage door opener to open the door. Doors over 10 feet wide usually have at least one strut across the top panel. Affordable Garage Doors adds an additional strut to all our new garage door installs.
When we add one or more struts to your door we factor in the additional weight. Struts weigh about twelve pounds for a 16′ door. If you add two struts, it will cause your door to be out of balance. We adjust your spring tension accordingly, or we recommend replacing your torsion springs. Otherwise, the extra weight will shorten the life of your garage door opener. Disconnecting your garage door opener periodically and manually opening your garage door by hand checking the balance of the door could also prevent this from happening to your garage door. I highly recommend all homeowners to pull the red cord of their garage door opener at least once a year and see if they can open and close their door with 2 fingers on one hand. If it takes 2 hands a great deal of effort then your garage door is out of balance and you are going to need a garage door tune-up. Once you disconnect the door you will want to lift the door halfway up and then take your hand away from the door. The door should not spring open or fall to the ground. If the door will sit in the halfway open position without your hands on it then you door appears to be balanced properly. If it falls to the ground or tries to open all the way then you need to call a professional. All of our garage door tune-ups come with a 25 point safety inspection, added tension to the springs, tightening of all loose nuts and bolts as well as lubrication of all moving parts.
Upgraded Opener Bracket for Top Section
Anytime we install a new garage door opener with a garage door we always recommend a couple of struts across the top section. We also recommend adding a better opener bracket than the ones that come in the hardware of all major brands of openers today. The brackets that come with any new garage door opener today has only 3 screw holes and the PSI isn’t spread out very well because the bracket is only about 2 inches wide by 2 inches tall. The brackets we carry and recommend are the length of the whole top section and are made to install under the top strut and under the center hinge. This with the top struts considerably strengthens your garage door and ensures that it will not rip free if you have a spring break. I have been making these 2 repairs for the last 15 years and the Wayne Dalton doors are the leading brand needing these repairs. I have made these repairs to their doors more than all other brands on the market combined and mainly because they are Styrofoam filled and their stiles are glued in place. I definitely don’t ever install this brand of garage doors and work on them all the time. The first thing you must do when adding top section struts to a garage door is open the door and check to see if it is sagging.
This usually helps to have another person because you will want to start from one side or the other and push the door up straightening the section as you screw down the strut. I recommend 2 screws in every stile that you are connecting to. You will either have to pre-drill holes thru the strut and the garage door or use self tapping screws that will pre-drill as they are added. I always start off with the very top section of the door first since you will be lowering the after you get the bend out of the top section. Once you get the top strut in place you then will lower the door and loosen the bottom center screw and disconnect the center hinge because you will want to slide that hinge up under the support strut and then add the bottom support strut and do the same thing. If you are using the upgraded opener bracket you will be taking the top center hinge all the way off since the bracket has the hinge already attached and built into the bracket. These heavy duty opener brackets actually serve to purposes and takes place of the center top hinge and it spreads the PSI throughout the top section instead of in a 2”x 2” surface area.
Once you have correctly installed the 2 top section reinforcement struts and the heavy duty opener bracket then you will want to test the balance of the garage door springs by doing what I explained in the first paragraph of this web page. We will usually have to add tension and rarely have to replace the torsion springs altogether but if we are making these repairs it is a good chance that your garage door springs are getting old or you garage door was lowered onto something which caused the top section to bend or crease. If the garage door is older than 5 years old and this happened with no fault of yours I highly recommend replacing the torsion or extension springs while we are here. Once the springs are properly balanced we will do the 25 point safety inspection, tighten all loose nuts and bolts as well as lubricate all moving parts. If you have a garage door that looks like either of the pictures shown on this page please don’t hesitate to call Affordable Garage Doors today. We specialize in top section reinforcements and are always just a phone call away!
Pricing for Top Section Reinforcements
Top section reinforcements will vary from door to door depending on the length of the door and the amount of struts we have to install. Generally we only require adding 2 struts and a heavy duty opener bracket to make this repair but you will more than likely be needing a garage door tune-up with this repair unless human error caused the top section to be bent or creased. The top section reinforcement with 2 struts and a heavy duty opener bracket will usually run you about $199 plus the service charge. We do garage door tune-ups for $119 but will offer package deals for customers doing both repairs while we are there. We cannot warranty the top section when making this repair because the door is already damaged but will definitely stand behind our labor for 90 days provided you follow are recommendations. If you don’t agree to add the garage door tune-up and we can see that it is a priority you will be on your own with the warranty. If you are needing a top section reinforcement, extra struts and an upgraded opener bracket call us today! We install the best and replace the rest, so call Affordable Garage Doors today!