Garage Doors - A short Tutorial on Door Safety and Installation



As a door expert witness, I will be called upon many times a year to evaluate garage door injuries. Garage doors come in many sizes and shapes. Their functions range from basic security of the area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors may be broken down into a few basic styles or categories. Typical modern doors for residential applications are generally predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That design of door comes in many configurations, materials, degrees of insulation, and a massive amount appearance possibilities. They come as a prefabricated kit, or built as being a custom design to complement the dacor of any building. Commercial warehouse type installations often dictate higher security requirements. Ideal for this security form of door is the "roll-up" style that resembles a roll top desk type of door. This door might be manufactured with a number of materials that can be as strong because the adjacent walls, making forced entry through this opening very hard. Other common commercial installations include aluminium single or sectional panel doors. These doors function more for closing off an already secured area compared to assuring point security. Garage Door Service And Repairs And Installs

Previously, the biggest concern with operating an overhead garage doors was the potential risks linked to the springs used for balancing the entranceway weight. Pre mid 1960's door installations typically relied upon a couple of stretched (tensioned) springs to aid the operation of the garage door pivoting hinges. These springs became loaded (tensioned) because the door was moved to the closed position. Unloading (releasing) of the stored spring energy occurred because the door was opened towards the horizontal overhead position. The most dangerous aspects of these spring systems was anytime a period of time, often without the maintenance or inspection, what exactly of attachment of such springs would rust or become weak. This weakening in the springs or points of attachment would often cause an inadvertent explosive failure flinging the broken spring components across the garage, embedding the spring or steel components in to the garage walls, cars or other items in the path of travel. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals were in the path of travel of these explosive occurrences. Since these springs failed, just as one attempted safeguard, some manufacturers devised a "caging" system for your springs. These cages were retrofitted to the stretched springs to try to capture the parts that would release if a failure occurred. While these caging devices were helpful, they were not completely effective. A few of these spring devices are still being used today. Whenever this issue exists or the quality of garage components are questionable, a certified professional service technician should be consulted.

In response to the inherently dangerous old-style garage spring issues as above, a more moderen and safer system for opening the overhead garage door was created. The idea was to transfer the load or weight in the door via a cable and pulley system to some vertical rod now equipped with a torsion (twisted) spring. Such a spring is installed with specialty hardware and bolts to some fixed plate at one end, while the entire spring is installed around a horizontal pipe. This load balancing device is normally installed directly on the header of the garage opening. Using appropriate cables, connectors and pulleys, the body weight of the garage door is transferred in the torsion spring system. The gap between the old style stretched spring as well as the newer torsion spring will be the way that the spring energy is stored. Together with the old style stretched spring, the power is stored and released by pulling about the spring or returning the spring to its un-stretched condition. Having a torsion type of spring, the force is imparted or removed by rotating the spring clockwise or counter clockwise depending upon the direction of usage. With professional installation, the total loading of the torsion spring is controlled from the garage installer, and it is determined by the weight and sized the garage door that it is operating. When this type of torsion spring fails, it remains attached and intact on the location on the horizontal control rod where it turned out mounted. I have not been aware of or seen any torsion spring fly across a garage, creating injury from failed components just like the stretched older style door springs. This is not to express that injuries never have occurred with the torsion style spring. Installing this type of spring is mostly safe when left into a trained garage door installation professional. Severe and high injuries have occurred when untrained, unqualified everyone has attempted to install or service this kind of spring. In most installations, a reminder tag is left attached next to the torsion spring in the event the garage door is installed. This tag warns of the danger associated with the stored energy of the spring, and alerts untrained people to not attempt any repair, adjustment or even touch the spring and associated hardware. If the label that should be that come with this spring becomes damaged, is slowly removed or tampered with, it is crucial that a new warning label be reattached immediately to indicate the dangers of this spring tension Garage Door Service And Repairs And Installs

Garage doors can be operated manually (by hand), as well as automatically (by power assisted motor). In each case, the proper operation in the garage door is determined by the right balancing of the door weight, springs and related component hardware. A computerized power assisted motor cannot overcome an improperly balanced garage door. The weight of all garage doors is normally deceptive. Due to the fact that a properly functioning door appears simple to open and close, many users do not realize the combined overall weight until springs neglect to assist the door rolling around in its operation. In all cases, regardless of the type of garage door, the entire system of hinges, track, hardware, and door opener act as a team. Problems with misalignment, shifting, or jamming can lead to problematic operation of the door. Counter forces imparted to a garage door, not engineered to the components, can lead to injury. Inappropriate maintenance or complete deficiency of maintenance has lead to severe bodily injuries. Forcing the whole process of a garage door, when more than one components have become damaged or broken has lead to serious bodily injuries. In all cases, maintenance is a crucial and important aspect of proper operation coming from all door systems.

Contrary to an overhead kind of garage door, be it sectional or single panel, roll up doors have a totally different type of operating system. When these doors are used, they can be concealed in a overhead or under mounted trough. These doors operate much like a roll top desk door with the exception of how they are stored you should definitely in the closed position. They normally coil because they are retracted, and require significant gear trains to reduce the effort required to move these doors down and up into position. Often the forces required to move these rollup doors require a reduction kind of transmission that allows a really heavy door to be operated effortlessly. These doors may be chain driven either manually, or may be automated using electric motors. Rollup doors require more frequent evaluation and servicing when compared to a standard overhead garage doors. The tracks which are mounted vertically for sides of the garage opening need maintenance and cleaning more frequently, and are often blocked by foreign obstructions or damaged by collision of some kind. These roll up doors are often held open by a few type of ratcheting action. Proper balancing of the doors is often more important than an overhead sort of door, as the weight of those type of doors is usually much greater than an overhead door.