Reinforcement struts: What purpose do they serve?


If you’ve got a double garage door you’ve no doubt noticed the U-shaped steel bar attached to the inside of it. If you’ve been wondering what it is and what purpose it serves, read on.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This U-shaped steel bar actually plays two essential roles: It supports your garage door when it’s open, and it reinforces your garage door and combats strong winds.
 
Of course, we’re talking about reinforcement struts. While they do serve essential purposes, it is very important to remember that they are not, in fact, a toy, and that you/your children could get very seriously injured if you/they attempt to climb on the bar, especially if the garage door is moving.
 
Reinforcement struts are usually 2.25 inches wide and screwed into place using hinges or held in place with steel clips. If you have a double garage door, reinforcement struts may be needed to support the door’s weight when open, and prevent the door from bowing. Some garage doors are more prone to bowing than others, typically these are doors made from thinner, more lightweight material. Those without polystyrene or polyurethane injected insulation are also more prone to bowing. We generally suggest that you have 3 reinforcement struts installed, this number may be increased to 4 if you have decorative windows in the top section of your garage door. We also recommend that you screw reinforcement struts on with hinges rather than holding them on with steel clips.
 
Now their other purpose is much more specific; if you live in an area prone to strong winds or hurricanes in Canada or in the United States (in particular in Florida or North Carolina), there are standards that govern the installation of reinforcement struts in order to strengthen garage doors and combat strong winds. DO NOT install reinforcement struts yourself before speaking with a garage door specialist as the number of struts you MUST install will vary depending on your situation. It is also equally important that you speak with a garage door specialist, as your garage door has previously been calibrated to counterbalance a set weight, if you alter your garage door’s weight by installing reinforcement struts and do not have your door recalibrated, you could be putting your family’s safety at risk. Don’t forget, a well-balanced garage door should have a perceived weight of 8-10 lbs. and your garage door opener will bring down the door with just as much force as it needs to lift it.
 
If you do live in a hurricane or strong wind prone area, installing reinforcement struts is of the utmost importance. According to the US EPA, “the intensity of the strongest hurricanes is projected to continue to increase as the oceans continue to warm, bringing stronger winds and heavier rains’. So be prepared, this situation isn’t going to go away.
 
 

DASMA tips for anyone facing strong winds

 
If strong winds are forecast and you do not have reinforcement struts installed on your garage, there are still some steps you can take to minimize damage:
 

  • DON’T PARK TOO CLOSE TO THE GARAGE DOOR
  • Pressure from strong winds could pull the garage door off and cause irreparable damage to your vehicle.

  • DON’T LEAVE YOUR GARAGE DOOR OPEN
  • If the wind has an opening, it will find its way in. If you leave your garage door open, the wind can damage the walls and ceiling of your garage, and even possibly make its way into your home.

 
 
To find out more about reinforcement struts and for all your garage door related questions, get in touch!
 
We’re garage door experts and we can help you make the best choice for your situation. You can contact us however you would prefer, by phone at (515) 276-3700, in person by visiting our showroom, you can even ask us for an online quote.
 
Finally, if you’re in the market for a new garage door, have a look at our design center and image gallery.