Lucille. Garage Doors. October 23rd , 2017.
As a door expert witness, 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 an area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors can be broken down into a few basic styles or categories. Typical modern garage doors for residential applications tend to be predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That style of door comes in many configurations, materials, levels of insulation, and a wide range of appearance possibilities.
In contrast 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 used, they can be concealed in an 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 they are retracted, and require significant gear trains to reduce the effort required to move these doors up and down into position. Often the forces needed to move these roll up doors require a reduction type of transmission that allows a very heavy door to be operated effortlessly.
Apart from steel and wood, vinyl garage doors are also getting popular nowadays. Vinyl garage gates are rustproof and are more resistant to scratches than their steel counterparts. A vinyl garage gate is not usually available off the shelf. It usually takes a lead-time of 2-4 weeks. A vinyl garage door has the same exterior style and insulation options as a steel garage door. With environment consciousness pervading far and wide, people are seeking environment-friendly garage door materials. These environment-friendly garage doors are made up of recycled wood. These garage doors can be painted and have insulation facilities.
Garage doors can be operated manually (by hand), as well as automatically (by power assisted motor). In both cases, the proper operation of the garage door is determined by the proper balancing of the garage door weight, springs and related component hardware. An automatic 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 easy to open and close, many users do not realize the combined overall weight until springs fail to assist the door in its operation. In all cases, regardless of the type of garage door, the entire system of hinges, track, hardware, and door opener work as a team. Problems with misalignment, shifting, or jamming can lead to problematic operation of a door. Counter forces imparted to a garage door, not engineered into the components, can lead to injury. Inappropriate maintenance or complete lack of maintenance has lead to severe bodily injuries. Forcing the operation of a garage door, when one or more 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 of all door systems.
In the past, the biggest concern with operating an overhead garage door was the potential risks associated with the springs used for balancing the door weight. Pre mid 1960s 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 door was moved into the closed position. Unloading (releasing) of the stored spring energy occurred as the door was opened to the horizontal overhead position. One of the most dangerous aspects of these spring systems was that after a period of time, often without any maintenance or inspection, the points of attachment of these springs would rust or become weak.
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