There are obviously many ways a commercial garage door differs from a residential model. Depending on the kind of business it serves, a commercial door may open 50 to 100 times every day, plus it’s likely to be battered and buffeted with all that in-and-out traffic. In most cases, a commercial garage door will be wider and taller than a residential door, but also thicker. Commercial garage doors are also likely to be insulated, and to be made of metal. Some may also have glass windows, or even expansive panoramic windows.
But one of the most important ways a commercial garage door differs from residential models is in the hardware. When a sectional door is used often, the more powerful and efficient the mechanism behind the door has to be. Obviously, a bigger, heavier door requires hardware that can stand up to heavy use.
Take the tracks. In a residential door, 2-inch (51 mm) tracks and rollers are the standard. With commercial doors, 3=inch (51 or 76 mm) hardware is not uncommon. The tracks must also be thicker than those of residential use, since commercial doors are heavier and used more often.
Spring systems must also be sturdier and more resilient. Also known as the counterbalance system, the spring must be designed for anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 cycles, whereas a residential door typically will last for 10,000 cycles. Loading dock doors, for instance may be used between 25 and 50 cycles daily to open and close this heavy door.
Then there’s the lift type to consider. Most residential doors use standard or low-headroom lift designs, while commercial doors, depending on how high the door is and the clearance over the door, may require high lift and full vertical lift designs.
In addition, there is a wide array of hardware that goes with a commercial garage door, all of which must be designed for heavy lifting and durability. Some of the parts that may need replacement over time, in addition to springs, tracks and rollers, are these: pulleys, pulley forks, S-hooks and clips for extension spring hardware; bolts, bearings, bushings, brackets and belts; and garage door seals.