A garage door strut is a metal piece designed to provide horizontal strength and rigidity to a garage door panel. Many doors come standard with a strut across the top panel of the garage door. This strut when across the top section helps to support the door during opening and closing using a electric garage door opener.
Many times we go out on calls because a garage door is sagging or bent. This can be caused by many things including hitting the garage door with your car. In some cases we can install a strut to straighten and support the damaged garage door section. With the strut installed properly the garage door will function smoothly without any sagging or binding.
If the panel is severely damaged or has tears in the steel, many times it is better to replace the garage door section if manufacturer and model numbers can be determined, and the section is still available. There are usually stickers on the sides of the garage door that list manufacturer and model number. If these stickers are not available, it can be difficult to identify manufacturer and model number. Sometimes garage door service companies can identify the manufacturer and model number even if the stickers are not available.
If you are adding a strut it is important to check the garage door balance. Adding a strut to a garage door is adding weight to a garage door, with the added weight you may need to adjust or replace the spring(s) to accommodate for the added weight.
A standard 16 foot strut weighs about 12-15 pounds so the spring will at minimum need to be adjusted, and it is not uncommon to have to replace the spring(s) when a strut is added to the garage door.
When a garage door has been damaged a requires a strut to provide the needed rigidity and structural support to a section, it is always a temporary fix and eventually the panel will fail. Depending on the amount of damage a strut can be a good option and the garage door can last many more years. If the garage door is more severely damaged, the strut may only add a short amount of time before the section fails. It is important to consider the length of time being added to the garage door when deciding between a strut and a new section or door.