10 Myths About the New Garage Door Certification Program

© 2009 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2009
Author: Joe Hetzel
Page 58


10 Myths About the New Garage Door Certification Program

By Joe Hetzel, DASMA Technical Director

On July 1, 2008, DASMA made available to manufacturers a voluntary, code-compliant garage door certification program applying to wind-load and windborne-debris-resistance performance of products. On March 1, 2009, the state of Florida will require the equivalent of product certification.

A DASMA-sponsored certification program allows our industry, not an outside agency, to control the content and administration of the program. DASMA is currently in the extensive process of having the program accredited through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Inquiries and discussions on the subject have led us to identify the following 10 myths about product certification as applying to garage doors.

Myth #1: Certification is the only means of demonstrating garage door performance in high winds.

Truth: Four alternatives exist for demonstrating wind performance of garage doors: a test report, a rational analysis prepared by a registered design professional, an evaluation report prepared by an evaluation entity, and certification.

Myth #2: DASMA is promoting certification over the other methods of demonstrating wind performance.

Truth: DASMA is neutral regarding the methods available to manufacturers for demonstrating performance. State and local regulatory agencies determine what is acceptable.

Myth #3: A DASMA certification program is unnecessary.

Truth: Requirements in Florida alone make it necessary for DASMA to offer the certification option. In Florida, the equivalent of product certification became a requirement on March 1, 2009.

Myth #4: Certification is uncommon in exterior building products.

Truth: Product certification programs are in place for siding, shingles, skylights, windows, sliding glass doors, and entry doors.

Myth #5: Nationwide building product certification is uncommon.

Truth: ICC codes require product certification for windows, skylights, and sliding glass doors.

Myth #6: DASMA garage door certification is limited to DASMA garage door manufacturer members.

Truth: Certification is open to any manufacturer who meets the definition of a manufacturer within the certification program documents. To start the process, manufacturers should contact Dan Wise of Architectural Testing, program administrator, at 717-764-7700 or dwise@archtest.com.

Myth #7: The DASMA certification program has no added value as compared to any other performance alternative.

Truth: The purpose of the DASMA certification program is to offer a performance alternative that meets the requirements of a certification program as dictated by building codes. Having an independent validator—and eventual ANSI accreditation—sets the certification program apart from the other alternatives.

Myth #8: The certification program is only good for Florida.

Truth: Once ANSI accreditation is obtained, the certification program will be acceptable anywhere code-compliant certification is enforced, including Florida.

Myth #9: If manufacturer interest is limited, the program should not be offered.

Truth: The membership of DASMA approved the program, acknowledging the need to have a program available in the event that a state or local jurisdiction begins enforcement of code-compliant certification.

Myth #10: Certification is a manufacturer issue. Dealers don’t need to worry about it.

Truth: Certification involves the dealer wherever certification-level requirements are enforced, because dealers must submit the documentation to local authorities.

Dealers should remain alert for developments in their market areas relating to product labeling and changes in product acceptance requirements. Dealers should immediately communicate this information to their manufacturer suppliers.

DASMA stands ready to work with manufacturers on any state or local basis to educate authorities on product performance documentation options.

To respond to this article, send an e-mail to the editor (daseditor@dasma.com) or to Joe Hetzel (jhetzel@thomasamc.com)