ASK JOE HETZEL
© 2004 Door & Access Systems<br> Publish Date: Spring 2004
Author: Joe Hetzel
ASK JOE HETZEL
Q: “I’m considering adding some struts and other measures to strengthen my garage door. What do you recommend?”
Joe: Homeowners occasionally ask me this question. I advise against such work, warning them about serious safety concerns and how additional weight affects the counterbalance system.
As door dealers know, the spring system may be unable to handle the added weight. As a result, the spring could break, or the spring’s support hardware could loosen. More importantly, if a spring system’s stored energy is released, anyone near the spring system could be seriously injured or killed by flying parts.
So, I always tell them to contact a local trained door systems technician to evaluate the door for a safe, effective repair or to replace the door itself.
Q: “I hear that other organizations besides DASMA are involved with the thermal performance of garage doors and rolling doors. What is DASMA doing about this?”
Joe: You’ve heard right. A lot is happening, and we’re involved on several levels.
- Testing. Historically, DASMA has published testing criteria for thermal transmittance (U-factor) and air infiltration in the standard ANSI/DASMA 105. However, other organizations such as the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) have published a different method of testing for U-factor.
- Simulation. The NFRC has published a standard that determines U-factor by “simulation” (i.e., calculation using software) of various fenestration (window, door, skylight) products. They have applied this simulation method to garage doors and rolling doors.
- Research. ASHRAE, an association of heating and air conditioning engineers, is currently conducting a research project on the thermal performance of various door products including garage doors and rolling doors. DASMA is serving on a subcommittee that is monitoring that project.
- Standards. NFRC and ASTM have published standards for determining U-factor and air infiltration, and they have included garage doors and rolling doors in the scope of those standards. DASMA, however, has its own standard: ANSI/DASMA 105.
- Code Content. NFRC standards that include garage doors and rolling doors are currently referenced in the International Residential Code and the International Energy Conservation Code.
- Default Values. ASHRAE publishes tables that show default U-factor values for certain garage door and rolling door products.
- Labeling. NFRC has a labeling program for fenestration products that can be construed as applicable to garage doors and rolling doors. However, the program has historically not applied to our products.
DASMA is monitoring all this activity, and we are actively representing industry interests. In the end, we seek a reasonable, fair, and accurate means of determining, reporting, and (when required) regulating garage door and rolling door thermal performance. We’ll keep you informed of our progress through this magazine.