Evolution of the Garage Door
Garage doors date back to the Roman Era when horses and horse powered vehicles were stored in specialized stables. with hinged wooden plank doors. From 450 BC until the 18th century, there was little in the way of modification to these doors because modern garage doors were not feasible for mud or small wooden buildings. In addition, it was customary to store valuable large objects inside a fortified building guarded by the local militia.
The onset of industrial revolution in late 19th century changed the way we stored goods or vehicles, now in common brick or concrete buildings. Unlike large fortified buildings of the past, owners of small structures often found it difficult maneuvering large wooden doors of their storage areas in ways other than side hinges.Develoments in engineering and the ability to make parts made from iron allowed manufacturers in the United States and Europe to begin designing modern garage doors at the start of 20th century. In contrast to their predecessors, modern garage doors employed tracks, pulleys, cables and torsion springs enabling quick and easy access to the storage areas.
In the beginning, overhead garage doors became popular due to the ease of installation. In addition, manufacturers also found it convenient to build large quantities of up-and-over doors because they are easily constructed using a single panel. Their mechanism is very simple as the door swings open raised towards overheard hinges on each side to the fully open position. In developed economies, almost all medium to large houses contained a version of these one-piece up-and-over garages. A potential problem with up-and-over garage door is the tendency to get injured if someone is standing nearby. The wide angle of operation with an arc partially outside the garage caused accidents for bystanders and any cars parked near these doors. As cities became congested and the need for storage space increased, it became less practical to use up-and-over garage doors in large metropolitan cities because of space and safety constraints.
The solution to the problem was sectional garage door that did not swing out. These new garage doors are made from multiple panels allowing each panel to easily curve at the top, in-line with the roofline without exposing any part outside the perimeter of the garage. These doors provide several options to both manufacturers and garage owners as sectional garage doors offer increased security, range of different sizes, greater installation options and the ability to swing open without taking any added space. Nowadays, more than 75% of the market in the United States and elsewhere is dominated by sectional garage door
Another increasingly popular variant is roller shutter door or "tambour" used in the industrial sectors and small commercial shops. In this classic variant, horizontal slats roll up and down on the barrel to maximize width and height during the opening mechanism. Shop owners often find it easier to install these roller shutter doors because they require minimal human power to operate and are tailor-made to meet individual specifications of small business owners. For large supply-chain companies and storage areas, manufacturers also find it cost-effective to construct large roller shutter doors using continuous galvanized steel curtain. Advancement in technology also allowed manufactures to create classic versions of garage doors economically. These include round-the-corner gates where two separate doors open in opposite directions. Likewise, the use of remote controlled technology, security features and torsion spring life mechanism helps enhance coordination and reliability of these classic garage doors.
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