Garage Doors – A brief lesson on the safety and installation of garage doors

As a door expert, I am called upon many times a year to evaluate garage door injuries. Garage doors come in many shapes and sizes. Their functions range from basic security of the area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors can be broken down into several basic styles or categories. Typical modern garage doors for residential applications are usually predominantly from a variety of overhead sections. This door style comes in many configurations, materials, levels of insulation and a wide range of looks. They are available as a prefabricated kit or are custom designed to complement the d├ęcor of any building. Commercial warehouse installations often dictate higher security requirements. A good choice for this type of security is the roll style that resembles a desk door type. This door can be manufactured with a variety of materials that can be as solid as the adjacent walls, making forced entry through this opening very difficult. Other common commercial installations include lightweight aluminum single or sectional panel doors. These doors function more to close an already protected area than to ensure the security of points.

In the past, the biggest concern when working with an overhead garage door was the potential risks associated with the springs used to balance the weight of the door. Prior to the mid-1960s, garage door installations typically relied on a pair of tensioned springs that assist the work of the hinged door hinges. These springs became loaded when the door was closed. The unloading (release) of stored energy of the spring occurs when the door has been opened in a horizontal overhang. One of the most dangerous aspects of these spring systems was that after a period of time, often without any maintenance or inspection, the attachment points of these springs would rust or become weak. This weakening of the springs or anchorage points would often lead to careless explosive damage, transferring the broken spring components through the garage, incorporating the spring or steel components into the garage walls, cars or other objects in the journey. Unfortunately, sometimes people have been on the road to these explosive events. As these springs failed, as an attempt to protect themselves, some manufacturers have created a system to "fit" them into the springs. These cells were retrofitted on the tensioned springs in an attempt to capture the parts that would be released if damage occurred. Although these caging devices were useful, they were not fully effective. Some of these spring devices are still in use today. Whenever this condition exists or the quality of the components of the garage is doubtful, you should consult a qualified professional service provider.

In response to the above-mentioned dangerous problems in the spring of the garage, as above, a newer and safer system was opened to open the above-ground garage door. The idea was to transfer the load or weight of the door via a cable and roll bar to a vertical bar, now equipped with a torsion (twisted) spring. This type of spring is mounted with special hardware and bolts to a fixed plate at one end, while the entire spring is mounted around a horizontal pipe. This load balancing device is usually installed directly above the header of the garage opening. With the help of suitable cables, connectors and washers, the weight of the garage door is transferred to the torsion spring spring system. The difference between the old tensile spring and the newer torsion spring is how spring energy is stored. In the old style, spring tension is stored and released by pulling the spring or returning the spring to its unstretched state. In the case of a torsion spring type, energy is supplied or eliminated by turning the spring clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on the direction of use. For professional installation, the full loading of the torsion spring is controlled by the garage installer and is determined by the weight and size of the garage door with which it operates. When this type of torsion spring fails, it remains attached and intact to the position of the horizontal control rod where it is mounted. I have not heard or seen a torsion spring overflow through a garage, creating injuries from unsuccessful components, as with stretched older garage door springs. This does not mean that the injuries did not occur with the torsion-style spring. Installing this type of spring is generally safe when left to a trained garage door specialist. Serious and serious injuries occurred when untrained, unskilled persons attempted to install or service this type of spring. In most installations, a warning label is left attached to the torsion spring when the garage door is installed. This marker warns of energy-related hazards this spring and warns untrained individuals from trying to repair, tune, or even touch the spring and related hardware. When the label to be attached to this spring is damaged, removed or tampered with, it is important that a new warning label be installed immediately to show the dangers of this spring voltage

Garage doors can be operated manually (manually) as well as automatically (with a power motor). In both cases, the proper operation of the garage door is determined by the proper balancing of the weight of the garage door, springs and related hardware. The automatic motor cannot overcome the improperly balanced garage door. The weight of all garage doors is usually deceptive. Due to the fact that a properly working door seems easy to open and close, many users do not realize the combined total weight until the springs are able to assist the door in its operation. In all cases, regardless of the type of garage door, the entire system of hinges, tracks, hardware and opening doors works as a team. Problems with improper tidying, moving or getting stuck can cause problematic neck work. Resistance forces applied to a garage door that are not designed in the components can cause injury. Improper maintenance or complete lack of maintenance resulted in serious personal injury. The forced operation of a garage door when one or more components are damaged or broken has resulted in serious bodily injury. In all cases, maintenance is an important and important aspect of the proper operation of all door systems.

Unlike an overhead garage door type, whether it is sectional or single, the roller shutter has a completely different type of operating system. When these doors are used, they can be concealed at the top or under a mounted tray. These doors work similarly to roller shutter doors, except for how they are stored when not in the closed position. They usually curl up as they come in, and require significant gear trains to reduce the effort required to move those doors up and down. Often, the forces required to move these winding doors require a reduction in gear, which allows for a very heavy door to be operated effortlessly. These doors can be either chain driven or manually operated, or they can be automated using electric motors. Collapsible doors require more frequent assessments and maintenance than standard overhead garage doors. Roads that are installed vertically on either side of the garage opening need maintenance and cleaning more often and are often blocked by foreign obstacles or damaged by a collision of some type. These rolling shutters are often kept open by some type of feverish action. Properly balancing these doors is often more important than an overhead door, since the weight of this door is usually much larger than an overhead door.

I have participated in many garage door lawsuits where many different causes of injury have occurred. Detained as expert witnesses for both the plaintiff and the defense, several common factors were observed. In many cases unqualified persons attempt to repair or install garage doors. They lack the knowledge, skills or even the basic tools needed to perform the job safely and correctly. I was hired as an expert by garage door manufacturers and installers to defend claims that they were not responsible for any alleged defects in the product. In most cases, the components that failed failed as a result of abuse or improper installation by the end user. As stated above, installing many garage doors is not appropriate for an untrained person. An exception to this is the do-it-yourself garage door kits sold at local home centers. The homeowner may install the door, as these kits are not available with a professional hardware quality package that should or would require special installation knowledge. These kits usually do not use torsion springs, which require special knowledge, suitable tools and installation skills. Doors are usually light. Professional installation services are often available through a home center to assist the homeowner who needs a specialized installation. As with most trade-specific tasks, many years of experience as a professional installer qualify dealers for their bargaining license. The average homeowner watches several TV shows that give a rough explanation of how to install a garage door is usually not qualified to install its own door. These "how-to" TV shows do not replace the many skills acquired after working in the field.

The above article is a very brief description of several types of garage doors. I have not provided specific details about appropriate commercial conduct or do not list information on the serious potential for personal injury.

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