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Thread: old garage door

  1. #1
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    Default old garage door

    On some of the old wooden garage doors I find the pictured metal part all twisted and detached.

    Is this metal part important to the structural stability of the door assembly or is it just for aiding in persons manually lifting the door?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: old garage door

    I believe it is a stiffener that is there to reinforce the wood panel. It should probably not be used as a handle.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: old garage door

    We are sensitive to old wooden garage doors here in Florida for obvious reasons. There should be a handle at the bottom of the door to aid in opening. That does't mean the door is sound, the metal addition of lateral support means the door has probably failed in the past. Personally I always recommend replacement with some form of hurricane or minimally wind rated door when I find these old wood doors. Generally the garage door is the largest opening in the residence but in many cases the most neglected, if it fails there can be catastrophic roof failure.


  4. #4
    Roger Shafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: old garage door

    It appears to be a support, added to decrease sagging of the panels.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: old garage door

    It is indeed, a structural support. It functions much the same as a wooden "strong-back" does for rafter support. Standard equipment for many "double" garage doors........Greg


  6. #6
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    Smile Re: old garage door

    A handle? Really? No they put them there for looks .....Of course it's important! It is a structural reinforcement (stiffener channel). Metal doors have them too, some are built in. Another big problem I see all the time is when they don't add a stiffener support for the opener brackets. If the top panel ain't damaged yet, it will be.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: old garage door

    That serves two purposes: 1) when the door is down it makes the door much more resistant to wind damage and/or window blowing the door in (as long as the correct hardware is present and is properly installed); 2) when the door is up it adds support to the panel to help keep it from sagging.

    The main reason, though, is 1).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: old garage door

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Rogers View Post
    A handle? Really? No they put them there for looks .....
    Daniel,

    Thanks for the smirk but I suggest you keep 'em to yourself. That attitude discourages participation. Without participation, this site would be dead and nobody would learn anything.

    To everyone,

    I wrote the door up for repair or replacement by a qualified contractor. That was two weeks ago. The seller refused to have the door looked at stating that because it passed a reversal test it was safe. I told my client that just because it passed a reversal test does not mean the door is safe. In addition to the twisted support, it also had a few really worn and very loose hinges. I told my client to hold their ground and demand that a qualified contractor look at it. We both knew what a qualified person would say, so does the seller. "replace that POS"


  9. #9
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    Default Re: old garage door

    John,
    Bent bar was added at some time in the past to correct a defect in the doors operation or construction. There probably was a problem with joint separation or a bowing of that panel or rail. Not a wind issue. Tension rods and cables are also used in these type of repairs.
    After the bar was at some point it was damaged and could be replaced.
    The bar was not intended to act as a handle.
    People will use anything available to aid them in opening a door, right or wrong.
    Loose and worn hinges are a maintenance issue, like replacing the metal bar.
    If the door and electric opener operated correctly then it is functional. Just not visually appealing.
    If there was deterioration in parts of the door such as panels styles, rails or any of the hardware then it should be reported as just that, deteriorated parts of the door.

    The fact that the seller was not interested in having the door looked at is fine, their prerogative, the door works within his needs or requirements.

    You were right in suggesting that a qualified contractor be called to inspect the door and repair it or replace it.
    This puts the buyer on notice that the door will require an expenditure of funds.
    They then can adjust their offer accordingly if they had not taken it into account in the original offer.

    Wooden doors as well as metal eventually need to be replaced and they all will look like a POS just as we will, if we don't already.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: old garage door

    I've seen them on brand new doors.
    Obviously this door needs repair, but just because the stiffener is on a door does not mean there is an automatic problem.


  11. #11
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
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    Default Re: old garage door

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I've seen them on brand new doors.
    Obviously this door needs repair, but just because the stiffener is on a door does not mean there is an automatic problem.
    Agreed, almost every new garage door i have installed(both wood and metal) have stiffeners (usually 2 depending on size). I have replaced several stiffeners on almost new doors due to human error (damage i.e. car,sledge hammers, morons ) I would be more concerned that the damaged stiffener could fail when the door is in the upright condition than wind. The liability of a 20 lb panel falling 6 feet is much more of a concern in my opinion. I have seen panels fall due to damaged stiffeners and loose or wore out hinges.

    Here's a couple of pennys for you rob


  12. #12
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    Default Re: old garage door

    A couple of door pics. The wooden double doors always make me nervous.
    I won't open any garage door that has a collector car, or a '52 Chev under it.

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  13. #13
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
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    Default Re: old garage door

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    A couple of door pics. The wooden double doors always make me nervous.
    I won't open any garage door that has a collector car, or a '52 Chev under it.
    Especially a five window


  14. #14

    Default Re: old garage door

    John This trype door with these hinges most of the time have loose nuts, I have seen some fall apart and cause a mess and complete damage to the door. ALWAYS check the nuts to be sure they are secure. The bracket should be replaced and monitored. I included this in every report I ever did with this type wood door. Hope this helps.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: old garage door

    Just for kicks, here's the exact comments I wrote in the report about the garage door. Whatta ya think, too harsh, too soft or just about right?


    20. The old wooden garage door has seen better days. It's panels are rotting and its supporting hardware is failing. It might be possible to do some repairs and get some more life out of it but the best thing to do is replace this old worn out door.

    21. The garage door opener lacks safety features of newer models. Garage doors are the cause of many home accidents. To reduce the chance of accidents, the door opener should be replaced with a newer model which has all the latest safety features.

    These are concerns #20 and 21. In the preface of every report is the following language.

    To help you reference issues, a numbered list of concerns continues throughout the report. The concerns will identify problems and describe why they’re important. For every concern listed in this report, I recommend you hire licensed, qualified and competent contractors to fix the problems. Recommendations I make to "repair" or "replace" or "fix" means you should consult with a professional in the appropriate field to determine all needed repairs and best repair method, to estimate costs and to perform any repairs deemed necessary. You should get written documentation of any work performed.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: old garage door

    Cloplay has a stop that has a flexible weather strip built into it.
    You can find rthe at either A Cloplay/grage door company dealer or at home centers like HomeDepot or Lowes.
    Quick easy solution to reduce gap around door.


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