Hinges are critical to the structural integrity of your garage door. Much like the ligaments of your body hold the bones together, hinges hold your garage door together. To ensure proper function and prevent any damage to your panels, garage door hinges should be inspected for stress fractures and cracks every six months. If you notice a popping or snapping sound as your garage door opens or closes, this is usually a sign that your hinges need to be replace.
Garage door panel hinges are numbered based on where they are used on your door. The hinges that hold the rollers, or end hinges, between the bottom panel of the door and the next highest panel should have the number one. The hinge above that should have the number two, and so on. Installing garage door panel hinges according to the appropriate number ensures correct spacing so the door fits properly between the track and the wood framework around your garage door opening.
If you use the wrong hinges, you can create several problems. You’re likely to end up with gaps on the side of the garage door, and the garage door can start to rub against the wood door jams. The wrong garage door panel hinge will also prevent the door from opening and closing smoothly, causing rollers to bind in the tracks, which will damage your panels and opener over time.
Most garage doors come from the manufacturer with 18-gauge hinges. These thin hinges not only run the risk of breaking, but they compromise the strength of your garage door. DIY-Garage-Door-Parts recommends upgrading to heavy duty garage door hinges – at least 14-gauge hinges – to add strength to your garage door and extend its life. Heavy duty hinges don’t flex as much as thinner hinges from the factory, so your garage door will operate smoothly and silently. Just make sure you keep your hinges lubricated at the pivot points with a quality garage door lubricant like Denco Gel Lube.
To learn more about replacing your garage door panel hinges and make sure you’re ordering the correct hinges, call us at 1-866-813-7899.