Your commercial roll-up door is designed to allow easy access to your dock so you can facilitate easy entry and exit for people and equipment, and also to allow large deliveries. But all that opening and closing adds to wear and tear on your overhead door system. Typical commercial overhead doors last around 15,000 cycles – more or less depending on frequency of use and how harshly the door is handled. So if you’re using the overhead doors on your loading docks, or the garage doors at your auto shop dozens of times a day, you may want to look for ways to reduce that usage. One way to cut down on frequency of door openings and extend the longevity of your roll-up door is to install a smaller door within the door for small deliveries, or when it’s just a person that needs to get in and out. These are called wicket doors.

Wicket Doors Have a Long History Because They’re Convenient

The term “wicket door” initially referred to the small doors that flank most gates at medieval castles  and fortifications. They were used then for the same reasons they are now: (1) convenience and (2) decreased security risks as opposed to opening the larger door or gate. Nowadays, we see an altered version of wicket doors on most residential garages, called pass-through doors. These are the regular entry doors on a side of the garage adjacent to the main overhead door.

Wicket Doors Decrease Security Risks, Wear and Tear, and Energy Bills

Also known as pilot doors, wicket doors help to cut down on the use of the chain to roll up the larger overhead door. And if those loading dock doors are automated, well, that wicket door is lessening your use of the motor, as well as intrusion from the outside elements, increasing your facility’s energy efficiency. And if that’s not enough, these doors within doors also reduce the security risks of having to open that larger overhead door each time someone needs entry into or exit from your facility. You don’t need to be opening that huge loading dock door every time an employee takes a smoke break. Just the same, if someone forgets to lock doors at the end of the night, there are a lot less things a burglar could easily get out of your facility through a wicket door than an overhead door.

In most cases, these doors can be installed in a short time. If you need to use forklifts or other heavy equipment for large deliveries, the wicket door may not be the right solution, since it is stationary and reduces overall door opening dimensions. Talk to your local exterior commercial door installers. They’ll know the ins and outs of customizing your facility’s overhead doors and will be able to tell you if wicket doors are right for your building.