It can cost quite a bit of money to replace garage doors, so homeowners looking to save a few dollars may consider leaving the old garage door tracks in place and only installing a brand new door. However, this can end up costing you more money in the long run. Here are a couple of reasons why you should always install new tracks when you get a new garage door.
Doors and Tracks are Not Interchangeable
Manufacturers craft garage door tracks to specifically work with the model of door they're paired with. Even if you purchase a slightly different door made by the same company, there will likely be enough variations between the models that using the old tracks would still be unsafe.
For example, each set of door tracks are designed to ensure that the door is a certain amount of distance away from the garage jambs, so it can open and close without getting stuck. A brand new garage door on old tracks may not sit in the correct position, which could cause the door to get caught in the door jambs. This may lead to the door being irreparably damaged if you have an electric opener that continues attempting to open the door.
In a worst-case scenario, the tracks or lines holding the door could break and cause the garage door to fall, damaging your property or injuring someone.
The Spring System is Balanced for the Targeted Door
Another reason why reusing garage door tracks is a bad idea is that the springs on the tracks are specifically balanced for the weight of the door it was designed for. Using a garage door of a different weight—even by a few pounds—can throw off this balance and put undue strain on the system.
This is particularly problematic if the tracks you're trying to recycle have been in use for a long time. Time and frequent use wears out the parts. Placing a new and unfit door on old tracks could cause them to break and create a hazardous situation for the people in the home.
The only time using old tracks for a new door may work in your favor is if you get the same exact model as your old one. Otherwise, it's best to get a new track system specifically designed for the garage door you want to install. For more information about installing a new garage door or to have your existing door serviced, contact a garage door company in your area.