Yes, you read that right – it’s time to start thinking about the beating your facility will take this winter. Plus, we’re hoping to be the first ones on the “Winterize Your ___” bandwagon this fall. Your snow tires, heating units, and boats aren’t the only things that should be prepared for the cold weather. Cold wind, icicles, and excessive snow are hard on any facility; the last thing you need during the busy season is a technician working in your doorways. Often times, the doors and hardware of a facility are an after thought. Not a second thought is given after installation… Until something goes wrong. Then it’s emergency service calls and overnight shipping of parts. There are ways to proactively care for your doors and hardware, including prepping this for the cold weather. Follow these steps to winterize your door and lock hardware and keep them in proper working order throughout the winter.
Winterize Your Door and Lock Hardware – 10 Quick Steps1. Check weather stripping for seals.
If you can see light between the frame and door, that’s an obvious place where the weather stripping isn’t sealing. If you don’t see gaps, strike a lighter and move it around the edges of the door – if at any point the flame flickers and moves away from the frame, wind is leaking through.
2. Make sure the latch and strike fit together closely.
This will help seal the door tighter and will reduce the amount of latent movement in the door from the HVAC system and/or outside wind.
3. Check the bottom gap of the door to make sure the threshold and door are meeting properly.
Doing so will reduce heat loss from the bottom portion of the door. Installing a door bottom, door sweep, or different threshold can help seal any gaps at the bottom.
4. Adjust the door closer to make sure it’s closing properly and not staying open too long.
This tip will help in all seasons. As a general rule of thumb, doors should take at least five seconds to close to allow for entry and exit.
5. Lubricate the hinges.
Well lubricated hinges help with overall door operation and may increase the hinges’ longevity.
6. Consider installing insulating films.
Insulating films can sometimes be applied to glass doors and surrounding glazing to increase the thermal rating of the glass.
7. Ensure that entryways to and from your building are clear of slip hazards.
While this may not be considered ‘winterizing’ your door, it will greatly reduce your liability. Be cautions when using salts and chemical melts as they will quickly find their way into any open holes in your threshold. This can prevent your concealed vertical rod exit devices from operating correctly (segue #8).
8. Check for debris in latch pockets.
If concealed vertical rods are used, make sure that debris is swept or vacuumed away from and out of the threshold latch pocket. Doing so allows the bottom rod to extend fully and secure the door properly.
9. Make sure that blower contacts are adjusted.
This will help drive cold air away from the entrance of your delivery area.
10. Keep doors closed as much as possible.
Doing so will reduce heat loss from your building.