Babette Garage Doors October 13th, 2017 - 23:59:05
I have been involved in numerous garage door lawsuits where many different reasons for an injury have occurred. Having been retained as expert witness for both plaintiff and defense several common factors have been observed. In many cases unqualified individuals have attempted to repair or install garage doors. They have lacked the knowledge skills or even the basic required tools to perform the work safely and properly. I have been hired as an expert by garage door manufacturers and installers to defend claims that they are not responsible for alleged product defects. In most cases the components that failed failed as a result of abuse or improper installation on the part of the end user. As stated above the installation of many garage doors is not appropriate for an untrained person.
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.
The Vintage Plus line of Delden Garage Doors is a very popular and affordable carriage door. The 25 gauge steel pre-painted doors are 2 inches thick insulated with polystyrene with a vinyl backing. They are reported to have an R-value of at least 6. Obviously these doors are not meant to be used in areas that have tough winters or where you are going to heat or cool your garage. One of the problems with using polystyrene insulated panels is that this type insulation leaves gaps which reduce the effectiveness of the insulation.