How often do you pay attention to the garage door rollers and tracks? Unless you hit the tracks with the car of course. Or, the rollers seem to make an awful noise. These two parts are often overlooked although they are extremely important overhead garage door parts. For this reason, it’s vital to choose the right ones and not just anything you find off the shelf. The weight of the door is the basic determinant when choosing parts, including tracks & rollers. But apart from the size you choose, you must also pay attention to their material for a good and long-lasting performance.
How to choose garage door tracks
Nowadays, garage door tracks are mainly made of stainless steel. And so, you don’t have to worry about materials here or about problems related to rust for that matter. Unless they are scratched. If they are damaged, the protective galvanized layer will reveal the raw steel underneath and the track will eventually corrode. That’s why you should keep them well lubricated.
As for their size, the regular width of tracks is one inch. For bigger doors, you might need a two inch track. And for large industrial doors, a three inch track. Their average thickness is about 0.075 inch.
Tracks have three sections: vertical, curved, and horizontal. But their overall size (length) will depend on whether you have a standard residential system, a vertical or high lift industrial door.
How to choose garage door rollers
Garage door rollers consist of the wheel and the stem. So, you need to know the diameter of the roller and the length of the stem of the existing rollers to get the new set. The rollers must fit in the tracks and their size depends on the weight of the door. The standard diameter of the roller is one, two, or three inches. As for the stem, they are short or long. Their length is not as precise as with the rollers’ diameter.
One more thing to consider before buying rollers is their purpose. There are made of steel, stainless steel, and nylon. Naturally, plain steel is not recommended for high-moisture environments. If there is high humidity in your area or you need new rollers for car wash places, it’s best to get stainless steel.
And then, it’s the question: stainless steel or nylon rollers?
- Steel rollers are stronger, cheaper, and can handle much heavier doors. The downside with them is that they make more noise, which will get worse if the tracks are not lubricated or they get damaged.
- Nylon rollers are more expensive but more quiet, especially if they are made with ball bearings. Another advantage is that they are lightweight. But they will break faster than steel rollers.
How about ball bearings?
The con is that rollers with ball bearings cost a bit more. The good news is that they last much longer and operate quieter.
As an overall, before you get new garage door tracks and rollers, you must measure well taking into account the door’s weight but never forget the special conditions in your area and the special characteristics of the door.