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Hurricane Center

hurricane rated impact garage doors

Here at Broten, we know a thing or two about hurricanes.

Being based in Broward County for 60 years, we have been through storms like Andrew, Katrina and Wilma. All of our products are tested to ensure they surpass hurricane code requirements. We want to make sure your family is safe, not only during hurricane season, but all year round. We have a list of frequently asked questions and storm tips, and we are available to answer any questions or concerns. Your safety is our top priority.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Before hurricane season begins, experts agree that one of the best things to do is prepare a family hurricane plan — an outline that specifies what every member of the family will do before, during and after a hurricane.

Some general guidelines for preparing your family hurricane plan are:

  • Find out if you live in an evacuation zone.
  • Call your local emergency information center.
  • Decide in advance where your family will stay during a hurricane — at home, a friend’s home, a shelter or a hotel. Pick a back-up location in case there is a problem with your first choice. Make sure everyone knows the location, address and phone number.
  • Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to be your emergency contact, and make sure everyone knows that person’s phone number. Tell your contact person where you will be during the hurricane.
  • Make arrangements for those with special needs.
  • Talk to your employer about whether you will have to work in the event of a hurricane. If so, decide who will pick up the children from school.
  • Practice and review your plan.

A hurricane supply kit should be put together long before a hurricane threatens your area.

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Without protection, your home is at risk if a hurricane strikes. All windows and doors should be protected with products that meet the new building code. Shutters, windows and doors that meet strict hurricane resistance standards are classified as, “hurricane protection products.” In addition to new shutters, there are also hurricane-resistant windows and doors that provide protection without using shutters. These windows and doors seal against the rain and windblown debris. If hurricane-force winds happen to get inside the house, your roof will not survive. Roofs are not designed to withstand wind pressure pushing up from the inside. Since hurricane-force winds can come from any direction, it’s important to protect the entire house. When shopping for your hurricane protection products, make sure the products you choose are approved.

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Chances are, if your garage door is more than 10 years old, it does not meet the new Florida Building Code criteria for safety against hurricane winds.

The single most important improvement you can make to your home is to install a Hurricane-Rated garage door.

Contact us to learn more about hurricane codes, and to see if your garage door meets Florida’s Building Codes.

As the single largest opening on a house, the loss of a garage door during a hurricane can lead to an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in a complete or partial blowout of the entire roof system and supporting walls,” said Mark Westerfield, manager of product development and engineering for Clopay Building Products Company, the largest U.S. manufacturer of residential garage doors. “Hurricane Andrew taught the building products industry and homeowners some valuable lessons on the importance of being prepared for the worst-case scenario.”

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“Garage doors are now considered to be one of the most important parts of a building’s structure in regards to maintaining its structural integrity during a hurricane,” states Mark Westerfield, manager of product development and engineering for Clopay Building Products Company, the largest U.S. manufacturer of residential garage doors.

In March 2002, 10 years after Hurricane Andrew ravaged South Florida, the state adopted stricter building codes that require new garage doors or replacement doors to be structurally reinforced to withstand specific wind load requirements. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties the wind load requirement is 146 mph and 140 mph, respectively. In other parts of Florida, it ranges from 100 to 150 mph.

“To meet the new codes, garage doors must have heavier gauge tracking and springs to help keep them in place under extreme wind loads,” added Westerfield. “Retrofitting a door with new hardware won’t provide the same structural integrity as a new door in the event of a storm.” Homeowners who have not replaced their garage door since the code took effect should consider installing a code-approved, reinforced model.

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The HVHZ, High Velocity Hurricane Zone, designates a geographic area incorporating all of Miami/Dade and Broward Counties and Coastal Palm Beach County. Garage doors installed in this area must meet the most stringent requirements in the entire United States and must be impact rated.

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When a door has attained a “Missile Impact Rating” it means that it has been laboratory tested to withstand the force of a 9# 2×4 approximately 6 feet long, fired at 50 feet per second (about 34 MPH) into its face in various locations. This test is designed to simulate the impact of flying debris during a high wind event.

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A reinforced door doesn’t necessarily mean covering the garage opening in a solid sea of steel. Broten Garage Door Sales also offers a variety of styles from which to choose and they are all hurricane-rated products. You can see all of these products and much more in the product section. Just follow this link and choose from several collections listed on the left.
There are many code compliant design options available to complement most architectural styles, from Contemporary to Mediterranean. Clopay is the first manufacturer in the industry to develop decorative windows that can withstand 350-pounds of impact energy as required by the new stricter code.
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There are two kinds of reinforced garage doors available. The first features long posts that a homeowner must install in the floor and ceiling to secure the door before the storm hits, and then remove afterwards to resume normal operation. This is known as Active reinforcement since you have to act to put it in place.

In a Passive system no advanced setup is required. Reinforcement is contained within the structure of the door and is engaged by simply locking the door, a timesaving convenience in the event of a sudden evacuation notice. This type of door is particularly beneficial to vacation home and rental property owners because they have peace of mind knowing that the door is secure as long as it’s locked.

At Broten Garage Door Sales our doors have built-in (Passive) reinforcement.

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A hurricane post is a vertical reinforcement system designed to brace an already hurricane-rated garage door. Two-car doors require two to three posts while a single door may only require one. These posts are often sold as “Florida Building Code Approved” but they achieve that rating only if they are installed on an already code-approved (FBC or Miami Dade) door. These posts will not make a non-hurricane-rated door hurricane approved, nor do these posts address “impact rating.”

Since your existing door may be under a manufacturer warranty, it is important that you contact the manufacturer’s customers service department to confirm that the addition of posts will not adversely affect your existing warranty.

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In the early days of the Miami/Dade County product approvals some manufacturers provided doors with built-in posts. These were to be rotated into position and locked down with pins into the floor and the header. (See Active System)

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In all cases, the homeowner must accept responsibility for properly securing the vertical posts in position in anticipation of a hurricane or other high-wind event. For retrofitted doors, the installer should explain their installation instructions. For new construction, the building contractor should explain these instructions.

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The door manufacturer supplies the homeowner with instructions, and the homeowner must secure the post by an established assembly procedure.

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Installers carry the responsibility of determining if existing mounting surfaces are suitable. A qualified design professional may need to be consulted to verify supporting structure for the door installation.

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Yes. The garage door makes up a significant portion of the outside wall of your home. As such, it is actually a structural element, whose strength is crucial to the integrity of the home in the event of hurricane-force winds. It is for this reason that cities and counties require permits for the replacement of garage doors, thereby insuring the strength and safety of the door and the remaining structure.

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First, check to see if your contractor is licensed by calling your local Examining Board for licensing and complaint information, or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at (954) 917-1330.
Ask if your contractor has any unresolved complaints that have been filed against him/her and if the license has been revoked or suspended.


Following your background check, you should:

  • 
Ask your contractor for references.
  • Check out work done by your contractor with persons for whom he/she has previously performed work.
  • Ask how long your contractor has been in the business.
  • Check with the Building Department on the contractor’s status to pull permits.
  • Obtain detailed estimates from all contractors for material specifications, how long the job will take to finish and the total cost.
  • 

Be suspicious of a contractor who offers the fastest, cheapest job on a “you must act now” basis. This may be an indication of inferior materials and unlicensed work.
  • 

Get the proposal, contract or agreement in writing.
  • Be wary if you are asked to obtain the building permit. A licensed contractor, who is in good standing, will always obtain the permit.

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According to Florida Law, consumers who hire unlicensed contractors could face a fine of up to $5,000. Chapter 455.228 of the Florida Stautes allows the Florida Department of Professional Regulation (DPR) to request the circuit court to impose a civil penalty of $500 to $5,000 on individuals who aid and abet unlicensed contractors. You may be liable for court costs. Aiding and abetting is defined by the Statute as: anyone who employs an unlicensed contractor or company. Consumers who hire such a contractor face, not only victimization of shoddy workmanship, no follow-up service and inferior products, they face potential difficulties with the law.

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  • Contractor’s name, address, telephone number and Certificate of Competency or State Contractor’s license number.
  • Detail of quality, types of material and a detailed description of the work to be done.
  • A payment schedule.
  • The contractor will obtain all necessary building permits.
  • Make sure that all construction debris is removed by the contractor.

WARNING:

Arrange to pay the final payment to contractor after the work is completed and according to a payment schedule. Make all payments by check or credit card to the company contracted to do the work, not to “cash” or a person’s name. If your contract exceeds $2,500, a Notice of Commencement must be filed by the homeowner, or the contractor can file it for you. Your failure to record a Notice of Commencement may result in your paying twice for improvements to your property.

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If the power goes out, homeowners may need to disconnect their electric openers to manually open the garage door. That can be easier said than done, so we suggest homeowners learn how to do it before an emergency arises. To prevent having to search frantically for a garage door instruction manual in the dark, here are some helpful tips:

  • Disconnect the garage door opener when the garage is in the closed position, not when it’s open. If the springs aren’t balanced, the door could suddenly drop to the ground and cause injury. If the springs are properly balanced, the door will open easily with the lift handles. If it is difficult to open, have a professional garage door service technician check the door as soon as possible to avoid further damage or safety risks.
  • Lock the door. When the automatic opener is disconnected the door is not securely shut until you manually slide the lock bar.
  • Reconnect the opener when the power comes back on. Make sure the door is unlocked when the opener is reconnected. Electrically opening the garage door while the lock bar is still in place can cause major damage.
  • Invest in an automatic door opener that includes a battery back-up feature. That way, when the power goes out, the garage door will still function using the opener, as will the entry keypad and the safety sensors, and the garage door will be locked and secured.

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Post-High Wind Event Door Operation By A Building Occupant

Building occupants should not attempt to remove, adjust or repair doors, springs, or any other door system components, or anything to which they are fastened. Doors are large, heavy objects that move with the help of springs under extreme tension, and can cause serious injury or death. Only trained door systems technicians should remove, repair or adjust doors.
If a building occupant is unsure of the condition of the framing surrounding the door to which the door is attached, a building contractor or design professional should be contacted.
If any problem is observed during visual inspection, visual inspection should immediately cease, the door should not be operationally inspected and a trained door systems technician should be contacted to resolve the problem.

If any problem is encountered during operational inspection, the door should be immediately and carefully lowered to the closed position and a trained door systems technician should be contacted to correct the problem.
Any deformation of panels, tracks or hardware can make a door questionable with regard to withstanding another high wind event. A professional door installer should be contacted in this case.

Visual Inspection

  • Begin inside the garage. The door should remain closed during this activity. A flashlight and a step stool or ladder should be kept handy.
  • Door alignment. Check for misalignment of door or door components, or evidence of damage including broken or cracked glass.
  • Opening frame. Visually inspect jambs and header for proper attachment to the structure including any loose or improperly attached connections.
  • Door track system. Visually inspect for any looseness of fasteners or misalignment of the track. If OK, continue with the inspection.Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

Contact us with any questions or comments about our Hurricane Preparedness Information.

It is not enough to say a product will meet a given wind speed alone, which is measured in miles per hour.

Wind pressure represents the force exerted by wind and is measured in pounds per square foot. It is calculated starting with wind speed, but is greatly dependent on a number of factors related to the structure configuration and site location.

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PSF is not the same as MPH. Comparing wind loaded doors in miles per hour (MPH) rather than pounds per square foot (PSF) doesn’t work, and here’s why: Job-site conditions can affect how wind pressure affects a structure. Variables such as mean roof height, opening size, the proximity of the opening to the corner of the structure, the use of the building and even the nature of the surrounding terrain all are part of calculating the design pressure for a given building. It is because of these variables that building officials are increasingly requiring that the building engineer or architect include the design wind load pressures for each door and window opening in their building plans. Pressures provide a measure of the performance of the product under controlled conditions, allowing for easier product comparisons and less confusion.

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Velocity pressure equates to the amount of work or energy that the wind expends due to its velocity or speed. This energy or work can be either calculated or tested.

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Wind speed is not the defining factor in determining the capability of a structure or component’s performance in the event of a high wind occurrence. It is the amount of velocity pressure that the wind is capable of producing at a given wind speed.

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Design load is a velocity pressure representing the greatest anticipated wind condition based on historical data; test load represents a pre-determined maximum load a door is tested to under controlled laboratory conditions. A test load may be a higher load than the design load by a predetermined factor of safety, usually 50%.

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The positive wind load represents the force trying to push the door into the opening.

The negative wind load represents the force that tries to pull the door out of the opening.
 Why is the negative wind load value often higher than the positive? Due to the action of the wind as it blows across an opening, resistant forces develop, which actually try to lift a door out of the opening. Those forces are stronger than the direct force of the wind trying to blow the door in.

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Breaching of an upper level window may cause the resultant higher interior wind pressure at that level to equalize at the garage door level in homes that do not have self-closing doors separating upper levels from lower levels.

The gust speed is the highest sustained gust over a three-second period of time. The fastest mile speed is the highest sustained speed over a longer period. Gust is typically 20 percent to 25 percent higher than fastest mile. Model building codes have converted to three-second peak gust wind speeds because that means of measurement is now commonly used at wind speed reporting stations across the U.S.

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Actually it is a combination of factors that affect design wind load including:

  • Door size
  • Smallest horizontal dimension of the building
  • 
Mean roof height of the building
  • Garage door distances from corners

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Yes. The least wall dimensional length and the distance from the edge of the structure to the door affects design wind load.

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No. Worst-case winds directly toward and away from garage door are considered in wind load design. Winds may come from any direction during a storm, particularly a hurricane with its large circular pattern of wind.

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Primarily straight-line winds associated with velocity pressures that are a result of hurricanes, thunderstorms and other non-tornadic events.

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Hurricanes are severe tropical cyclones with winds reaching sustained speeds of 74 miles per hour or more. Hurricane winds spiraling toward a relatively calm center or eye of low pressure at speeds which may reach more than 150 miles per hour (130 knots). Near the center hurricane winds may gust to more than 200 miles per hour. Although usually erratic and unpredictable, hurricanes generally follow a westerly to northwesterly path. In the Atlantic, they move toward the Gulf of Mexico or the Eastern U.S. coast causing abnormal water level fluctuations known as hurricane surges. Major hurricane hazards include high winds heavy rainfall, flooding, storm surge and high surf. Every year, these violent storms bring destruction to coastlines and islands in their path.

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Yes. Hurricanes are categorized from 1 through 5, by the Saffir/Simpson Scale. These magnitudes are assigned in accordance to the amount of potential damage and wind speed.



Category One
Winds of 74-95 mph. Storm surge generally 4-5 feet above normal. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, power lines and trees. 
Example: Hurricane Katrina (Florida), 2005.



Category Two
Winds 96-110 mph. Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some damage to roofs, doors and windows. Considerable damage to trees, mobile homes, small boats in unprotected anchorages and piers.
 Example: Hurricane Wilma, 2005.



Category Three
Winds 111-130 mph. Storm surge generally 9-12 feet above normal. Some structural damage to homes and buildings. Heavy damage/destruction of trees and mobile homes. 
Example: Hurricane Frances, 2004.



Category Four

Winds 131-155 mph. Storm surge generally 13-18 feet above normal. More extensive roof damage on small homes. Shrubs, trees and all signs are blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before the arrival of the center of the hurricane.
 Example: Hurricane Charley, 2004.

Category Five
Winds greater than 155 mph. Storm surge generally more than 18 feet above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. All shrubs, trees and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water three to five hours before the arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 feet above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline.
 Example: Hurricane Andrew, 1992.

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Have a TWO WEEKS supply of each item for each person in your home.

WATER

  • Seven gallons of water per person (1/2 gallon for drinking and 2 gallon for bathing, tooth brushing, etc.).
  • Store water in clean, plastic containers.

FOOD

  • Purchase foods that require no refrigeration and little preparation such as:
  • Ready-to-eat canned food
  • Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
  • Soft drinks, instant coffee and tea.
  • Lots of ice (You can freeze your water supply.)

BABY

  • Formula, bottles, powdered milk, jarred baby foods
  • Diapers, moist towelettes and special medications

PETS

  • Newspapers or cat litter for your pet’s sanitary needs
  • Moist canned foods in order to preserve water
  • Plastic sheets to cover the floor of pet’s room

MEDICINE

  • First aid kit, rubbing alcohol
  • Aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever and antacid
  • Extra prescription medication (especially for those with heart problems and diabetics)
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist how to store prescription medication.

PERSONAL ITEMS

  • Toilet paper, towels, soap, shampoo
  • Personal and feminine hygiene products
  • Denture needs, contact lenses and an extra pair of eye glasses
  • Sun protection, insect repellent

OTHER SUPPLIES

  • Battery-operated radio, flashlights, non-electric can opener, extra batteries
  • Charcoal, waterproof matches, extra propane for gas grills (Use grills outside only.)**
  • ABC-rated fire extinguisher in a small canister
  • Portable cooler
  • Plenty of absorbent towels, plastic trash bags
  • Wind-up or battery-operated clock
  • Tarp or sheet plastic, duct tape, hammer and nails (for temporary roof repairs)
  • Cleaning supplies such as chlorine bleach
  • Aluminum foil, paper napkins and plates, plastic cups.
  • Can of spray paint (can be used to identify your home for insurance adjusters in case it’s damaged)
  • These items can cause fires and shouldn’t be stored inside the house.

CLOTHING/BEDDING

  • At least one change of clothing per person, sturdy shoes, hat and work gloves
  • Blankets and pillows or sleeping bags

YOUR HOME

Complete this checklist before hurricane season:

  • Learn the elevation of your area and find out if you’re in an evacuation zone.
  • Make a list of loose items outside your home that should be put inside or tied down such as garbage cans, plants, etc. Don’t forget the TV antenna. Urge neighbors to do the same.
  • Trim trees and bushes before hurricane season. Excess limbs can break windows and damage roofs.
  • Install hurricane shutters that meet building code requirements.
  • Inspect the roof for loose tiles or shingles and debris.
  • The main electric breaker, water valve and gas valve may need to be shut off. Know their locations.
  • Photograph or videotape your home and personal property.

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Gasoline-powered generators can be useful after a storm knocks out power to your home. However, generators can also be deadly if not used properly. Generators emit carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal. People have died or been seriously injured due to fires caused by generators. To stay safe, please follow these tips:

  • Always operate a generator outside a home in a ventilated area, well away from any windows, doors, vents and other openings.
  • Purchase a carbon monoxide detector and install it in your home.
  • Never operate a generator in the garage with the door closed.
  • Never operate a generator on the balcony of a multi-unit building such as an apartment or condominium.
  • Never refuel a generator while it’s running or still hot.
  • Never overload the generator.
  • Never connect a portable generator to the main electrical panel in your home.
  • Carefully inspect a generator after long storage periods for broken or missing parts.
  • Wipe off all dust.
  • Store the generator in a dry, ventilated area with its fuel tank drained.
  • Before storing, clean the generator by removing all oil and dirt.
  • Don’t store the generator near fuel supplies.
  • Don’t store the generator near appliances such as water heaters or pumps, especially if they’re gas powered.

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a) Should Garage Doors be tested for the small missile test if a 3/16 inch rupture is evident due to the large missile impact test?

If a rupture of 3/16 inch occurs, the specimen failed the large missile test because rupture of dimensions greater than 1/16″ by 5″ constitutes a failure per Ordinance 93-141.
b) A garage door has vents that have openings larger than 3/16″. Does it have to be tested for small missile impact?

No.

c) Do chambers for garage doors have to hold the entire depth of the top tracks in order for the garage door to slide on after testing?

The chamber should have sufficient depth to contain the curve portion of the track. A removable opening can be used at the top rear of the chamber where the top tracks can be installed after testing to roll the door up and down.



d) Where do you impact overhead garage doors that do not have support struts?

The impact locations for overhead garage doors without struts are the same as for shutters but rotated by 90 degrees.

e) Where do you impact overhead garage doors that have vertical supports?

The impact locations for overhead garage doors with vertical struts, the impacts are as shown below.



f) Where do roll-up garage doors have to be impacted?

For roll-up garage doors, only the center and a corner are required, but if the application is as shown below where the slats do not push up against the entire opening, the roll drum must also be impacted.



g) When testing roll garage doors, what is the size of specimen that must be tested?

The size specimen tested shall match the largest size sought for approval, foresees installing or wants product approval.

h) Do vents in a garage door have to be impacted?

Small ventilators less than 60in can be installed on garage doors without undergoing the impact test requirements. Any larger vents will have to be tested with the door.



i) Does a garage door that has a panel with glazing have to be cycled 671 times or 9000 times?

You may test a full garage door without the glazed panel and cycle it 671 times. You then may test a “single glazed panel” for the 9000 cycles and use it in the “whole” door system.



j) How many variations of Garage Doors may be submitted on one application?

1. Only one design (material or pattern) is accepted per application.

You may submit two different thicknesses of the same design under one application by testing the thinner material. The approval of the thicker material will be based on the results of the thinner material tested.
You may submit two different spans of the same design under one application by testing the longest span. The approval of the short span will be based on the results of the longest span tested.




2. Each set of uniform static air test (TAS202), performed on a specific model, series, or type of door requires one application.


If a group of doors of the same design, material and pattern are being tested, it is only necessary to impact (TAS201) and cycle (TAS203) the thinner (weakest) door with the highest pressure. The satisfactory result of these tests will qualify the group of doors of the same design, material and pattern.



k) What is the procedure for testing garage doors to PA202?

1. Apply 5% test load to remove the “play” of the door. Return pressure to 0 and set all deflections dials to 0.
2. Bring pressure to 1/2 test load and record deflection.
3. Remove all loads and read deformation if any. Recovery at this point shall be 95-100%.
4. Bring pressure to test load and record deflection.
Remove all load and record deformation permanent set. Recovery shall be at least 80%. Repeat the above in the negative direction in the same manner. Perform this test on as many samples required. The door shall be raised to an open position after the test. The laboratory must report if the door was operable or not after the test.
l) What is the procedure for reporting and installing garage door specimens to the test chamber?

The following procedure shall be implemented June 1, 1995. This means that any Product Approval submittal received in this office after said date shall be evaluated to this procedure.
To begin with, only those anchors and fasteners that were tested shall be approved.


For Roll-Up Doors:

  • 

Specimen 1 test to PA201 & PA203 on 2000 psi concrete column on both sides and qualify two types of anchors.
  • 

Specimen 2 test to PA201 & PA203 on A36 steel column on both sides and qualify two types of fasteners.
  • Specimen 3 test to PA201 & PA203 on C-90 masonry block with 2000 psi grout column on both sides and qualify two types of anchors.



For Sectional Doors:

  • Specimen 1 test to PA201 & PA203 on 2″x6″ or larger PT#3 Southern Pine wood buck on both sides and qualify two types of anchors.
  • 

Specimen 2 test to PA201 & PA203 on C-90 masonry block with 2000 psi grout column on both sides and qualify two types of anchors.
  • 

Specimen 3 test to PA201 & PA203 on 2000 psi concrete column on both sides and qualify two types of anchors.

In both cases mentioned above, each test will qualify one structural substrate application and two types of fasteners/anchors. Other types of substrates may require additional testing. When down sizing any of the mentioned doors, the spacing of the anchors shall never exceed that which was tested.

The requirements of PA202 can be performed in any type of substrate mentioned above and with any of the fasteners/anchors used for PA201 & PA203.

The test report shall describe the anchor/fastener type, location, embedment, spacing, type of column substrate and specification, etc. Calculations verifying the anchor/fastener used and recommended method of installing 2’x6″ or larger buck to concrete/masonry block shall be submitted.

Please note that if you wish to only receive approval for one column substrate, then the three required tests for PA201 and PA203 shall be performed on that substrate. You may still qualify different anchors/fasteners on said column substrate.

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