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  • Writer's pictureA1 Up And Over Garage Doors

How Do Sectional Garage Doors Work?

Sectional garage door opening to reveal a tidy garage

Sectional garage doors have become increasingly popular among homeowners due to their durability, security, and space-saving design. Understanding how these doors operate can help you appreciate their benefits and make informed decisions when choosing a garage door for your home. In this article, we will explore the mechanics of sectional garage doors and why they are a preferred choice for many.

What Are Sectional Garage Doors?

Sectional garage doors are composed of separate horizontal panels or sections that are hinged together. These sections move vertically along tracks and then horizontally along the ceiling when the door is opened. This design allows the door to open and close without swinging outwards, making it ideal for homes with limited driveway space.

Components of Sectional Garage Doors

1. Panels

The panels are the most visible part of the door and can be made from various materials, including steel, aluminium, wood, and composite materials. Each panel is connected to the next by hinges, allowing them to bend and follow the tracks.

2. Tracks

Sectional garage doors operate on a system of vertical and horizontal tracks. The vertical tracks guide the door upwards, while the horizontal tracks help the door move along the ceiling. This track system enables smooth and efficient operation.

3. Hinges

Hinges are crucial components that connect the individual panels. They allow the panels to pivot and follow the curvature of the tracks, ensuring the door can open and close seamlessly.

4. Rollers

Rollers are attached to the sides of each panel and run along the tracks. They facilitate the smooth movement of the door, reducing friction and wear on the tracks and panels.

5. Springs

Springs are essential for counterbalancing the weight of the door, making it easier to open and close. There are two main types of springs used in sectional garage doors: torsion springs and extension springs. Torsion springs are mounted above the door and provide a controlled lifting force, while extension springs are located on either side of the door and stretch to provide lifting power.

6. Cables and Drums

Cables and drums work in conjunction with the springs to lift and lower the door. Cables are attached to the bottom of the door and wind around drums when the door is opened, helping to distribute the door's weight evenly.

How Do Sectional Garage Doors Operate?

The operation of sectional garage doors is a coordinated process involving the panels, tracks, springs, and other components. Here’s a step-by-step explanation:

  1. Initiating Movement When you press the remote control or wall switch, the garage door opener activates, triggering the movement of the door. The opener is connected to the door via a motorised mechanism that pulls or pushes the door along the tracks.

  2. Lifting the Door As the door starts to lift, the rollers move along the vertical tracks. The hinges between the panels allow them to bend and follow the curve of the tracks smoothly. The springs provide the necessary counterbalance to the door’s weight, reducing the effort needed to lift it.

  3. Transition to Horizontal Movement Once the door reaches the top of the vertical tracks, it transitions to the horizontal tracks along the ceiling. The rollers continue to guide the door, and the panels straighten out, laying flat against the ceiling.

  4. Full Open Position In the fully open position, the door lies parallel to the ceiling, leaving the garage entrance unobstructed. This space-saving design is especially beneficial for garages with limited headroom or short driveways.

  5. Closing the Door When closing the door, the process is reversed. The motorised mechanism guides the door back along the horizontal tracks and down the vertical tracks. The springs and cables work together to control the descent, ensuring a smooth and safe operation.

Benefits of Sectional Garage Doors

1. Space Efficiency

Sectional garage doors do not swing outwards, making them ideal for homes with limited driveway space. They open vertically, allowing you to park your car close to the door without obstructing its movement.

2. Security

The robust construction of sectional garage doors provides excellent security. The panels fit tightly together, and the reinforced materials make it difficult for intruders to break in.

3. Insulation

Many sectional garage doors come with insulated panels, helping to maintain a stable temperature inside the garage. This can be particularly beneficial if your garage is attached to your home or used as a workspace.

4. Versatility in Design

Sectional garage doors are available in various materials, finishes, and styles, allowing you to choose a design that complements your home's architecture.

5. Ease of Maintenance

The modular design of sectional garage doors makes maintenance straightforward. Individual panels can be replaced without needing to replace the entire door, saving time and money on repairs.


Understanding how sectional garage doors work can help you appreciate their functionality and benefits. These doors offer a perfect blend of security, space efficiency, and aesthetic appeal, making them a popular choice for modern homes. For more information and professional installation services, visit A1 Garage Door Repairs. Our expertise can help you select and maintain the ideal garage door for your needs.


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