We all remember learning in science class that heat causes materials to expand, and cold makes them contract. Anyone who has worked with exterior or even interior wood doors has likely experienced times of the year when it’s particularly challenging to get those doors to latch and lock. This issue stems from the fact that wood is a ‘living’ material—it reacts to changes in temperature, humidity, and pressure. For exterior wood doors, this responsiveness can be problematic. One side of the door faces the outdoor environment while the other side remains shielded indoors. This disparity can lead to several issues that may not only be a nuisance but can also escalate into significant disruptions. Problems can include malfunctioning locks, damage to the door’s finish, and misalignment with the door frame. This can prevent your front door from aligning properly with the strike plate making it unusable. Such issues can transform your storefront doors into potential security risks and might render them nearly unusable for both customers and employees. Commercial door installations need to be perfect to avoid any potential disruptions.

However, it’s not just wood doors that are affected. Metal doors and their frames, including those made from steel and aluminum, are also vulnerable to weather changes. Metals typically exhibit a considerable thermal expansion coefficient. In English, that means that they can expand significantly in heat to the point where they barely fit within their frames. This can lead to not only functional issues, like doors that fail to latch or lock correctly but also aesthetic concerns that might reflect poorly on the professional appearance of a commercial venue. In addition, the seasonal variations can also impact door hardware, further complicating the operation and security of your business doors. Your commercial doors can’t be dependent on tame weather to work.

Understanding these challenges is crucial for maintaining the operational efficiency and security of your business. It might be time to consider alternatives designed to withstand environmental changes or to invest in regular maintenance that ensures your doors continue to work regardless of the season.


Temperature Changes can Mess with the Hardware on your Commercial Doors


Cold weather affects the locks on your security doors and storefront doors alike, and if you’re not ready for it, you might find yourself locked out of your own facility on a really chilly day. A wood door can actually contract around a deadbolt, intruding on its ability to go in and out. Humid cold can cause moisture to build up inside a lock and freeze, making it hard to get your key all the way in there, and for the locking mechanism to move correctly. Cold, wet weather is also going to take a toll on hinges, strike plates, kick plates and the like, because each piece of hardware on the door will react a bit differently to the environment. When every piece changes just a little bit, and not all in the same way, you can end up with a loose lock, a door that won’t latch, a door you can’t shove closed because of a contracted frame, etc. None of which is desirable for your business’ doors.


Hot weather causes everything about your storefront doors to expand. With both metal and wood exterior doors, the door can expand so much it rubs on the door frame, causing the lock or door to seem like it’s jammed. It’s annoying more than anything. Also – little-known fact – keys are also affected by hot weather. If left somewhere really warm too long, like a car, a key can distort and not fit the lock anymore. While you may be patient with your storefront door, your customers and employees may not. It’s easy to break a key or be so forceful with the door that you can break glass. It’s best to be aware of these issues to prevent or mitigate potential damage to your external doors.


Okay, so, weather sucks and you should be ready for seasonal issues with your business’ storefront doors, security doors, loading dock doors – every door. Just be ready. But it’s not all bad; there are several maintenance tasks for your business’ doors you can do throughout the year to minimize these inconveniences.


Maintaining your Business’ Commercial Door Hardware

First off, if you are constantly grappling with a warping door that makes access cumbersome and disrupts your operations, consider replacing it with an exterior fiberglass door. Complete door replacement can sometimes be cheaper than constant repairs or service calls. Unlike traditional materials, fiberglass doors are impervious to warping and are unaffected by water or humidity. It ensures consistent performance regardless of weather conditions. However, if replacing the door is not currently feasible, another practical solution is to have a locksmith adjust or replace the locks to better accommodate the door’s altered shape. This quick call can help ensure that your security and functionality are maintained.

Regular inspection and maintenance of your business’s doors and their hardware are crucial. This includes routine cleaning, as well as lubricating the hinges, knobs, and locks. Properly maintained hardware functions more effectively and is less susceptible to the adverse effects of extreme temperature fluctuations. As well, you can extend the lifespan of any commercial door with regular maintenance. Cleanings aren’t all of it, making sure that everything is in great shape is another part. Regular visual checks can tell you if parts are showing signs of wear or are just broken. Proactive commercial door repairs keep your front door open. By implementing these proactive maintenance steps, you can significantly reduce the impact of weather-related issues on your business operations, ensuring that your doors operate smoothly and reliably.

Remember, the doors of your storefront not only secure your premises but also create the first impression for your clients. Maintaining them in excellent condition is essential not only for security but also for presenting a professional and welcoming facade. Regular upkeep and timely upgrades can play a pivotal role in creating a positive impression. Your storefront’s doors are your first impression for your customers, make sure you put the right foot forward.