Is your garage door only opening a few inches? Or perhaps it is making a horrid creaking sound or it is very hard to open? The problem could be caused by old or faulty hinges. Malfunctioning hinges can be a serious problem and could compromise the safety of your garage so you want to sort the problem out as quickly as possible.
This is when most people realize there are different types of garage door hinges. So how do you choose the right ones for your garage door? You will need to know about the different garage door hinge types and this article has the answers for you.
Read on to find out what the different types of garage door hinges are and find the right replacement hinges for your garage door.
How to Choose The Right Hinge Type?
You would be excused for thinking that garage door hinges are just like other hinges or not paying much attention to them at all. At least not until they stop working and you need to replace them.
There is a range of garage door hinges that differ in design and use from commercial garages to residential ones. In addition, there are different categories of hinges to choose from. Below, we explain the difference between types of hinges to make it easier for you to replace your faulty or old garage door hinges.
1. Residential or Commercial Hinge?
What is the difference between the residential and commercial garage door hinges and why do they need to be different? The main reason is that garage doors in commercial buildings are generally bigger and heavier and need more heavy-duty hinges. The structures of the garage doors also differ between residential and commercial settings.
In most cases, you can tell the hinges apart easily. Hinges designed for residential garage doors will have numbers, which show where to use them, while most commercial hinges will not use numbering or have numbering that is bigger than on residential hinges.
2. Numbered Hinges
The hinge numbers for residential garage doors range from one to five. If a commercial door hinge is numbered, the numbering will start from six and finish with eleven. You will find the hinge numbers stamped on the hinge’s leaf.
The numbers on the hinges correspond with the various sections of a garage door. As an example, hinge number one should be fitted between the first two joints, and the number two hinge between the second and third joints.
The pattern for commercial doors, despite the different number systems, is the same. Instead of number one, you start with hinge number six and fit that between joints number one and two.
You can refer to your door manual when replacing the hinges. The manual will often have a chart that shows where each numbered hinge should go. You can find out more about garage door hinge numbering in this video.
3. The gauge of The Hinge
The gauge refers to the hinge’s thickness, and it is important to know what gauge size your garage door hinges need to be. Thicker hinges have lower gauge ratings and for commercial garage doors, the rating is usually 14 or below. Residential door hinges are generally rated between 14 and 18.
The most common gauge ratings are 11-gauge hinges, 14-gauge hinges, and 18-gauge hinges. The ones most often found on garage doors at home are 14-gauge hinges. Note that it is possible to use a lower gauge with a door that requires a higher gauge. It is not possible to do it the other way because your hinges will end up loose and may break.
4. Truck Door Hinges
Truck door hinges are in a different category because they are used on bigger and bulkier garage doors. They usually come as a kit and respond to the number of panels on the garage door. Hinges for truck doors are heavier than commercial or residential door hinges and have a higher reinforcement grade.
While there are universal-fit kits available for truck doors, the recommendation is that you buy a hinge kit that is for your specific door model. That way, you can be certain that the hinge placements correspond with the design of the door. In some cases, you may need to contact the manufacturer directly to order replacement hinges.
How Much Do Garage Door Hinges Cost?
The cost of a single hinge varies on the type of hinge you need, but generally, the range is between $2 and $10 per piece. Residential hinges are normally cheaper than commercial hinges.
If you need to buy a hinge kit for a truck garage door, you can expect to pay between $50 and $150. Spare hinges for truck garages range from $5 to $10. You can find cheaper alternatives, too, but they tend to be third-party options and the price is often reflected in the durability of the hinges.
Do You Need to Get Hinges From The Door Manufacturer?
While you may choose the get hinges from the same company that manufactured your garage door, it is not necessary to do that. You can use most door hinges on any garage door. The key is to choose the right type and size for your door.
However, there are some exemptions where you are likely to need special hinges.
- Garage doors for heavy industrial use that have a door span of 50 feet or over may require low-gauge hinges that are not available in stores.
- If you have a custom-made door it may have a unique hinge set-up or specialized hinges such as ones that blend the hinge and roller. With custom-made doors, you may need to contact the company that made and installed your door to get the hinges replaced.
- Nontraditional doors such as French door style garage doors will probably not use regular door hinges. Again, you may need to consult a professional from the company that manufactured the door.
The lifespan of Garage Door Hinges
As long as you maintain your doors according to the manufacturer’s instructions, most hinges will last between ten and fifteen years. How long the hinges last is partly connected to their gauge rating.
Hinges with a higher gauge rating tend to last longer than those with a low gauge rating. It is also common for thinner hinges and those in different door sections to have different lifespans. Hinges that support rollers often last for a shorter time than the hinges in the center of the door. Hinges on heavy doors often wear out sooner, too.
Reasons Why Hinges on Garage Doors Break
One of the main reasons why garage door hinges need replacing is wear and tear over time. As you open and close your garage door, there is a lot of stress on the opening system, including the hinges.
However, other factors can affect how long your hinges last. For example, lack of maintenance can cause hinges to wear out faster which can damage the door opening system. Proper care can prolong the lifespan of the hinges as well as the door and the opening mechanism.
Maintenance For Garage Door Hinges
With proper and regular care, you can keep your hinges working as long as possible. Over time, rust can form on the hinges which can increase the stress they come under when the garage door is opened and closed. Cleaning the hinges regularly from debris can prevent rust.
Keeping your hinges well-lubricated will keep them moving smoothly. Apply lubricant directly to the hinges at regular intervals. How often you should do this depends on how regularly you use the door, the climate you live in, and the type of hinges.
Avoid causing damage to the garage door itself as dents in the door can lead to problems with the hinges. Damaged doors can put the hinges under unnecessary stress and cause them to shift or warp.
Open the door evenly without yanking. If you notice the door is jammed, don’t be tempted to open it with force. Clear the jam first to avoid damage to the hinges. If you notice an issue with the garage door rollers, address them as soon as possible. When the rollers are not functioning properly, it puts added stress on the hinges.
Hinges are a key part of your garage door and broken hinges can prevent you from fully opening or closing the door. If you need to repair or replace the hinges on your garage door, the most important thing is to get the right hinges for your door.
In most cases, you can find replacement hinges from the store. However, for some doors, you may need to get specialist hinges. Most replacement hinges are not expensive, but changing them can be a hassle and incur an extra cost if you use a professional. Therefore, it is worth maintaining the doors and hinges properly.
If you have any questions about the types of door hinges for garage doors, you can write your questions in the comments section.