Roller Garage Door Review

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Guide to Buying Roller Garage Doors

Guide to Roller Garage Doors

When looking for a roller garage door, either as a basic manual operation or an electrically operated model you will probably already have seen there is an enormous choice on the Internet and elsewhere, and when you look, surely they are all pretty much the same?

Unfortunately this is not the case, but because with a roller door you only ever tend to see the outside of the curtain roll it is difficult to tell what makes a good or a bad one.

Which Roller Garage Door Type is Best?

Firstly, you need to fully understand there are 2 main types of roller garage door available - A single skin, ‘continuous curtain’ steel roller door and then a double skinned, foam filled, insulated aluminium curtain type.

The single skin steel door is great for most basic applications where insulation and security are not a priority but you also have reasonable amount of headroom in the garage. They are ideal for a manually operated door in single and medium width sizes and spring loaded for easy operation, larger sizes really need to be motorised however for all round ease of use, security and control.

In many cases one of the DuraRoll steel doors we offer online will be far superior to a ‘cheap’ aluminium roller door, constructed using inferior components. The DuraRoll roller door is a superb tried and tested model of door offering trouble free daily use without complicated moving parts.

The double skinned aluminium roller door is made from individual foam filled slats and will roll into a smaller overall curtain roll size.

This type of door is generally quieter, usually electrically operated, and will provide higher levels of security and insulation for sound and temperature – BEWARE however of the cheap versions of this type of roller door!!

The double skinned door is constructed using many individual lath sections and because of this there are many more moving parts, all subject to stresses and friction during operation, any compromise will only lead to a roller door with a short shelf life and trouble.

Keep in mind the best roller door manufacturers have been doing it for many years and if a price seems to good compared to others then there will be a reason.

To say one roller door is the best is dependent on usage, size and other factors but there are some clear leaders in roller door manufacturing – Seceuroglide, Hormann, Garador, Gliderol and Samson to name just 5.

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What Makes a Good Roller Garage Door?

As discussed already, the trouble with roller doors is they can all look the same so making a decision on one being better than another is hard. It is the quality of internal components that make the big differences and although low prices are always tempting we know all too well the trouble and frustrations of buying cheap with roller doors.

The individual components you cannot normally see are really the most important ones for a roller door, the barrel, the linkage between the barrel and the curtain, the tube motor inside the barrel, the gearing from the motor and so on. These are all parts that make a roller door function really well for a long, long time or if cheap and flimsy, just long enough to maybe see a warranty period out if you are lucky!

Look for roller doors using German or Northern European manufactured aluminium slats for strength and durability as they are one of the most experienced at these types of products. Insulated steel slats are available from a few manufacturers and these can provide slightly larger widths if required. Look for manufacturers who have been producing roller doors for at least 5 years or more as this is the minimum period for a good reliable motor drive unit to have a guarantee.

Make sure the roller door is using the latest manual or electric control systems and safety devices for opening and closing the door and is properly CE marked to conform with European regulations.

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Safety Features.

The current UK regulations are very simple for remote controlled electric roller garage doors in the UK, especially if you think they are considered a ‘machine’ in legal terms – The electric door must have a ‘leading edge safety sensor system’ to detect an obstruction at any point during the closing cycle to stop immediately, so as not to exert excessive pressure on the obstacle.

This is the regulation, and a single or multi point infra red beam system is NOT compliant with these regulations on its own. A set of infra red beams can be used as additional safety when required but as a sole safety protection for obstructions the roller door cannot be CE marked and considered compliant and legal in the UK.

Other safety features include a full hood cover to prevent fingers being trapped in the roller curtain as it rolls up and this should be always considered at heights less than 2.3m anyway.

Which Options and Accessories are Best?

For most electric roller garage doors you should expect 2 hand held remote transmitters as a minimum with radio signal control to open and close the door from up to 20 metres away, preferably with a rolling code system for security.

An internal control box and receiver with a courtesy light built in should also be a standard feature. Additional wall mounted and wireless much buttons are often desirable in larger or integral garages.

An internal emergency manual override system is an essential standard item for a roller door. This is a winding handle that engages on the motor side to drive the motor in the event of a power failure, or a motor release device on steel continuous curtain type roller doors where the spring balance then takes over to enable operation.

Additional control accessories such as external digital keypads or key switches, external manual override systems providing access to the internal override if you do not have another door into your garage or even a battery back up system to give several operations even when there is no mains power.

Options for the actual door itself include vision slats to let natural light into the garage using cut out sections in the slats with polycarbonate glazing inserts.

  • Wider side guides for increased security and wind resistance.

  • Aluminium hood covers for the curtain roll to enclose the entire rolling mechanism.

  • Sloping bottom slats for where the ground is not level to close down onto.

  • Other options include smartphone apps to give control of your roller door from your smart mobile phone or tablet/PC

  • Alarm systems are simple and easy to detect if an attempted break in is taking place on your door and emit a very loud alarm noise indeed.

  • Auto closing facilities, so you never forget to close your roller door

  • Secured by Design’ specifications to give total peace of mind for a door tested and approved to a specified level of security.

Smart lighting control options for inside and outside are also becoming available to integrate your garage lights with the controls for the door and then expand this to have a PIR detector to switch on these lights if an intruder approaches. All this adds to the security of not only your garage but also your home and surroundings of course.

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What Colours are Available?

The standard colours for aluminium insulated roller doors is usually 10 – 20 tough painted colours and for single skin steel doors is usually a plastisol coated colour range of about 20 colours.

Lower temperature powder coating from brands like the SeceuroGlide mean almost any RAL or BS colour is available on request without compromising the insulated lath sections in the painting process.

For a wider choice you can look at laminated, woodgrain effect finished surfaces offering up to nearly 50 beautiful wood effects  to match oak, rosewood, mahogany and many other solid colour finishes associated with either real wood or UPVC doors and windows from other manufacturers. Again, be sure that the laminated lath sections are guaranteed properly as some manufacturers will apply the laminate finish onto basic white lath as and when required rather than having the lath prefinished in a factory process. The difference in long term quality and durability will become apparent very quickly.

What Sizes are Available?

For domestic roller garage door specifications generally the largest width available is 5000mm and the maximum height is 3000mm. Larger doors are available up to 7000mm wide and also 4500mm high in a domestic specification, but the slat type and specification will change and be larger. The guides and roll size would also change at doors over 3000mm high so some careful consideration would need to be given to headroom on very large doors whilst making sure the structure you are fixing to is sufficiently sound.

Unsure what size garage door you require click here to view our measuring guides

What About Security?

It is possible to specify various single skin and  insulated roller doors to a ‘Secured by Design’ specification. Basic design features in most higher quality roller door will make them fairly secure as standard but it is also surprising how easy certain roller garage doors can be forced open into when there is little attention paid to the method by which the curtain is held secure when closed.

The electric motor drive is what keeps a basic roller door closed and secure, but with a door like the Seceuroglide, a patented physical security system holds the curtain firmly in place when fully closed to give no chance of lifting the curtain from outside.
Security is the main consideration for most garage doors so pay attention to the locking system on any door you may choose to look at. This is an area where most cheap roller doors have all the corners cut to save time and money in assembly.

It is now perfectly possible to have an insulated roller garage door using all the strength of a commercial roller door system combined with the refinements of the domestic door in finish and operation but also add an electromagnetic locking system operated by the control system of the door. See the SeceuroDoor range of industrial and commercial doors for details of this, almost any colour, remote control systems and some very attractive slat profiles mean there is no issue in using these superb doors on your home.

How Can You Decide on The Best Roller Door?

How do you decide on any product to be right for you? Price? Colour choice? Security?  Warranty period? Speed of Delivery?

There are many factors depending on the relevance in your life but with a roller garage door just remember you probably won’t buy one more than once every 10 years so take your time and certainly do not be drawn in by promises of ‘lowest guaranteed prices’ and other similar marketing gimmicks because as we have said, a cheap roller door will only cause you grief and cost you a lot more in the long run, whilst probably being illegal in the UK.

All the roller garage doors in our online shop are proven, tested, mostly made to measure, CE marked, guaranteed and offer the latest in control accessories.

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