Garage door struts stiffen door sections to prevent them from bending or breaking. They also allow the door to open and close smoothly. If the sections are not rigid, the garage door will bind as it opens and closes.
Most residential doors use 2" struts, but residential and industrial doors over 16 feet wide often use three inch struts. Struts are normally two inches shorter than the door width.
Residential single car doors typically do not need struts unless it is a steel door that is motor-operated. On these a strut across the top section is recommended to prevent the top of the door from bending if the opener force is not adjusted properly.
Doors over 10 feet wide usually have at least one strut across the top of the top section. A 16' wood door requires at least three struts, but steel doors often need only one. On double wide doors made of 25 or 26 gauge steel we recommend three struts, one across the tops of the bottom and top sections, and one in the middle of the door centered between the other two struts.
When adding struts to your door it is important to factor the additional weight. Two inch struts weigh about 10 ounces per foot. If you add over 20 pounds of struts to your door, we recommend replacing your springs. Otherwise, the extra weight will shorten the life of your garage door opener.
Garage door struts for eight and nine foot wide doors can ship by FedEx or UPS, but longer struts will not. These would need to ship over the road. With crating the cost for a single 16' strut can cost $200-$300, so we don't recommend that as an option. A better option for doors over nine feet wide is to order shorter struts and connect them with one of our strut junction kits listed below. You can also watch our video for assembling the kits. For local pickups we do stock the 16 foot 2 1/4" struts and the 18 foot 3" struts. You'll want to make sure you have a way to transport the long struts without damaging them or your vehicle.
Struts frequently bend when an opener lifts a 16 foot steel door that has a broken spring. This will often leave a one to three inch gap in the center of the top section. These struts can be straightened by locking the door, removing the strut, and straightening it. You will then need to straighten the top section and reinstall the strut.