Winter is hard on exterior doors. Blizzards, floods, freezing rain ‒ harsh weather can cause serious damage and create a lot of problems for you and your business. However, a few preventative maintenance tips will help protect against winter storms and keep your business operating smoothly.
Lubricate Hinges & Tracks
Because steel shrinks in cold weather, your hinges, springs, and tracks will need to be lubricated more frequently, in order to prevent excess friction. Before the weather sets in, make sure all moving parts have been treated with a penetrating oil.
Sudden cold snaps can seriously affect the viscosity of your oil, so check your doors regularly to make sure they’re still operating smoothly. Any creaking or resistance means your lubricants have begun to dry out and need to be reapplied.
Lubricate Your Locks
Without proper lubrication, locks can literally freeze during winter. Moisture creeps in and turns to ice in frigid temperatures. To prevent this, spray the key slot with some lubricating oil. Once it’s saturated, insert the key a few times to spread the oil over the internal mechanism, creating a protective barrier to repel moisture.
Check & Replace Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping insulates your doors. It could prevent cold air and water from leaking in and damaging your business, which could ruin your inventory, or overload your heating system.
There are many types of weatherstripping, but regardless of which one you choose, it needs to be inspected regularly to make sure it’s still firmly attached and plugs the gaps around your doors. If not, you’ll need to have it replaced before the weather turns bad.
There’s nothing worse for your door than rust. It locks up your hinges and eats through the metal surface. Though it’s possible to remove rust, it’s easier to prevent it.
First, make sure the door is properly sealed with a fresh coat of paint. You’ll want to apply a primer first, then add a layer of paint on top. Next, add a drip cap to the top of your door. This is an L-shaped flashing that stops water from seeping down into the doorframe.
Check the Operating Mechanism
Commercial doors rely on electric motors, which are put under greater strain in cold weather. Frigid temperatures thickens motor oil, which increases friction and forces the motor to work harder. As a result, many motors overheat in low temperatures. Poor wiring exacerbates this problem. It’s a smart idea, therefore, to call a technician to check your system. They’ll make sure everything is properly lubricated and repair any loose connections in the electrical panel.
Seal Door Frames
Cracked door frames let in moisture, which can warp the wood and cause your doors to scrape the threshold as they swing open. Besides installing a drip cover, seal cracks with caulk to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood.
In the event of damage to your glass sliding or hinged doors during a winter storm, you will need to get your glass repaired immediately to keep both your property and any employees and consumers safe. Ensure your glass has a proper seal around it to help prevent water from leaking inside your building.