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Garage Door Terminology

  • Astragal:  Astragal is the weather-stripping that runs along the bottom of a garage door, stopping any drafts or rain from entering inside the garage.
  • Back Hangs:  Back hangs are the vertical supports that hold the horizontal track in place, and stop the door from moving around in the track.
  • Backroom:  Backroom refers to the amount of space required to install a garage door, and is measured from the door to the rear of the horizontal track.
  • Bottom Bracket:  There are 2 bottom brackets, or corner brackets, on a garage door – one on the right, and one on the left. The lifting cables are attached to the bottom brackets on most sectional garage doors.
  • Bracket-Mounted Tracks:  Sometimes, a vertical track is attached to a doorjamb with angle brackets. This is referred to as a bracket-mounted track.
  • Cable Drums:  Cable drums are an essential part of a tension spring system. As the garage door opens, the lifting cable winds around the grooves in the cable drum. It keeps the lifting cable in line, so it doesn’t get tangled.
  • Cable Safety Device:  A cable safety device stops the garage door from falling if the cable happens to breaks.
  • Cable-Stop:   A cable stop is another safety device, attached to the end of the cable, that prevents it from slipping through the drum itself.
  • Cable:  The cable, or lifting cable, connects the bottom bracket to the counterbalance mechanism.
  • Center Hinge:  The center hinge is a flat hinge mounted on the  door section that allows it to negotiate the curve between the vertical and horizontal tracks.
  • Center Support Bearing:  The center support bearing is mounted in the middle of, and above, the door, supporting the spring shaft.
  • Clearances:  You’ll need to know your clearances before you start your garage door installation. That refers to how much backroom, headroom and side room, or the distance around the walls of the garage, is needed to efficiently install your door.
  • Curtain:  The curtain refers to the face of the door that goes up and down, or side-to-side.
  • Cycle:  One cycle of a garage door goes from when it’s fully closed, to fully open, and then back again to fully closed. Torsion spring doors are rated by how many cycles they’re supposed to safely complete in their lifetime, for example 25,000, 50,000 or 100,000 cycles.
  • Dead Loads:  A dead load refers to a load that doesn’t move, like a garage door as it rests in the closed position.
  • Garage Door Frame:  The door frame holds the garage door with two vertical pieces and a horizontal header, or top piece.
  • Door-Movement:  Door movement refers to how much room a door has to lift in relation to the inside measurements of the garage. Door movement may be standard lift, full vertical lift, high lift, or low headroom.
  • Door Size:  When specifying a door size, you give the width first and, then the height.
  • Double-Thick Glass:  Double-thick glass is approximately 1/8” thick.
  • Extension Springs:  Extension springs are one of the 2 types of spring-systems used to carry the weight of a garage door as it lifts. They stretch on either side of the door, running from a pulley attached to the door, to the rear track hanger.
  • Flag Bracket:  A flag bracket connects the vertical & horizontal tracks.
  • Flush Design:  A garage door with a flush design is flat, with no indentations or grooves of any kind.
  • Galvanizing:  Galvanizing is the process of coating steel to prevent rusting as time goes by. All steel garage doors are galvanized.
  • Garage Door Opener:  Garage door openers consist of all the hardware that combines to open and close a garage door. A garage door opener can be operated automatically by remote control.
  • Garage Building Plans:  Garage building plans consist of all the garage blueprints and designs that, when followed carefully, will produce the garage of your dreams.
  • Garage Door Screens:  Garage door screens are similar to any regular screen door, but they’re big enough to fit in the opening of a garage door, keeping out bugs and dust.
  • Gauge:  Gauge refers to the thickness of steel. The higher the number, the thinner the steel is.
  • Hinges:  Hinges are used to connect the sections of a garage door, allowing the door to bend as it runs up the vertical track and onto the horizontal track.
  • Horizontal Track:  The horizontal track runs parallel to the garage’s ceiling, and supports and guides the door as it reaches its fully-open position.
  • Insulation:  The insulation in a garage door can be made of polystyrene foam or polyurethane filler. Polyurethane insulates better than polystyrene, but polystyrene lasts longer.
  • Jamb Seal:  The jamb seal is the weather-stripping that runs around the door jamb, stopping drafts and rain from entering the garage.
  • Jambs:  The jambs are the vertical pieces on either side of a garage door frame.

  • Lift-Handle:  A life handle is sometimes installed on a non-motorized garage door for use if manual operation is required.
  • Lites:  Lites are the industry’s word for glass or clear plastic windows in a frame. Some lites are double-glazed for insulation.
  • Low Headroom:  If your garage ceiling is lower than normal, you may need special low-headroom track hardware accessories and parts.
  • Opening Size:  The opening size refers to the distance between the walls and the doorjambs in a garage door opening.
  • Overhead Garage Doors:  An overhead garage door is one that’s built in hinged sections, allowing it to travel up and down tracks as it opens and closes.
  • Panel:  A panel refers to one section of a door.
  • Perimeter Seal:  A perimeter seal kit includes enough weather-stripping to completely surround a garage door.
  • Photoelectric Sensor:  Photoelectric sensors are required by law for safety reasons. They’re mounted 6” above the ground in the doorway, and will reverse the direction of the door if it hits an obstruction.
  • Pneumatic Sensing-Edge Kit:  A pneumatic sensing edge kit serves the same purpose as a photoelectric sensor. It consists of an air hose that runs along the bottom of the garage door that’ll reverse the direction of the door if it comes into contact with an obstruction.
  • Portable Garage:  Portable garages are made of UV-resistant and fire-retardant tarps or plastic sheets supported by metal tubing, that’ll house oversize items, like boats or RVs.
  • Radius:  The radius is the curved part of a track between the vertical and horizontal pieces.
  • Rain Stop:  A rain stop, or water stop, is a piece that runs across the garage floor, and holds the door flush against the outside finish when it’s closed.
  • Rear Track Hangers:  Rear track hangers attach the horizontal track to the ceiling, thus stabilizing it.
  • Roller Assembly:  The roller assembly consists of an axle with a wheel attached, that runs up and down the track.
  • Rollers:  The rollers are the wheel part of the roller assembly that roll freely using ball-bearings.
  • Safety Spring Containment:  Safety spring containment is a system found in extension springs, whereby cables run through the inside of the coil, holding it in place in case it breaks, to avoid injury.
  • Sectional  Garage Doors:  Sectional doors are just that – doors made up of sections hinged together, thus allowing it to bend around the track as it opens and closes.
  • Shaft Bearings:  Shaft bearings support the weight of the counterbalance system against the weight of the door.
  • Side Room:  Side Room is a measurement you need when you’re figuring out what size door system you need. It represents the distance from the door, back to the closest obstruction.
  • Spring Assembly:  The spring assembly is the hardware that transfers the weight of the door to the counterbalance system.
  • Stop-Molding:  The stop molding is the wooden or plastic piece that’s attached to the outside of the door jamb, to seal out weather and light.
  • Top Header Seals:  The top header seal is the piece of weather-stripping that runs along the top of the garage door.
  • Torsion Spring Counterbalance Assembly:  The torsion spring counterbalance assembly is all the hardware that combines to evenly distribute the weight of the garage door as it opens and closes.
  • Torsion Springs:  Torsion springs are another type of spring systems that help in raising and lowering a garage door. They’re mounted above the door, and are loosened and tightened by the cables as they wind around the drum when the door is opened and closed.
  • Winding Sleeves:  The winding sleeves are the hardware that convert the tension as it enters the tension spring, thus distributing it into a manageable weight for the spring system.
  • Wind Load:  Wind Load refers to the force of the wind as it hits a garage door in the closed position. In hurricane or high-wind areas, doors are required to carry up to 110 mph wind load resistance!
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