Author Topic: Garage door question  (Read 3544 times)

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Garage door question
« on: March 31, 2017, 10:07:15 AM »
Not exactly do it yourself, as I think I'll need a contractor to do this work, but this seemed the best place to ask.

So last night I had a contractor out for the third time in six years replacing one of the wire that hook to the bottom of the door and go up the side to the spring arm across the top of the door that provides the force to open/close the door.  We live in a northern clime and it appears that the road salt eventually eats through the steel loop enough to snap.  The repair was $210, so at this point I have spent well over $600 in two years on this thing.  In talking with the contractor on what I might be able to do, he said, "buy a new door".  Being a Mustachian I did not immediately discount this but wanted to know how that would help.  He indicated the new doors have a rubber "foot" that keeps the door about 2-3 inches off the ground when closed so the loops would not be resting on the ground like they are with my current wood door and therefore less prone to be laying in runoff from melt from the cars that carries the salt.  Instead it would hit the rubber.  He did say it would probably not prevent it entirely but would certainly slow it down, plus metal doors are insulated and should help retain more heat in the house and make a minimal impact on my heating bill (garage is attached to the house and there are rooms above it).  Cost of the door would be about $1,275 depending on what style we picked.

So my question is does anyone have any experience with this that can vouch for this recommendation?  At this point as my wife astutely pointed out we've spent nearly half the cost of a new door and if it would stop a constant $200-$300 drain on our finances every few years and offer some improvement like lessening the load on the garage door opener thereby extending its life and the heating, it might be a prudent purchase.  On the other hand the door still functions it is just seriously annoying when this happens and we have to get it repaired.  The other downside is that when it does snap, it tends to jerk the door off the rails, so last night for example 2 of the rollers jumped out of the track with the door up.  It could certainly be possible that the whole door fell off the track and then the door smashed down on our two cars and this would become a lot more costly fast.

So in my shoes would you make the $1,300 "investment" to avoid these ongoing and possibly much larger bills or keep on going as things are?

MightyAl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 133
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 10:13:07 AM »
If you are at all DIY installing a garage door is not that difficult.  It is a matter of dropping each panel in and bolting it together.  I bet you can do it yourself with a buddy in an afternoon for far less than $1200.


Bradfurd

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 50
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 10:17:16 AM »
Metal garage doors come in both insulated and uninsulated models...verify what the $1275 gets you.

I can't recommend DIY for removal of your existing door, based on the spring type. Those can be dangerous due to the amount of tension they are under. Others will say it's possible, so it's only my opinion.

acroy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1705
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Dallas TX
    • SWAMI
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 10:18:16 AM »
I don't have direct experience,
but if corrosion is the problem, guard against it with this stuff or similar:
http://www.fluid-film.com/

Put it on your monthly to-do home maintenance chore list: squirt the garage door cables! I bet they go 10+yrs.

garage doors are expensive and you are right, when they fall, they are dangerous and damaging. maintain it and it'll last a loooong time.

Good luck!

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1163
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 11:57:54 AM »
He indicated the new doors have a rubber "foot" that keeps the door about 2-3 inches off the ground when closed so the loops would not be resting on the ground like they are with my current wood door and therefore less prone to be laying in runoff from melt from the cars that carries the salt.  Instead it would hit the rubber.

I've bought rubber seals and installed them at the bottom of garage doors to create better seals against uneven concrete. Much cheaper than buying an entire new door.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 12:29:13 PM »
He indicated the new doors have a rubber "foot" that keeps the door about 2-3 inches off the ground when closed so the loops would not be resting on the ground like they are with my current wood door and therefore less prone to be laying in runoff from melt from the cars that carries the salt.  Instead it would hit the rubber.

I've bought rubber seals and installed them at the bottom of garage doors to create better seals against uneven concrete. Much cheaper than buying an entire new door.

The problem is not an uneven floor, it is the fact that the connection on the door is flush or close enough to it with the floor that water from the vehicles (again these are inside not coming in from outside) runs over to drain out and the salt contacts the cables and eventually corrodes.  I was able to find the Fluid Film recommended above at Lowe's and Napa which I have in my town and it appears it is about $10 for an 11.75oz can, which I assume will last me quite a while.  I honestly was not thinking about replacing the door until this cable broke again.  The door appears in decent shape.  I've only been in the house about 6 years and it was the door that was on when I moved in so no idea if it is original (that would make it 27 years old) or not.  I see that wood doors can last 80 years so either way it should have good life in it. 

He's also indicating the extra weight of a wood door as well as the swelling that occurs will cause other parts to fail earlier.  I assume a lot of this is the sales effort, but certainly what I have found is that metal doors are lighter than wood, but have not been able to find anything other than wood is "extremely heavy" and steel are about 180-280 pounds. 

Seems like the overall consensus is where I am leaning which it to find another way other than replacing the door because of some corrosion on the cables.  I was wondering if spraying some white Rust-o-Leum over it would have helped, but this Fluid Film looks like it is built for some tough environments and might work well and just need to be applied every month as suggested.  Seems to have a life of about 50 days at best according to manufacturer's spec sheet.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5755
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 03:24:59 PM »
If you're just wanting to protect a steel cable against rust:
* paint
* grease
* "dip and grip" - made for tool handles.

I will also say: I've worked on garage doors (and yeah, those awful heavy wooden ones) several times.  I've replaced lift cables.  They're not as scary as everyone says they are.  Yes, there is serious potential energy that can kill you.  This is true of working with electricity and gas as well.  This is true of pushing a board through a table saw.  Know what you are doing.  Stand well to the side of the rods you use to wind/unwind the spring.  If something lets go, the rod should have a clear path with no animals/humans in the way.

I do hate the old, heavy wooden doors.  Mine appeared to have been built by a 5 year old with hinges/parts found in a tinker toy set.  I pretty much replaced every part on it over time.  I don't miss it.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1163
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 04:21:21 PM »
He indicated the new doors have a rubber "foot" that keeps the door about 2-3 inches off the ground when closed so the loops would not be resting on the ground like they are with my current wood door and therefore less prone to be laying in runoff from melt from the cars that carries the salt.  Instead it would hit the rubber.

I've bought rubber seals and installed them at the bottom of garage doors to create better seals against uneven concrete. Much cheaper than buying an entire new door.

The problem is not an uneven floor, it is the fact that the connection on the door is flush or close enough to it with the floor that water from the vehicles (again these are inside not coming in from outside) runs over to drain out and the salt contacts the cables and eventually corrodes.  I was able to find the Fluid Film recommended above at Lowe's and Napa which I have in my town and it appears it is about $10 for an 11.75oz can, which I assume will last me quite a while.  I honestly was not thinking about replacing the door until this cable broke again.  The door appears in decent shape.  I've only been in the house about 6 years and it was the door that was on when I moved in so no idea if it is original (that would make it 27 years old) or not.  I see that wood doors can last 80 years so either way it should have good life in it. 

He's also indicating the extra weight of a wood door as well as the swelling that occurs will cause other parts to fail earlier.  I assume a lot of this is the sales effort, but certainly what I have found is that metal doors are lighter than wood, but have not been able to find anything other than wood is "extremely heavy" and steel are about 180-280 pounds. 

Seems like the overall consensus is where I am leaning which it to find another way other than replacing the door because of some corrosion on the cables.  I was wondering if spraying some white Rust-o-Leum over it would have helped, but this Fluid Film looks like it is built for some tough environments and might work well and just need to be applied every month as suggested.  Seems to have a life of about 50 days at best according to manufacturer's spec sheet.

I wasn't trying to suggest your floor was uneven. I was trying to suggest that you can easily buy rubber seal and attach it to the bottom of your door to prevent contact with the salty water instead of buying an entire new door just to get the same thing.

FIRE me

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1099
  • Location: Louisville, KY
  • So much technology, so little talent.
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 06:27:39 PM »
Galvanized and stainless cables. Both should be very rust resistant, if not rust proof. About $30 per pair, depending on length and gauge.

https://www.americandoorsupply.com/Garage-Door-Cables-s/1830.htm

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5755
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 08:56:15 PM »
Galvanized and stainless cables. Both should be very rust resistant, if not rust proof. About $30 per pair, depending on length and gauge.

https://www.americandoorsupply.com/Garage-Door-Cables-s/1830.htm

All of them I have ever seen were galvanized at least... I don't live in a salt-the-roads area, but I can't imagine they're putting an untreated ferrous cable on the door.  Maybe the stress of flexing/relaxing makes the galvanized metal flake off?  I have seen it happen to nails and such.

FIRE me

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1099
  • Location: Louisville, KY
  • So much technology, so little talent.
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2017, 12:16:45 PM »
Galvanized and stainless cables. Both should be very rust resistant, if not rust proof. About $30 per pair, depending on length and gauge.

https://www.americandoorsupply.com/Garage-Door-Cables-s/1830.htm

All of them I have ever seen were galvanized at least... I don't live in a salt-the-roads area, but I can't imagine they're putting an untreated ferrous cable on the door.  Maybe the stress of flexing/relaxing makes the galvanized metal flake off?  I have seen it happen to nails and such.

Checking the cables on my door, they don't appear to be galvanized.

The ones I linked to are from a google search for “rust proof garage door cables.” The description on the web page does claim that the stainless steel ones are rust proof.

paddedhat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2234
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2017, 09:05:27 PM »
Straight up, your garage door guy is full of shit. I don't care how a metal door is insulated, unless it is EXTREMELY well built, with continual thermal breaks at all edges,  it will have dozens of lineal feet of thermal bridging around the edges of panels. Meaning that it may have a "Theoretical (advertised) R value" of whatever the value of the internal foam is, but the fact that the metal outer and inner skins are connected, it's actually a pretty poorly insulated assembly overall. IOW, there is a good chance that it will be more conductive, with less R value than your current wooden door. I just Googled "thermal image of insulated garage door" which resulted in a few clear pics. of the panel edge loss phenomenon in metal "Insulated" doors.

AS others have said, hit ithe cable with anything from fluid film (great shit, BTW)  to silicone spray grease, or even WD-40 on a regular basis, nail a rubber sealing gasket to the bottom of the bottom panel, (which will slightly elevate the door bottom out of the slush), and you will get another decade out of the cables this time.

Oh, and if it takes a moment of Googling to find $30 stainless steel cables that would of prevented this problem from reoccurring the FIRST time the guy replaced them, well it appears that he is a dick that is setting you up for a regular screwing.

GilbertB

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Gent
    • Sci-fi Meandering
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2017, 05:39:37 AM »
Grease the cable.
Cabling, unless specifically specified otherwise, is meant to be greased thoroughly.
Even the rustproof stuff, that can be more subject to other kind of corrosion (galvanic mostly).
As an additional measure, paint on both sides the lower 50cm of the door with the stuff used for the underside of cars.

Insulation does make a difference, the thin metal sheet acting as a large efficient heat exchanger but simply gluing panels to the back side is nearly as good.
I did that in my old house and was surprised at the temp difference, especially in summer in direct sun.

Gluing flexible weather strips around the edges also helps

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2017, 08:30:06 AM »
The solution (as I understand the situation and issue) is to change the way the cables 'mount' to the door.  The cables need to go to the bottom door panel, but they do not need to go to the ground, and shouldn't.
In fact... I don't believe I've ever seen garage door lift cables that go to the floor.
I don't understand how your cables are corroding but your door isn't.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5755
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2017, 08:36:51 AM »
The solution (as I understand the situation and issue) is to change the way the cables 'mount' to the door.  The cables need to go to the bottom door panel, but they do not need to go to the ground, and shouldn't.
In fact... I don't believe I've ever seen garage door lift cables that go to the floor.
I don't understand how your cables are corroding but your door isn't.

Hey, good catch.  Now that you mention it, mine have always attached to little "ears" somewhere on the bottom panel.

If his wooden door is anything like the one in the house I used to own, it was built in place from parts... not an actual "kit" that was put together in an ordered fashion.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2017, 02:42:28 PM »
The solution (as I understand the situation and issue) is to change the way the cables 'mount' to the door.  The cables need to go to the bottom door panel, but they do not need to go to the ground, and shouldn't.
In fact... I don't believe I've ever seen garage door lift cables that go to the floor.
I don't understand how your cables are corroding but your door isn't.

The door isn't because it is wood, not metal.  If I could find a way to raise them that was an option some people have suggested as well.  I'll have to examine that as well.  Thanks for the feedback everyone!  It has all been (and continues to be) very helpful!  More is certainly welcome.

Poundwise

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2017, 05:11:59 PM »
Wonder if you could post a photo for us so we can troubleshoot?

We have a fairly standard, 30 year old wooden garage door and live in an area that gets a fair amount of snow in the winter. The wood of our door was rotting at the bottom because of poor drainage. We fixed the drainage and removed the rotten wood and used Bondo to fix it. We also added a new rubber strip at the bottom, installed safety cables, and an electric garage door opener, so I feel like we know our garage door pretty well. However, we have never had an issue with corroding cables... ours don't come near the floor. Curious how yours works.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2017, 12:47:49 PM »
Wonder if you could post a photo for us so we can troubleshoot?

We have a fairly standard, 30 year old wooden garage door and live in an area that gets a fair amount of snow in the winter. The wood of our door was rotting at the bottom because of poor drainage. We fixed the drainage and removed the rotten wood and used Bondo to fix it. We also added a new rubber strip at the bottom, installed safety cables, and an electric garage door opener, so I feel like we know our garage door pretty well. However, we have never had an issue with corroding cables... ours don't come near the floor. Curious how yours works.

I'll see what I can do in the next week or two regarding pictures.  At this point I am proceeding with spraying it monthly the Fluid Film as suggested, so did that at the start of April.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2017, 09:25:01 AM »
Sorry it took so long but here is the best picture I could get.

What you see here is the view from inside the garage with the door up at mid-height so I could get a clear picture.  You can see the cable attaching to the bolt(?) in the side of the door, right at the bottom.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2017, 12:48:30 PM »
Hoping @PoundWise or others can maybe look at the photo and let me know what you think?  Anything I can do to improve situation?

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2017, 03:28:32 PM »
Other than all the corrosion, that looks a lot like mine.   But my door does have the bottom gasket / seal that holds the door and the hardware about an inch off the floor of the garage.

Seeing all that corrosion makes me wonder what's all going on there.

Poundwise

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2017, 06:17:33 PM »
Hello caracarn,

I went out and looked at my old wooden garage door, and the setup is not very different than yours, after all. The cable may be mounted a little higher, but by less than an inch if at all. The metal bracket that it attaches to is not rusted at all. I am not sure why not, since the garage is damp enough all summer that we have a humidifier running to prevent our things from going moldy, and the bottom of the garage door used to sit in several inches of water, causing the panels to warp and rot.  Our door is at least forty years old, maybe older.

So why is yours rusty and mine not? Some guesses.
1. Our garage bottom does not directly contact the floor. We did have a crappy old rubber door bottom, that we recently replaced with a nice new one like this. Very easy to install. http://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Building-Products-1-5-8-in-x-18-ft-Aluminum-and-Vinyl-Garage-Door-Bottom-87668/100119584

In addition, we installed a rubber threshold which makes the seal nice and neat.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Building-Products-10-ft-Gray-Garage-Door-Threshold-Kit-50100/205021157

2.  Salt. We probably have some runoff from the road, but don't park in our garage (too narrow). But we do occasionally salt our driveway and the melt water from snow and ice runs towards our garage door which is at the bottom of a slope.

3.  Could it be that your rusty old bracket is somehow scratching the cable? Or slower to dry because of pitting?

If it were me, I would remove rust from the brackets as best I could, install a garage door bottom & threshold, and continue to inspect the cable and oil periodically.

I would worry that in your climate, a metal garage door would simply start to rust from the bottom too.


caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2017, 06:50:08 AM »
I think the new garage door bottom might be an option.  I'd be concerned if I added the threshold that with the cars in the garage the melt water would simply pool and never leave and ultimately cause more damage.  Our house and garage is at the top of a hill.  If I did the math right one day when I was curious (and irritated and exhausted from the slope of our driveway one winter when I was having trouble getting the cars up), our grade is about 10-11% on the driveway so we certainly do not have water running down and pooling at the garage.  Driveway is about 100 feet long and rise according to GPS device I carried with me from street to garage showed a change of 11 feet.

The metal bracket it attaches too is not rusted at all on mine either if I recall.  It just ends up being the cables.  Maybe the bracket is not metal?  It's a bit awkward to really get a good look in there from the side.  That's why the only picture I have is from that direction, and not from the side, so not sure how else to look at it to see some more.  I have been diligent in spraying the Fluid Film on it at the start of each month (only twice so far, but I did remember in May after starting based on the earlier recommendations in April).  I also agree that I'd be concerned about a metal door as well.  Honestly the door appears to be in great shape other than this.  No warping or rotting of the wood, just the issues on the metal pieces at the bottom.

Xiarba

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Wilmington
  • Hello
Re: Garage door question
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2018, 06:12:43 AM »
I had a conqueror garage door installed in my new house in Christchurch end of 2012. The door certainly is quiet but one of the hinges punctured one of the outer panels. Conqueror fixed it for free by replacing the damaged panel but within 1 week it happened again and now I have 2 punctured panels like this https://mechanicguides.com/best-garage-door-insulation-kit/ They sent the manager to see it and he said they'd replace the whole panelled door. I am still waiting after many weeks and they won't return my phone calls! I'm not happy. Not very impressed with the quality of the product and the poor service.

All the best
Xiarba
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 03:30:31 AM by Xiarba »