Garage Door Strut: What is it, and why is it important?

garage door strut

If you are serious about increasing the lifespan of your garage door, you should consider installing garage door strut on your garage door. You probably have heard this somewhere. But what is a garage door strut, and why are they essential? This is what we will discuss in this article

Garage door strut is a metal beam that is installed on the sections of a garage door to provide support and stability to the door. They make the sections of the garage door stiff enough to prevent bending or breaking.

For a smooth operation of the garage door opener, installing a garage door strut is helpful. That’s because it will prevent the door from binding or sticking

Importance of Struts for your Garage Door

The primary purpose of a strut is reinforcement. To make it simpler, the strut has two main functions, which will be further explained.

  1. To provide support to the garage door when it is opening or opened
  2. To protect garage door in harsh weather conditions

Providing support to the garage door when it is opening or opened

If you intend to use a garage door opener to operate your door, it is crucial to install a garage door strut on the top panel of the garage door. This prevents any bending of the top panel that may be caused by the opener trying to lift the door up. The strut holds it stiff while the door lifts.

Just as mentioned earlier, to avoid any binding when the door is opening, the strut holds the sections together, so it moves smoothly in the tracks. This means garage door rollers, tracks, and frames will not be under any stress; hence the door will have a longer lifespan.

Now let’s consider an opened garage door. With all of the garage door’s weight hanging on the ceiling, without support from a garage door strut, it stands a chance of bending in the middle and eventually damaging. You don’t want this to happen.

Protect garage door in harsh weather conditions

It is no news that hurricane winds are getting stronger, and rains are getting heavier over time. Reports from EPA makes it clear we are going to an increase in the intensity of hurricane winds.

Garage doors are the biggest entry points to our homes. And because of the larger surface area of garage doors, harsh weather conditions like strong winds can cause serious damage to the door. This is why garage door strut reinforcement is very critical.

If you live in hurricane-prone states like Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and the like, I highly recommend installing garage door struts on your door. If you are not sure whether your garage door is reinforced correctly or not, call a garage door expert to take a look at your door.

An extra for those living in hurricane-prone cities: Never park your car very close to your garage door, especially when your door is not reinforced with struts. You stand a risk of not only damaging your door but your vehicle as well.

The requirement for Installing a Garage Door Strut

As we have established earlier, having a strut installed for reinforcement and support is all great, but not every garage door requires a garage door strut. If you have a single car garage door, installing a strut may be unnecessary. However, for steel doors, it is essential. That’s because they are relatively heavier. For steel doors, installing a strut on the top panel should be enough. This will help protect the panel and hold it in place when the garage door opener is opening the door.

Garage door struts come in either 2 or 3 inches in width. The 2-inch strut is usually found on residential garage doors. However, if your residential door’s width is more than 16ft, you should purchase a 3-inch strut.

Three inches are also found on commercial garage doors, which are over 16ft wide.

Ideally, a minimum of one strut isr required for a door that is over 10ft wide. For 16ft wide doors, the case is different. If your 16ft garage door is made of wood, you need at least three garage door struts for optimum protection and support. For 16ft wide steel doors

Three struts are also required for double garage doors, especially if they are made with gauge steel. One should be installed on the top panel, and one on the bottom. The last one should be installed on a section in-between the top and bottom strut. If your double wide garage door is a steel door, one should be ok.

Garage doors in hurricane-prone areas

If you live in a city where hurricanes are frequent, you need much more robust support than what we have discussed earlier.

The rule of thumb is to install a garage door strut on every single section of the garage door. To make the door more rigid, add another strut to the bottom panel, making it two. Besides struts, more durable door hinges, as well as track brackets, are recommended.

Note: One thing to keep in mind is the more the struts you install on your garage door, the heavier it becomes. So chances are, you have to replace your existing garage door spring with a more robust, heavy-duty version.

If all of this seems overwhelming, you should call an expert garage door technician to inspect your door and reinforce it for you.

How to Install a Garage Door Strut

If you are handy with tools, consider yourself an expert DIY’er, you can purchase and install garage door struts all by yourself. However, to avoid any complications, I suggest you hire a professional to fix it for you.

Follow the steps in the video below to learn how to install garage door strut on your garage door.

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