Weighing In Your Garage Door

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As you install your garage door, you may need to find out how much it weighs in order to determine the correct extension or torsion springs for your door. This information may not be readily available if you're installing custom garage doors, so you'll need to weigh them yourself. The following offers a step-by-step guide on how you can safely and accurately weigh your garage door.

No Digital Scales, Please

Of course, you'll need a scale to weigh your garage door with. A bathroom scale will work just fine, but you'll have to make sure it's an analog-type scale. Analog bathroom scales are better equipped at registering weight changes as they occur; whereas, digital scales are designed to register weights within a narrow window of time. This means you won't be able to see weight fluctuations as they occur while the door is settling on the scale itself.

If you can get your hands on an industrial shipping scale or floor scale, then don't hesitate to use it. Such scales offer more precise measurements than ordinary floor scales.

Getting Started

Start by unplugging the garage door opener and disconnecting the opener's arm from the garage door itself. Disconnecting the trolley arm from the garage door via emergency release handle won't be enough for this task, as the outer carriage could still catch on the inner carriage and give the scale a false reading.

Locate the bottom-most track bracket on each side of the door and use vise grips or C-clamps to clamp the door cable to the bracket. Doing so will allow the full weight of the door to rest on the scale.

If you have a double door or a large single door, then you'll need to use two scales. Make sure each scale is a foot from each side of the opening.

Measuring Wood Doors

To lift and measure a wood garage door, you'll need to leverage the door open using a pry bar and a small 2x4 piece of wood. Place a longer 2x4 underneath the door and remove the pry bar. Next, take the shorter 2x4 and place it underneath the longer 2x4, so that it can be used as leverage to open the door further.

At this point, slide the scale underneath the center of the door. You may need to place a small 2x4 on the scale to ensure the door remains level throughout the measurement. Carefully lower the door onto the scale and give the door a slight shake to help it settle on the scale.

Now you can finally take your measurements. Don't forget to subtract the weight of the 2x4 when reading the door weight. Carefully lower the door using the 2x4 pieces and pry bar. After making sure the door cables are free of slack, remove the vise grips or C-clamps from the track brackets and reconnect the garage door opener to the garage door.

Measuring Steel Doors

Steel doors require a bit more care to open, since you don't want to deform or otherwise damage the door. Start by locating the bottom fixture on both corners of the garage door. This is where you'll place your pry bar to lift the door. Using a small 2x4 for leverage, lift the corner of the door and slide another 2x4 underneath. Do the same for the other side and repeat the step until you have two 2x4s under each door corner.

Next, slide a long 2x4 underneath the door, making sure it lays completely parallel to the door. Using another 2x4 as leverage, lift the long 2x4 (and garage door along with it) with the pry bar and then slide another long 2x4 underneath the parallel 2x4 and garage door. Lower the door until it rests on the perpendicular 2x4.

Use the perpendicular 2x4 with another 2x4 as leverage to lift the garage door once more. This time, slide the scale underneath the door and lower the door onto the scale. Once again, give the door a slight shake to help it settle on the scale and then read the measurement on the scale. Once you're done, you'll need to reverse the above process to remove the 2x4s from underneath the door.

After you're finished weighing your garage door, you can use your measurements to look for the appropriate tension or extension springs that best match your door's weight. For assistance or for more tips, contact a company like Shank Door.

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