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  1. #1
    Mark Gammell's Avatar
    Mark Gammell Guest

    Thumbs up Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Does anyone know whether Roll-up type building doors with autmatic openers are required as garage door opnener to have safety reverse features, or if thecy can be equipped simialar to typical door openers.

    Do they also make secured control panels, as would have to think so.

    I did a final walk-thru inspection of a fully renovated 100 year rowhome in Wash, DC yesterday and all five of the renovated row homes had metal rollup doors providing their tennants accces their fence enclosed rear yard parking areas. The doors work via remote openers and the wall mount opener, though do not reverse or stop when obstructed. I called this out and the GC for the builder whom also attended mentioned Rollup doors unlike typical garage doors are not required to have a safety reversal or stop mechanism. He said he's been installing these forever and never been required to incorporate a reversal feature.

    Anyone know if this is the case, as it just doenst make any sence to me. I cant imagine that even roll-up doors on commercial garages would not be required to have a safety reversal feature, at minimum a obstruction feature which would stop the doors downward movement.

    The other issue I had was this property is not in the safest neighborhood, and all someone has to do is reach over the 6' wood fence to operate the fence mounted electric door control to open the door, hmmm.

    I suggested the GC reloacte the control to the inside the home, though all one really then needs to do is pull down on the steel cable which disengages the overhead automatic opener, and use the manual large pull chain feature to open the parking lot door. There should be some way of making this type door safe and secured.

    And then there's the new metal stairs which lead you to the rear entries to the home as well the new roof deck,, very nice,, though it also gives someone of ill intent access to the other 6 row home's roof attic access covers which provides easy entry and free home shopping trip into any these other 6 homes. We visited inside several these home's with permission and surprise of their new owners. My client's home did not have this problem himself with the GC having smartly removed the home's roof attic cover when instaling the new rubber bitumen roof covering.

    My questions, 1) Are these type doors required to have safety reversal features when used as rear parking area doors. 2) Can they be equipped with secured onsite access panels (of course yes), and 3) Is there a way to make using the pull chains (designed for when the power is out or opener broken) a secured feature rather than easy feature, these to make the roll-up door's operation both safe and secured for the homeowner.

    BTW - We had a great view of our nation's Washington Monument, 4th of of July Fireworks and the White House from the home's new roof deck.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    [quote=Mark Gammell;37984]My questions, 1) Are these type doors required to have safety reversal features when used as rear parking area doors.[quote]

    Yes. It is an overhead door used for residential purposes.

    2) Can they be equipped with secured onsite access panels (of course yes),
    Not exactly sure what the question is about, but, if it is what I am thinking it is ... then, yes, our garage door has an exterior key pad with a code which allows the door to be opened or closed from the key pad(a code which we can reset at anytime, along with adding/deleting temporary codes, such as to allow someone in for service of whatever, then remove the code so they cannot get back in later).

    and 3) Is there a way to make using the pull chains (designed for when the power is out or opener broken) a secured feature rather than easy feature, these to make the roll-up door's operation both safe and secured for the homeowner.
    Absolutely no, that should not be done! Those are not designed or intended for "(designed for when the power is out or opener broken)", they are designed to allow emergency access to the door and to be able to disconnect the opener and allow the door to be raised, allowing anyone entrapped under the door to be rescued.

    They 'also work for the purpose of' allowing "(designed for when the power is out or opener broken)", but that is not why they are there.

    Those emergency release ropes should hang down far enough to be accessible by everyone, and they should never ... NEVER ... *NEVER* ... be secured up out of the way.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Mark Gammell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Appreciate your response Jerry, and just so you undertand the installation, the metal rollup door is not installed as part of the buiding, a garage or any structure. It's installed, incorporated as part of a 6' fence enclosing the rear yard and parking area of the resideintial property.

    I indeed had suggested the GC install a exterior keypad on the interior side of the fence rather than the "On/Off/Stop" control box he installed interior side of the 6' fence. He siad the roll type doors are not configured as such,, though would have to beleive it would be an option.

    Now if the rollup door was configured with a safety reversal feature usign either a electronic beam or door sensitivity feature then I dont see why the large circular chain used for manuaol operation would still need be me made easily operable to someone climbing over the fence.

    It would not make any sence to have a secured door of this type or driveway security gate if someone only had to pull a cord to allow them entrance. I hace to think that doors installed of this nature and purpose have different requirements than a standard garage door.. and agred the rope cord on residential garage doors needs to be installed and easily accessible to all parties,, though again, a garage is a secured area, unlike a driveway or entrance gate or door.

    Might there indeed be a viable solution for making the backup chain drive feature, a secured feature or only available only to the homeowner, and the rollup door installed using a safety reverse feature typical of a garage door? I would beleive this would be a standard configuration as this type door at the rear of row home properties is something we see more and more on open fence systems at the rear of properties in this area?

    Last edited by Mark Gammell; 03-30-2008 at 11:44 AM. Reason: wording, clarification

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gammell View Post
    Appreciate your response Jerry, and just so you undertand the installation, the metal rollup door is not installed as part of the buiding, a garage or any structure. It's installed, incorporated as part of a 6' fence enclosing the rear yard and parking area of the resideintial property.
    Which makes it "residential use".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Mark Gammell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Jerry, if your indeed understanding the installation, then what would you suggest as a measure to keep someone from simply using the mechanical chain to open the door.... as this would be a open invitation to anyone climbing the fence and opening your fence door to steal your vehicle.

    I've inspected many estate properties where the driveway gate does not allow someone to simply pull a chain to open the door,, it's a security gate,, as is the purpose of this rollup drivway door installed at the rear parking area of the property.

    I've been stuck in parking garage after-hours where I was'nt able to open their metal rollup door, so again there has to be a viable solultion, one which we can recommend having the GC install a required safety reverse feature on the door, and also makes the chain drive option a secured opption in some way to jsut homeowner, as is a secrity gate installed on a residiential driveway.

    There's more crooks than nice folks in this dwntn area once the evening sun goes down.

    BTW - The presidents's White House driveway security gates I'm quite sure don't have rope pull-cords to disengage it's driveway rollup and gates,, it's I'm sure a missle defense system all it's own.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gammell View Post
    Jerry, if your indeed understanding the installation, then what would you suggest as a measure to keep someone from simply using the mechanical chain to open the door....
    Let me make sure I understand you, what I am visualizing seems to keep changing.

    a) What I am now thinking you are referring to are the industrial/commercial type roll up doors which are chain operated.

    b) I though you were referring to the residential roll up doors which have an opener with chains for safety/emergency use.

    Is it a) or b)?

    as this would be a open invitation to anyone climbing the fence and opening your fence door to steal your vehicle.
    As is the case with any fenced in compound - once over the fence, they are home free. The key to keeping them out of a fenced compound is ... keeping them out of the fenced compound ... i.e., razor wire across the top of the fence on those arms which reach out from the fence.

    I've inspected many estate properties where the driveway gate does not allow someone to simply pull a chain to open the door,, it's a security gate,
    So have I, and the difference is "it's a security gate" ... with emphasis on "gate"

    so again there has to be a viable solultion, one which we can recommend having the GC install a required safety reverse feature on the door, ... , as is a secrity gate installed on a residiential driveway.
    You've already hit it ... "security gate".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Mark Gammell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Let me make sure I understand you.

    a) What I am now thinking you are referring to are the industrial/commercial type roll up doors which are chain operated.

    b) I thought you were referring to the residential roll up doors which have an opener with chains for safety/emergency use.

    Is it a) or b)?
    Jerry,
    I guess it's more like b), as it's a metal roll-up door with an enclosed drive motor at the top right of the door assembly which opens and closes the door when using the wall mount control. The roll-up door also utilizes a heavy looped chain which can operate the metal door by pullying on a metal cable at the side of the door.

    My recommendation is to have the G/C install a safety reverse feature, be it an electric eye and or sensitivity adjustment feature, and install a key pad or keyed control panel where the on/off/stop puch button control is currently located on the interor side of the wood fence, or top the inside the home's back door.

    With the roll-up metal door meant to be a security gate, and the door then having a safety reverse feature installed, woud'nt it be okay to have them disable the steel cable which engages the auxilliary pull chain, or make the steel cable not as easily accessible, again with the door now having a safety reverse feature installed as a safe operation of the door.

    The intended purpose for the door is to secure the enclosed home's rear yard parking area along the back alley to the home. They might as well otherwise leave a sign saying Please Open ME if it's left configured the way the door presently is,, and first time they leave their bumper hanging out under the door, well crunch goes the back end of the car.

    I'd like to beleive with them installing a safety reverse feature it would satisfy safety requirements and allow them to disable the chain drive feature, which in itself does not act as a safety feaure as a person would be dismembereed or decapitated by the pressure of the metal door as it's presently installed. This sounds it should provide safe operation and desired security functionality. I failed to mention it was one of their new less than desirable neighbors whom pointed this security flaw to them when lookiing at the home and reached over the fence to let their realtor and them into the rear yard, so I again have to beleive something needs to be done, you think! The G/C says of course it's fine the way it is... not! Thanks!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gammell View Post
    I guess it's more like b), as it's a metal roll-up door with an enclosed drive motor at the top right of the door assembly which opens and closes the door when using the wall mount control. The roll-up door also utilizes a heavy looped chain which can operate the metal door by pullying on a metal cable at the side of the door.
    Mark,

    I've had those on a few of the homes I've inspected, they all had auto-reverse and the photo cells.

    My recommendation is to have the G/C install a safety reverse feature, be it an electric eye and or sensitivity adjustment feature,
    All good recommendations.

    With the roll-up metal door meant to be a security gate, and the door then having a safety reverse feature installed, woud'nt it be okay to have them disable the steel cable which engages the auxilliary pull chain, or make the steel cable not as easily accessible, again with the door now having a safety reverse feature installed as a safe operation of the door.
    No. That manual operation via chain is the last 'fail safe' safety mechanism to allow a person to raise the door during an emergency.

    Disabling a safety feature to help prevent theft is not a good enough to set it up for loss of life.

    When it comes down to preventing theft of material things versus preventing loss of life ... preventing loss of life wins hands down every time.

    The intended purpose for the door is to secure the enclosed home's rear yard parking area along the back alley to the home. They might as well otherwise leave a sign saying Please Open ME if it's left configured the way the door presently is,, and first time they leave their bumper hanging out under the door, well crunch goes the back end of the car.
    I understand that, but ... re-read what I stated above.

    "When it comes down to preventing theft of material things versus preventing loss of life ... preventing loss of life wins hands down every time."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Agreed and Agreed! I'm a little surprised it not came to me till I was half finished typing my last positing.

    You'd certainjly not catch me advising a client to disable a intended safety feature,,, "the inspector told me to do it"..

    We'll still have the G/C install the safety reverse and key pad for the client, amongst the 60+ other items we observed requiring further attention on this rady to move-in fully renovated home.

    Thanks, and good to be back with InspectionNews once again!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    With this type of roll up door you may still have a problem or two that needs to be pointed out.
    These doors were not intended to be mounted outdoors, the motor, the boxes, and all the electrical are (probably) all rated for indoor use. Unless all these were changed out or these doors were specificially designed for outside use this is a major problem. Are all the motors totally enclosed type, and are all the boxes, conduits, etc. weatherproof? I looked at this type of setup before, extremely costly to have these units made to outdoor specs. At the time only one manufacturer, maybe two, were setting the doors up like this. Extremely expensive to buy, and the manufacturers disclaimed any warranty since these doors and components were never tested for outdoor use.
    These may have changed by now if more demand was present then the door manufacturers would test, design, and build for this purpose and prices would level out.
    Alton Darty


  11. #11
    Andy Cox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roll Type Parking & Garage door openers

    Whether the GC wants to, or it's required by code, I would explain your safety concerns to your client. Show them the hazards and let them decide if they want the GC to make changes. If they decide it's not a big deal, they have to live with that decision, and you've done your part in calling it to their attention.


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