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Dock Seals vs. Dock Shelters. What’s the Difference?

February 13, 2024 | Commercial Doors


Dock Seals vs. Dock SheltersIf you’re not careful, a busy loading dock can wind up costing you a lot of money. The open door exposes your crew to the elements. It drives up heating and cooling costs. And it lets in dust, dirt, rodents, and insects.

Dock seals and dock shelters are some of the simplest ways to save money in this regard. They shield your building from wind, rain, and snow; they provide better climate control and minimize energy loss; they stop ice and snow from building up and causing accidents; and they prevent shipments from getting damaged by the elements. Finally, they also raise productivity by improving the comfort and morale of your staff.

From this perspective, the differences between dock seals vs. dock shelters appear small. But while they both serve the same function, they do so in different ways and with different costs. Understanding their distinctions will help you decide which one is a better fit for your business.

Dock Seals

Dock seals are foam pads attached to the top and sides of your loading bay. Trailers rest against them when they back in. The weight of the truck creates the strongest possible seal against the elements. Outside air can’t get in. Inside air can’t get out, significantly lowering the burden on your heating and cooling systems.

Dock Shelters

Dock shelters are made from fiberglass curtains that wrap around the end of the trailer as it backs into the loading bay. Shelters can accommodate trailers of any size, making them an ideal choice for businesses that require more versatility. However, dock shelters don’t create an airtight seal. Some moisture will leak through the top flap, and you’ll experience a small amount of energy loss as well. What’s more, while dock shelters last longer than dock seals, they’re also more expensive to install, repair, and replace.

Deciding Between Dock Seals vs. Dock Shelters

Vortex creates custom door solutions. We work with you, analyzing the needs of your business in order to determine which type of door accessory best fits your budget and loading bay. Contact us today for a free quote or to learn more about dock seals vs. dock shelters.

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