Garage door FAQ
1. Q: Why should I use a professional garage door dealer/installer?
A: We believe that the installation of a garage door is not a do-it-yourself job. A garage door is the largest moving object in your home and because of the large number of small parts, installation of a garage door is highly technical. Connecting the springs can be particularly dangerous and proper installation is critical to the performance of your door.
Professional garage door dealer/installers can typically install a door in a few hours and are careful to make sure safety requirements are met. Installations by most homeowners typically span several days and cause much frustration. In addition, incorrect installation can void certain warranties, so we recommend a professional handle the job for you. One of the other services a professional garage door dealer/installer can provide is the disposal of your old door, if you are replacing a door.
2. Q: Is 25 gauge steel thicker than 24 gauge steel?
A: No. When comparing strengths of steel, remember, the lower the gauge number, the thicker (and stronger) the steel.
3. Q: Why should I choose an insulated door if my garage is not insulated?
A: A garage door opening is very large. Insulated doors will help to reduce the transfer of heat or cold air into your garage. This is important for a number of reasons:
- 1) If your garage is attached to your home, air in the garage can travel through the doorway to your living area.
- 2) If you use your garage as a workshop, your comfort will be a top priority.
- 3) If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor of the room above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room above.
- 4) An insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than a non-insulated door.
4. Q: What are the benefits of a steel door versus a wood door?
A: Steel doors may require less maintenance than a wood door. Our steel doors are pre-painted with a factory-applied baked-on coating. We recommends an annual cleaning of the exterior of the door with a common household detergent and warm water at least one time per year. Our wood doors are unfinished and need to be primed and painted or stained on all six sides of the door upon delivery. AAA recommends visual inspection of the paint or stain finish on wood doors one time per year to confirm if another finish application is necessary.
5. Q: What is required for installing an electric operator?
A: In the event that an electric opener is installed, the top section of the garage must be reinforced with a strut or angle iron spanning the length of the top section.
6. Q: I want to replace my old door, but don't know how to dispose of my old one. Will my AAA dealer take care of that?
A: Most garage door dealers will haul your old door away after the new door is installed for a small fee. Discuss this with your local dealer when you get an estimate on your new door.
7. Q: When I replace my existing door, can I keep my old track?
A: We recommends replacing your track when you replace your door because each brand of garage door has been specifically designed to work with a specific type of track. In addition, replacing your track is an inexpensive way to insure that your entire garage door system is as safe as possible. By replacing your track you also ensure that your door warranty will apply, in the event that you have a problem.
8. Q: I have a one-piece door now. Can I replace it with a sectional door?
A: Yes. Your professional garage door dealer/installer can install a sectional door for you by installing track and springs to accommodate a sectional door. Depending on the construction of your garage, other modifications might be necessary. We would advise you to ask your dealer to evaluate the job prior to installation, so that any required modifications can be performed.
9. Q: I'd like to purchase an AAA steel door, but need a color other than those you offer. Can I paint the door once it's installed
A: Yes. All AAA steel doors are pre-painted with a factory-applied baked-on coating that is suitable to be repainted. Our doors will accept a wide variety of commercially available latex exterior paints, when applied in accordance with the paint manufacturer’s recommendations. Do not use oil-based paints. Please click here for detailed paint instructions on AAA steel doors.
10. Q: Are special size doors available? I have a custom-built garage that features an unusual size door.
A: Yes. We offers residential doors in widths between 6′ and 20′ in two inch increments and in heights between 6’6″ and 12′.*
*Not all door models are available in this range of widths/height.
11. Q: My garage has very little space (headroom) above the door. What is the minimum headroom required to operate a sectional door?
A: Standard headroom applications require 12″ to 18″ of space between the bottom of the opening header and the unobstructed ceiling. However, we specializes in custom-built applications. A variety of special track options are available and make it possible for many unusual garages to be fitted with doors. By using low-headroom track, it is possible to install a door in an area that has as little as 6 1/2″ of headroom.
Other special track applications include:
- 1) Vertical lift track, for use in situations where the ceiling is extremely high and the garage door has room to lift straight up.
- 2) Follow-the-roof line track, which is used when the ceiling of the garage is pitched at the angle of the roof, making it desirable for the door to follow the same angle, thus providing additional overhead room.
- 3) Hi-lift track, which is used when the ceiling is unusually high, but the door must still retract to a horizontal position.
12. Q: I've been comparing R-values of various doors and am surprised at the variance among them. Can you explain this?
A: Many manufacturers use R-values to show the energy efficiency of their product. This number is calculated based on the thickness of the insulation and its chemical properties. Therefore, most of the published R-value numbers, reflect only the R-value of a section, not of the installed door. A door’s insulating capabilities can be greatly affected by the door’s construction. For that reason, AAA’s insulated doors are built to maximize energy efficiency.
13. Q: How do I know if my door is properly balanced?
A: There are several tests you can perform to tell if your door is balanced. Before testing your door, disengage you electronic opener.
- 1) Raise your door in 1′ increments, and the door should stay in place.
- 2) When you lower the door, the door lowers in a controlled manner and doesn’t slam down.
- 3) When you raise the door, the door rises at a controlled pace.
- 4) When the door is fully-raised in the open position, the bottom of the door should be aligned with the bottom of the header of the door opening.
14. Q: Do I need a lock on my garage door?
A: If an electric garage door opener has been installed on your door, it may not be necessary to have a lock. Newer electric openers function as the lock, making it improbable that an intruder would be able to lift your door from the outside. If you have an older opener, check to see if your door can be lifted from the outside.
DASMA, the trade association for the garage door industry, discourages homeowners from attaching a lock when an opener has been installed, because too frequently, a child or other family member will accidentally lock the door. If someone then tries to open the door using the electric opener, the opener will pull against the lock causing the door to be damaged.
If no opener is installed on your garage door, a lock is highly recommended
15. Q: What type of spring is better...extension or torsion?
A: The two types of springs used on garage doors today are extension and torsion springs. Extension springs are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal track when the door is closed. Torsion springs are typically located just above the top section of the door and are mounted to the header. They are wound springs and do not expand or contract when the door is moved.
Some homeowners prefer torsion springs because these springs offer more safety and provide better balance to the door for smoother operation.
16. Q: How do I paint a wood door?
A: The following information on proper painting of wood doors comes from the American Hardboard Association. These guidelines were established by the hardboard manufacturers and do not replace AAA’s instructions or warranty. For further details on painting, click here or refer to the Owner’s Manual that comes with every door.
- 1) Primer: Use a solvent based oil/alkyd or waterborne primer which will seal the face, back and edges of the entire door and is compatible with the top coat to be used.
- 2) Top Coat Paint: Use either latex or oil exterior top coat paint. The oil paint should be semi or full gloss paint.
NOTE: All paints used should be those recommended by the finish manufacturer for use on hardboard. surface PREPARATION The surface of the hardboard skin/panel must be clean, free of dust and dirt, mildew and other contamination. Unprimed hardboard doors should be finished upon delivery.
APPLICATION: Follow the directions recommended by the finish manufacturer, paying particular attention to special primer requirements, hardboard surface temperature, rate of spread and recommended application procedures. Prime doors using an alkyd/oil primer. After the primer has dried, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations relative to the use of a primer and the finish coats.
Number of Coats/Coating Thickness: A total film thickness of 4 dry mils (.004″) minimum for all six sides of the door, face, back and edges is recommended.
MAINTENANCE AND REFINISHING Yearly inspection of the exterior of the garage door is recommended. If the finish appears in good condition, cleaning and touch up is often adequate. When the finish becomes badly eroded and thin, clean and prime the areas where the substrate is showing, followed by complete priming and finish coating. If there is no substrate showing through, the finish coating may not need any maintenance at this time.
17. Q: What type of care and maintenance is necessary for my AAA steel door and hardware?17. Q: What type of care and maintenance is necessary for my AAA steel door and hardware?
A: We recommend that you wash your steel door a minimum of one (1) time per year with: (a) One cup of Tide® (or other common detergents which contain less than 0.5% phosphate), dissolved into five gallons of warm water. NEVER BLEND CLEANSERS OR DETERGENTS WITH BLEACH.
The use of a well-soaked cloth, sponge, brush (with very soft bristles) or low pressure spray washer is recommended. Once the door is washed, thoroughly rinse with clean water to eliminate the possibility of residue.
In addition, lubrication of rollers and hinges is recommended on a yearly basis. Visually inspect springs and cable for wear and binding once each year and contact a professional garage door dealer/installer if damage is suspected. Do not attempt to remove, repair or adjust springs. HIGH SPRING TENSION CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH.