Garage doors

This topic covers section 7 of the wind mitigation form. It covers questions about Opening Protection methods for structures built in compliance with the Florida Building Code, South Florida Building Code, and previous model building codes that were in force at the time of construction. It covers approved and non-approved methods of opening protection or impact windows/doors for site built, single-family homes. All questions and answers provided in this section are geared towards helping inspectors and home owners better understand the use and completion of the form.
philw99
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Garage doors

Postby philw99 » March 28th, 2017, 11:04 pm

I was taught that if the house was built under the 1994 SFBC then the garage door ought to be 9lb large missile impact rated. Is this how most people rate the door if there is no documentation on the door?

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Robert R Sheppard
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Re: Garage doors

Postby Robert R Sheppard » March 31st, 2017, 4:27 pm

Yes and no.

Assuming the door is in fact rated for impact is taking a huge leap of faith in the inspection system, a leap that may end up being incorrect. If the door is not labeled, you will need to make a visit to the AHJ (Building Department) and pull the original construction documents which should include information on the vehicle door. If there is not label on the door to link it with the approval, take the approval documents for the door and compare them to the one installed at the home.

Many old doors lose their labels or they just deteriorate until they are unreadable. Either way, make the best effort to document everything about the door, including copies of the submitted construction documents, to reinforce you opinion. DO NOT assume that just because the home was permitted under a specific code cycle that it is automatically complaint.

Also, if it is the original door to the home and was installed during the 1994 SFBC, it's time to replace it. Garage vehicle door typically last between 15 and 20 years, depending on how it's used. Maintenance and wear can also play a factor and age the door much faster.
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Robert R Sheppard
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Re: Garage doors

Postby Robert R Sheppard » April 3rd, 2017, 8:50 am

Typically, the wheels and joint connections wear first. Again, this does depend on use as the components can wear quicker if the door is used excessively. The "assembly" depends on these components to work in unison providing the strength needed to resist wind and impact loads. While a door can be "refurbished" with replacement of these components, after 15 to 20 years these components can become both obsolete and no longer available as testing and manufacturing changes.

It is recommended that a garage vehicle door be replaced with the operator, which also lasts 15-20 years. While not a requirement, it is a good rule to follow.

When it comes to glazed assemblies (windows and doors with glass), we test through a synthetic process that's located in ASTM E1300. This testing process ages the glazing 20 years and shows that glass panels are not perennial. Glass is not a complete solid...not in the same way we think of a rock being solid....but more of a liquid in suspension (it's not a liquid so to speak, just not impervious to settling). As the glass ages, it settles. The bottom of the glass panel becomes thicker while the top becomes thinner.

If the home is older, replacement of the glass itself will trigger impact protection requirement depending on where the home is located. PGT uses this standard with their window and door assemblies, they rate their units for a maximum service life of 20 years.
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ICC Cert. Residential Building Inspector B1 #8325007
ICC Cert. Residential Electrical Inspector E1 #8325007
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