Increase the longevity of your commercial doors:
In general, commercial doors take a lot of abuse. People use them to go in and out multiple times a day, putting to use all the hardware on that door, several times over. Here at The Flying Locksmiths, we make thousands of service calls a year, when pieces of that commercial door break down and halt its operation.
Common issues include, broken levers, doors sagging, closers leaking, broken hinges, and the latch not aligning correctly.
In most of these cases, they issue could have been entirely avoided by following some of these preventative maintenance tips below:
1. Do not leave doors propped open.
Even if you are just running out to the car to grab something, or going out for a smoke, it’s a bad idea. Doors are not meant to be left in an open position, without a special “hold-open” closer. If they are being improperly left open, the wind can catch them and cause damage or even hurt someone! It will also create alignment issues and cause cheaper doors to bend.
2. Try to be gentle with commercial doors.
Using your foot to “karate kick” a crash bar on a commercial door, is almost certainly going to decrease the length of function-ability. Also, turning your key even harder and forcing it open, will ultimately lead to broken keys or cylinders. If something is being difficult, make a call now, before it’s an emergency and save money.
3. Keep the door dry.
If you are cleaning the back of a restaurant with a hose, or doing some gardening, try to avoid getting the door and hardware wet. Usually, exterior door hardware is weather proofed, but there is a big difference between rain and soaking something with a hose. Water causes rust, rust causes hardware to malfunction and commercial doors to fall apart.
4. Be Pro-Active, not Re-Active.
If you had trouble using your key one morning, don’t wait until you are ready to leave for the day, to call a locksmith. It’s just going to cost your more. Even if something is still functioning, just not particularly well, don’t wait until it breaks. Get it fixed beforehand, it you could have it repaired, rather than replaced.
5. Paint the doors.
Certain paints are made to resist rust and can really help extend the life of a commercial door. If the current paint is chipped, apply another coat and prevent rust from forming and causing damage.
6. Leave the exterior of the door blank.
Signs and kick-plates will create moisture between them and the door. When water is trapped between, the door will rust even faster!
7. Fire exits should be treated differently than other commercial doors.
If a door has a lit fire exit sign above it, be very careful with any modifications you are making. Installing certain types of locks or hardware could be against fire code and make you liable, if there is an accident. Consult with your local fire department or a locksmith before doing anything with these types of commercial doors.
8. Adjust door closers regularly.
Don’t let a door continually slam or close to slow. This could be a sign that something is wrong with the closer. Check for any fluid leaking from the device and use an allen wrench to make proper adjustments.
9. Check the batteries on all battery operated devices.
Just like with smoke alarms, batteries on exit alarms and card access systems should be checked on a regular basis. If something is beeping or making a strange noise, it’s usually an indication that the batteries need to be replaced. If the batteries are dead, you have an expensive piece of hardware on the door that is essentially useless!
10. Dog down exit devices when you can.
Many exit devices have a built in feature to “dog-down” or manually depress the crash bar for the day. This will help extend the life of the bar and door, because it’s not being used as regularly. The commercial door won’t experience as much pressure, as well.