Question of the Day - #85 Garage Door Saves House

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Question of the Day - #85 Garage Door Saves House

Postby RDavidson » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:39 pm

2015 MN Residential Code section R612.4 was considered for deletion from the Minnesota Residential Code because the origins of this rule on wind resistant garage doors were the hurricanes of south Florida and the lack of hurricanes in Minnesota. This deletion was rejected by the structural committee with the following comment: “committee expressed concern about potential structural breach of attic/house through garage.”

Immediately you may wonder about the logic of this comment. First off one needs to consider the potential that this garage door may be installed in a free standing detached garage. How would a door in this detached garage impact the structural integrity of a dwelling unless the presumption was that all garage doors are only installed in attached garages.

Then there are a few other faulty assumptions that arise. If the garage door is necessary to preserve the structural integrity of the dwelling, how does one insure that the door is closed in a wind event? How does one insure that the garage even has a door since doors aren’t required? And if winds might tear through a garage into the attic of a dwelling, isn’t the fire wall being overlooked? I’ve seen garage doors installed in carports that had chain link walls. Is the door necessary to preserve the structural integrity of the carport?

Is there any evidence to suggest that Minnesota has a problem with structural failures due to weak garage doors? When this proposal made its way through the national code development process a proponent joked that failure of a garage door most often scratched up the BMW parked in the garage and that constituted the greatest loss. How many of you feel this passes the need and reasonableness test?
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