As a home expert witness, I am called upon often times annually to evaluate garage door injuries. Garage doors come in many shapes and sizes. Their functions vary from basic security of an area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors could be broken on to several basic styles or categories. Typical modern garage doors for residential applications are generally predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That style of door will come 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. A good choice for this security form of door could be the "roll-up" style that resembles a roll top desk form of door. This door could be manufactured with many different materials that is often 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. oak garage doors
Previously, the greatest concern with operating an overhead garage door was the potential risks associated with the springs employed 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) as the door was moved to the closed position. Unloading (releasing) of the stored spring energy occurred as the door was opened to the horizontal overhead position. One of the very dangerous facets of these spring systems was that if a time period, often without any 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 result in an inadvertent explosive failure flinging the broken spring components over the garage, embedding the spring or steel components to the garage walls, cars or other items in the road of travel. Unfortunately, sometimes people were in the road of travel of these explosive occurrences. As these springs failed, as an attempted safeguard, some manufacturers devised a "caging" system for the springs. These cages were retrofitted onto the stretched springs in an effort to fully capture the parts that could release if a failure occurred. While these caging devices were helpful, they certainly were not completely effective. Many of these spring devices remain being used today. Whenever this condition exists or the quality of garage components is questionable, a qualified professional service technician ought to be consulted. the best garage doors
In reaction to the inherently dangerous traditional style garage spring issues as above, a newer and safer system for opening the overhead garage door was created. The concept was to transfer the load or weight of the door with a cable and pulley system to a vertical rod now built with a torsion (twisted) spring. This type of spring is installed with specialty hardware and bolts to a fixed plate at one end, while the entire spring is installed around a horizontal pipe. This load balancing device is usually installed directly on the header of the garage opening. Using appropriate cables, connectors and pulleys, the weight of the garage door is transferred to the torsion spring system. The difference between the traditional style stretched spring and the newer torsion spring is the way that the spring energy is stored. With the traditional 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 depending upon the direction of usage. With professional installation, the whole loading of the torsion spring is controlled by the garage installer, and is determined by the weight and size of the garage door that it is operating. When this kind of torsion spring fails, it remains attached and intact to the place on the horizontal control rod where it was mounted. I haven't heard of or seen any torsion spring fly across a storage, creating injury from failed components just like the stretched older style garage door springs. This is not to say that injuries haven't occurred with the torsion style spring. The installing of this kind 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 set up or service this kind of spring.