As a door expert witness, I'm called upon many times annually to evaluate garage door injuries. Garage doors come in many size and shapes. Their functions vary from basic security of your area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors might be broken down into a few basic styles or categories. Typical modern doors for residential applications are usually predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That type of door comes in many configurations, materials, amounts of insulation, and a wide range of appearance possibilities. They are available as a prefabricated kit, or built as being a custom design to complement the dacor from a building. Commercial warehouse type installations often dictate higher security requirements. Great for this security sort of door is the "roll-up" style that resembles a roll top desk kind of door. This door may be manufactured with a number of materials that can be as strong because adjacent walls, making forced entry through this opening very difficult. Other common commercial installations include metal single or sectional panel doors. These doors function more for closing off a currently secured area compared to assuring point security. Garage Door Service And Repairs And Installs
Previously, the biggest concern with operating an overhead door was the potential risks linked to the springs used for balancing the door weight. Pre mid 1960's garage door installations typically relied upon a set of stretched (tensioned) springs to aid the operation of the garage door pivoting hinges. These springs became loaded (tensioned) since the door was moved to the closed position. Unloading (releasing) with the stored spring energy occurred as the door was opened to the horizontal overhead position. Just about the most dangerous aspects of these spring systems was any time a period of time, often without the maintenance or inspection, the points of attachment of these springs would rust or become weak. This weakening from the springs or points of attachment would often lead to an inadvertent explosive failure flinging the broken spring components across the garage, embedding the spring or steel components in the garage walls, cars and other items in the path of travel. Unfortunately, sometimes people were in the path of travel of the explosive occurrences. Because they springs failed, being an attempted safeguard, some manufacturers devised a "caging" system for that springs. These cages were retrofitted onto the stretched springs in an attempt to capture the parts that will release if a failure occurred. While these caging devices were helpful, they were not completely effective. Many of these spring devices are still available today. Whenever this issue exists or the quality of garage components are questionable, an experienced professional service technician ought to be consulted.
In response to the inherently dangerous 70's garage spring issues as above, a newer and safer system for opening the overhead garage door was created. The idea would have been 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. This type of spring is installed with specialty hardware and bolts to some fixed plate on one side, while the entire spring is put around a horizontal pipe. This load balancing method is normally installed directly in the header of the garage opening. Using appropriate cables, connectors and pulleys, the extra 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. With all the old style stretched spring, the energy is stored and released by pulling around 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 based upon the direction of usage. With professional installation, the total loading of the torsion spring is controlled through the garage installer, and it is determined by the weight and size 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 turned out mounted. I have not heard of or seen any torsion spring fly across a garage, creating injury from failed components as with the stretched older style garage door springs. This is not to state that injuries never have occurred with the torsion style spring. The installation of this type of spring is usually safe when left with a trained garage door installation professional. Severe and serious injuries have occurred when untrained, unqualified folks have attempted to install or service such a spring. In most installations, a stern warning tag is left attached next to the torsion spring once the garage door is installed. This tag warns from the danger associated with the stored energy of the spring, and alerts untrained visitors to not attempt any repair, adjustment as well as to even touch the spring and associated hardware. When the label that should be mounted on this spring becomes damaged, is slowly removed or tampered with, it is important that a new warning label be reattached immediately to demonstrate the dangers of this spring tension Garage Door Service And Repairs And Installs
Doors can be operated manually (by hand), as well as automatically (by power assisted motor). In the two cases, the proper operation of the garage door is determined by the proper balancing of the door weight, springs and related component hardware. An automated power assisted motor cannot overcome an improperly balanced door. The weight of all doors is normally deceptive. Simply because that a properly functioning door appears easy to open and close, many users don't understand the combined overall weight until springs don't assist the door rolling around in its operation. In all cases, whatever 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 not enough maintenance has lead to severe bodily injuries. Forcing the entire process of a garage door, when several components have become damaged or broken has lead to serious bodily injuries. In all cases, maintenance is a crucial and essential factor of proper operation of all door systems.
Contrary to an overhead type of garage door, be it sectional or single panel, roll-up doors have a totally different type of operating system. When these doors are widely-used, they can be concealed in a overhead or under mounted trough. These doors operate similarly to a roll top desk door except for how they are stored when not in the closed position. They normally coil as is also retracted, and require significant gear trains to reduce the effort required to move these doors along into position. Often the forces required to move these rollup doors require a reduction kind of transmission that allows a very heavy door to become operated effortlessly. These doors might be chain driven either manually, or may be automated using electric motors. Roll-up doors require more frequent evaluation and servicing compared to a standard overhead door. The tracks which can be mounted vertically on both 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 are often held open by some type of ratcheting action. Proper balancing of those doors is often more valuable than an overhead sort of door, as the weight of these type of doors is commonly much greater than an overhead door.