Garage Door Openers

You probably do not give a lot of thought to your garage door, as long as it is working.

That is a wide range. Where your door falls in this span depends on many factors, including how much you use it.

For a more specific calculation, keep reading about what impacts the lifespan of a garage door. Understanding these variables can help you get the longest life out of your door. If you are planning to sell your home, buying one, or curious to know when you need to replace a garage door, the information below can help.

How Long Does a Garage Door Last?

While all garage door components are important, there are three that are central to its function:

  • The door itself
  • The opener system
  • Garage door torsion springs.

When attempting to answer the question, “How long does a garage door last,” these mains parts are the things to look at.

Garage Door

You can expect the garage door itself to last the longest of these parts. But frequency-of-use will be the main factor in this determination.

A garage door will last approximately 20,000 cycles, which is defined as a single opening and closing. So, with very moderate use of only two cycles a day, you can expect to get over 20 years from your door. Doubling that to four cycles a day would yield about 13 to 14 years of use.

Aluminum and steel doors can last 20-plus years. Wood doors may have a slightly shorter lifespan, but can also last a long time, if you take care of them.

Garage doors are exposed to the weather. So, the life of your garage door will depend on these conditions where you live.

Consider variables like how much your door is exposed to water. If, for instance, the slope of your driveway is such that rainwater regularly sloshes up against your door, then you can expect it to fade or rot much quicker.

You should clean your garage door once or twice a year, using water and a mild detergent. And wooden doors can benefit from occasional painting. Making sure the weather stripping on the door is intact can help improve its life as well.

If you start to notice dents, cracks, or faded wood on your garage door, it may be time to swap it out for a new one. Damaged doors allow more air in during extreme temperatures or even pests from outside.

Remember that garage doors can weigh several hundred pounds. Given their size, you will most likely want to hire a professional to replace it.

Garage Door Openers

Although not all garages have automatic openers, these mechanical systems are very common. You can expect them to last between 10 and 15 years with regular use.

Although there is little that can go wrong with garage door openers, you want to make sure they continue to function properly. This includes their safety sensors, which cause a closing door to stop and open back up when obstructed.

Malfunctioning sensors can be a safety hazard, especially for young children and pets. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are thousands of injuries every year involving garage doors. 

It helps to lubricate the working parts on these systems, including the chain and door tracks. If the door begins making a loud noise when it is opening or closing, it may need repair or replacement. Although it can be a tedious and time-consuming process, you can replace a garage door opener yourself.

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are horizontally mounted mechanisms above the garage door opening. As the door closes, these springs wind. When opening, they release the stored energy and help raise the door.

Like other components of a garage door, torsion springs wear out at different increments. As the door opens and closes many times, the steel in them begins to weaken. In general, you can expect them to last between 10,000 and 20,000 cycles.

There are a few signs that your torsion springs are wearing out. These conditions are easy to identify and should be addressed immediately.

One is that your door is not opening or shutting completely. If your garage door is making a lot of loud noise when opening or closing, this could also be the torsion springs going out.

Another sign is that your door is not opening smoothly. This could also be an issue with the tracks, so check those first for any obstructions.

You can test this by removing the door from the automatic opener track, then closing and opening it manually. If the door is difficult to lift, your springs are not doing their job. 

Torsion springs are powerful devices. They can be difficult and even dangerous to replace. So, if you plan to tackle a replacement yourself, you will want to make sure you know what you are doing.

To keep costs down, you can purchase these components from your local hardware store or online, but pay for labor. So, you could buy garage door torsion spring mounting components, but have a professional do the installation

Keep Your Garage Door up and Running

Now that you have a better answer to “How long does a garage door last?” you can know what to expect from your garage door components and what to look for when they begin to wear out. Regular garage door maintenance can help reduce the likelihood of accidents and lengthen the life of your door.

And replacing or updating your garage door has a good return on investment (ROI). So, if you were to turn around and sell your house after you put in a new garage door, you would get most of your money back.

We hope this information was helpful to you. Be sure to check out our other home-improvement blog posts, as well as those on lifestyle, technology, business, and other topics.