Reinforcement struts 101: What are they for?


If you have a double garage door, you’ve no doubt noticed that there is a U-shaped steel bar attached to the inside of your door. If you’ve noticed it, and you’ve been wondering what purpose it serves, you’ve come to the right place.
 
This U-shaped bar is in fact known as reinforcement struts and they are generally 2.25 inches wide (57 mm) and are either screwed in using hinges or held in place with steel clips.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Reinforcement struts are not a toy, so if you see one of your children trying to climb on them like monkey bars, especially if the garage door is moving, make sure you stop them, as they could be seriously injured!
 
 

Reinforcement struts play two vital roles

 

    1. They support your garage door when it’s open

 
Depending on the type of garage door you have, its insulation (polystyrene or polyurethane), and the door’s thickness, these struts are used to support the door when it is open. This extra support is especially needed on large garage doors that are left open for hours on end. For example, if you have a double garage door (14-18 ft. wide), and you leave it open, it risks bowing towards the centre if it isn’t properly supported.
 
It’s normal that a non-insulated, lightweight garage door will bow more than a polyurethane garage door, this is because polyurethane foam adheres to the walls of the door and provides a higher flexion resistance.
 
If you have a 7-8 ft. double garage door, we suggest you have three reinforcement struts installed. If you also have decorative windows in the top section of the door, we would suggest installing four reinforcement struts. Finally, to make it even more secure, we suggest using hinges to install them, rather than steel clips.
 

    2. They serve as reinforcement if you live in an area where there are very strong winds or hurricanes

 
As garage doors are usually the widest opening in buildings, they are extremely vulnerable in high winds. The US EPA (Environment Protection Agency) states that the intensity of hurricanes will increase as global warming continues to raise the temperatures of our oceans. Therefore, it makes sense to reinforce garage doors to prevent any potential damage.
 
If you have a double garage door and you live in a high-risk area, like Florida or North Carolina, or in an area that is often battered by strong winds, you should speak with your garage door specialist. There are standards that must be followed depending on your situation.
 
Installing reinforcement struts is not a job you should undertake yourself. You first need to speak with a garage door specialist. This is because your garage door will have been calibrated to counterbalance an exact weight; if you add extra weight to your door with recalibrating the system, your garage door will no longer be well-balanced. Increasing the weight of your garage door can make it dangerous to use in everyday situations. Speak to a professional!
 
DASMA, the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association has come up with this list of things you should NOT DO with your garage door:
 

  • DO NOT park your car too close to the garage door
  • If you don’t have a properly reinforced garage door and the door is pulled off in strong winds, you risk damaging your vehicle.

  • DO NOT leave your garage door open
  • Strong winds may damage the walls and ceiling of your garage, and then make their way into your home.

 
 

Speak with an expert

 
If you live in Canada there are standards that govern garage doors that are subjected to strong winds. Likewise, if you live in the United States.
 
 

Don’t forget

 
If you live in an area prone to strong winds and hurricanes, speaking with an expert about how to adequately reinforce your garage door is of the utmost importance. We know garage doors better than anyone, and really are the best people to advise you, call us today at (603) 833-7135, or come down to our showroom to speak to a member of staff in person. If you prefer, you can also send us a request for an online quote.
 
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