As a home expert witness, I'm called upon often times annually to judge garage door injuries. Garage doors can be found in many shapes and sizes. Their functions range from basic security of a place to cosmetic concealment. Most doors can be broken into several basic styles or categories. Typical modern garage doors for residential applications tend to be predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That design of door will come in many configurations, materials, quantities of insulation, and a wide variety of appearance possibilities. They are available as a prefabricated kit, or built as a custom design to check the decor of any building. Commercial warehouse type installations often dictate higher security requirements. A good choice because of this security form of door could be the "roll-up" style that resembles a roll top desk form of door. This door can be manufactured with a variety of materials that is often as strong whilst 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 for closing off a currently secured area than for assuring point security. [https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgs2N5cwh3l6rB61ErFZjg164-nV-kiPX
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Before, the greatest concern with operating an overhead garage door was the potential risks related to the springs useful for balancing the doorway weight. Pre mid 1960's garage door installations typically relied upon a couple of stretched (tensioned) springs to aid 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 most dangerous areas of these spring systems was that if a period of time, often without the maintenance or inspection, the points of attachment of the springs would rust or become weak. This weakening of 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 into the garage walls, cars or other items in the trail of travel. Unfortunately, sometimes everyone was in the trail of travel of the 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 endeavor to fully capture the parts that will release if a failure occurred. While these caging devices were helpful, these were not completely effective. Several of those spring devices remain used today. Whenever this disorder exists or the grade of garage components is questionable, a qualified professional service technician should be consulted. [https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgs2N5cwh3l6rB61ErFZjg164-nV-kiPX
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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 using a cable and pulley system to a vertical rod now designed 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 whole spring is installed around an outside 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 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 type of torsion spring fails, it remains attached and intact to the location on the horizontal control rod where it absolutely was mounted. I haven't heard about or seen any torsion spring fly across a garage, creating injury from failed components as with the stretched older style garage door springs. This really is not to imply that injuries haven't occurred with the torsion style spring. The installing of this type of spring is generally safe when left to an educated garage door installation professional. Severe and serious injuries have occurred when untrained, unqualified individuals have attempted to install or service this type of spring.