Garage doors are more complicated than most people are aware of. They have many moving parts that must coordinate with each other to perform effectively. The torsion system relies on a torsion tube, bearing plates, torsion cables, drums, torsion springs, and rollers. All of these items need to be working properly for the torsion system to lift the garage door. Some of the most common items that tend to go bad on the garage door are rollers.
Garage door rollers aren’t very complex, although they do break a lot and cause problems. The garage door roller is basically a piece of plastic and a stem. The first thing the breaks on new garage doors are typically the rollers because they get the most use. If the roller breaks when the door is in use it is very dangerous because the door is in motion. Replacing rollers is a very difficult job because the bottom roller is connected to the tension. When replacing the bottom roller be sure to just pop out the roller with a hammer rather than loosen the bolts. Usually when the springs or the bearing plates go bad it is time to change the rollers.
There are several types of rollers including steel bearing rollers, plastic rollers, and nylon bearing rollers. Plastic rollers are definitely the worst rollers in the market. It is a basic piece of plastic with a basic metal stem which does not last long. These also tend to wear down in circumference and get brittle over time. The problem when a roller gets brittle is that it can snap at any moment and when it does so the door will be moving. Therefore, the garage will come off track and be a catastrophe. These rollers are okay in the beginning and usually last a few years without problems.
The steel bearing rollers are good for wooden doors in the beginning because they can handle a lot of stress. The problem is they don’t have a bushing to keep the roller together. Basically what happens is the stem starts to come apart from the head and the roller then begins to roll of center. These rollers used to be at the top-of-the-line in the 1970s before the nylon bearing roller was developed. These rollers tend to make a great deal of noise over the years.
The best type of roller is the nylon bearing roller. These have bushings that stops the roller from coming apart. Since they are made out of nylon they are very quiet. One of the other good aspects of this roller is that the the circumference will never get smaller over the years. The material is made out of something very hard that will not decay like the plastic rollers.
Replacing your rollers is never an easy task and it is wise to hire a professional to do so. If you want to take a chance be very careful and make sure there is someone in the garage with you while you are working on the door.