garage doors

As a door expert witness, I'm called upon often annually to evaluate garage door injuries. Garage doors can be found in many shapes and sizes. Their functions range from basic security of an area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors may be broken down into a couple of basic styles or categories. Typical modern garage doors for residential applications tend to be predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That design of door is available in many configurations, materials, degrees of insulation, and a wide variety of appearance possibilities. They are available as a prefabricated kit, or built as a custom design to complement the decor of any building. Commercial warehouse type installations often dictate higher security requirements. The ideal choice with this security form of door may be the "roll-up" style that resembles a move top desk form of door. This door may be manufactured with a number of materials that can be as strong while the adjacent walls, making forced entry through this opening very difficult. Other common commercial installations include light-weight aluminum single or sectional panel doors. These doors function more for closing off an already secured area than for assuring point security. skylink garage door opener

In the past, the greatest concern with operating an overhead garage door was the potential risks associated with the springs employed for balancing the doorway weight. Pre mid 1960's garage door installations typically relied upon a pair of stretched (tensioned) springs to assist the operation of the garage door pivoting hinges. These springs became loaded (tensioned) as the doorway was moved into the closed position. Unloading (releasing) of the stored spring energy occurred as the doorway was opened to the horizontal overhead position. One of the very most dangerous aspects of these spring systems was that after a time period, often without the maintenance or inspection, the points of attachment of those springs would rust or become weak. This weakening of the springs or points of attachment would often result in an inadvertent explosive failure flinging the broken spring components throughout the garage, embedding the spring or steel components into the garage walls, cars or other things in the path of travel. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals were in the path of travel of those explosive occurrences. As these springs failed, being an attempted safeguard, some manufacturers devised a "caging" system for the springs. These cages were retrofitted onto the stretched springs in an endeavor to capture the parts that could release in case a failure occurred. While these caging devices were helpful, these were not completely effective. Several of those spring devices remain used today. Whenever this problem exists or the quality of garage components is questionable, a qualified professional service technician must certanly be consulted. access garage doors


In reaction to the inherently dangerous old-style garage spring issues as above, a more recent and safer system for opening the overhead garage door was created. The theory was to transfer the load or weight of the doorway with a cable and pulley system to a vertical rod now equipped with a torsion (twisted) spring. This kind of spring is installed with specialty hardware and bolts to a fixed plate at one end, while the whole 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 weight of the garage door is transferred into the torsion spring system. The difference between the old-style stretched spring and the newer torsion spring is the way in which that the spring energy is stored. With the old-style stretched spring, the energy is stored and released by pulling on the spring or returning the spring to its un-stretched condition. With a torsion form of spring, the energy 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 decided by the weight and size of the garage door that it is operating. When this sort of torsion spring fails, it remains attached and intact to the location on the horizontal control rod where it had been mounted. I have not heard about or seen any torsion spring fly across a garage, creating injury from failed components just like the stretched older style garage door springs. This is not to say that injuries have not occurred with the torsion style spring. The installing this sort of spring is generally safe when left to an experienced garage door installation professional. Severe and serious injuries have occurred when untrained, unqualified individuals have attempted to put in or service this sort of spring. 


 
 

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