11/5/2015 - Garage Doors - A shorter Tutorial on Garage Door Safety and Installation
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Like a door expert witness, I am called upon many times annually to evaluate garage door injuries. Doors come in many size and shapes. Their functions cover anything from basic security of an area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors may be broken down into a few basic styles or categories. Typical modern garage doors for residential applications are generally predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That kind of door comes in many configurations, materials, degrees of insulation, and a number of appearance possibilities. They are offered as a prefabricated kit, or built as a custom design to complement the dacor of the building. Commercial warehouse type installations often dictate higher security requirements. A good choice for this security type of door is the "roll-up" style that resembles a roll top desk sort of door. This door could be manufactured with a various materials that can be as strong since the adjacent walls, making forced entry through this opening quite challenging. Other common commercial installations include metal single or sectional panel doors. These doors function more for closing off a currently secured area than for assuring point security. Garage Door Service And Repairs And Installs

Before, the biggest concern with operating an overhead garage door was the potential risks associated with the springs used for balancing the entranceway weight. Pre mid 1960's door installations typically relied upon some stretched (tensioned) springs to assist the operation of the garage doors pivoting hinges. These springs became loaded (tensioned) because door was moved into the closed position. Unloading (releasing) in the stored spring energy occurred because door was opened for the horizontal overhead position. One of the most dangerous aspects of these spring systems was that whenever a period of time, often without the maintenance or inspection, the points of attachment of these springs would rust or become weak. This weakening of the springs or points of attachment would often lead to an inadvertent explosive failure flinging the broken spring components over the garage, embedding the spring or steel components into the garage walls, cars or other items in the path of travel. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals were in the path of travel of the explosive occurrences. As these springs failed, being an attempted safeguard, some manufacturers devised a "caging" system for that springs. These cages were retrofitted to the stretched springs so as to capture the parts that will release if a failure occurred. While these caging devices were helpful, they weren't completely effective. Some of these spring devices are still being used today. Whenever this problem exists or the quality of garage components are questionable, a qualified professional service technician needs to be consulted.

In response to the inherently dangerous traditional style garage spring issues as above, a more moderen and safer system for opening the overhead garage doors was created. The idea ended up being to transfer the load or weight of the door via a cable and pulley system with a vertical rod now equipped with a torsion (twisted) spring. Such a spring is installed with specialty hardware and bolts to a fixed plate on one side, while the entire spring is put around a horizontal pipe. This load balancing method is normally installed directly within the header of the garage opening. Using appropriate cables, connectors and pulleys, the body weight of the garage door is transferred to the torsion spring system. The main difference between the old style stretched spring as well as the newer torsion spring could be the way that the spring energy is stored. With all the old style stretched spring, the energy is stored and released by pulling about the spring or giving back the spring to its un-stretched condition. Which has a torsion type of spring, the power is imparted or removed by rotating the spring clockwise or counter clockwise dependant on the direction of usage. With professional installation, the complete loading of the torsion spring is controlled by the garage installer, and is also determined by the weight and height and width of the garage door it is operating. When this kind of torsion spring fails, it remains attached and intact on the location on the horizontal control rod where it had been mounted. I have not got word of or seen any torsion spring fly across a garage, creating injury from failed components just like the stretched older style garage doors springs. This is not to express that injuries never have occurred with the torsion style spring. Installing this type of spring is usually safe when left to a trained garage door installation professional. Severe and high injuries have occurred when untrained, unqualified folks have attempted to install or service this kind of spring. In most installations, a stern warning tag is left attached alongside the torsion spring when the garage door is installed. This tag warns of the danger associated with the stored energy on this spring, and alerts untrained people to not attempt any repair, adjustment or even touch the spring and associated hardware. Once the label that should be attached with this spring becomes damaged, is removed or tampered with, it is essential that a new warning label be reattached immediately to indicate the dangers of this spring tension

Doors can be operated manually (by hand), as well as automatically (by power assisted motor). In the two caser, the proper operation of the garage door is determined by the appropriate balancing of the garage doors weight, springs and related component hardware. An automatic power assisted motor cannot overcome an improperly balanced garage doors. The weight of all garage doors is normally deceptive. Simply because that a properly functioning door appears simple to open and close, many users don't realize the combined overall weight until springs fail to assist the door rolling around in its operation. In all cases, no matter the type of garage door, the entire system of hinges, track, hardware, and door opener are a team. Problems with misalignment, shifting, or jamming can lead to problematic operation of an door. Counter forces imparted to a garage door, not engineered into the components, can lead to injury. Inappropriate maintenance or complete insufficient maintenance has lead to severe bodily injuries. Forcing the process of a garage door, when one or more components have become damaged or broken has resulted in serious bodily injuries. In every case, maintenance is a crucial and important factor of proper operation of all door systems.

In contrast to an overhead sort of garage door, be it sectional or single panel, roll up doors have a completely different type of operating system. When these doors are widely-used, they can be concealed within an overhead or under mounted trough. These doors operate much like a roll top desk door with the exception of how they are stored when they are not in the closed position. They normally coil because they are retracted, and require significant gear trains to cut back the effort required to move these doors along into position. Often the forces required to move these roll up doors require a reduction type of transmission that allows a very heavy door to be operated effortlessly. These doors might be chain driven either manually, or can be automated using electric motors. Retract doors require more frequent evaluation and servicing than a standard overhead garage doors. The tracks which might be mounted vertically on sides of the garage opening need maintenance and cleaning more frequently, and are often blocked by foreign obstructions or damaged by collision of some sort or other. These roll up doors will often be held open by some type of ratcheting action. Proper balancing of those doors is often more valuable than an overhead type of door, as the weight of the type of doors is usually much greater than an overhead door. Garage Door Service And Repairs And Installs

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