Just as with aging doors in a home, a common complaint about older commercial doors is that they won’t close properly. If a door at your business isn’t closing right, it could be for any number of reasons. You may require a locksmith or a commercial door repair expert to solve the problem. The door specialist will check the opening and closing of the door, making sure it’s securely mounted to the jamb, and will also inspect the floor and header on the swing side. This is one of the many reasons SACS DOOR & GATE CORP always reminds you to regularly maintenance your storefront doors, overhead doors, security doors, specialty doors and air curtains for climate controlled rooms, or any other doors at ports of entry to your business. Regular maintenance can help you A: avoid door malfunctions and breakdown, and B: minimize repair costs by catching an issue before it gets too large to fix. Maintenance is going to save you money in the long run, because a new door install in your commercial or industrial setting is expensive. Most of the time, a bit of elbow grease and repairing some of the commercial door hardware can save you from needing a new door installation.

Here are some of the problems that might be occurring with your aging commercial door installation:

  • Weather stripping is in the way: Make sure weather stripping is not too thick; it could have been installed poorly in the first place. Or, if you have an older storefront door, weather stripping tends to move out of place and/or become brittle after years of weathering. If you replace it, of course make sure it’s a tight seal – you don’t want to sacrifice energy efficiency in getting your door to open and close properly. Commercial storefront doors and windows tend to be the main area where you lose most of your energy efficiency, what with the constant opening and closing, so properly-maintained weather stripping is key to reducing that energy loss.
  • Hinges are loose: When this happens, the hinges pull out from the doorframe and/or the door, meaning the door no longer lines up properly within the frame. Hinges should be inspected now and then to make sure they are tightly screwed in. If the screws have pulled out, damaging the wood or metal frame, it may need to be patched with filler and the door re-hung. If the hinges and their hardware are rusting, chances are they need replaced. This is another reason to regularly check your commercial door hardware; you may remove a rusty hinge to find that it’s damaged or rotted the material around it.
  • Door hardware and locks are damaged: This is simply, not good, and is an urgent repair. Damaged hardware or locks are both a security risk and a safety liability, especially when we’re talking about large doors like overhead doors at a loading dock, or truck trailer doors.
  • Building is settling: As any structure ages, it moves with the land and the weather. This is especially true in areas near fault lines, like the Sacramento area. These movements can skew alignments anywhere in your building, including all your doorframes. Exterior wood doors are especially susceptible to building settling. They have a secondary factor of expanding and contracting with varying weather and humidity. Exterior steel doors or exterior fiberglass doors in general are simply the best way to go in these environments. So if you have exterior wood doors, a new door installation may actually be a better idea than constantly replacing your commercial door hardware to accommodate a moving, warping wood door.
  • Door jamb is not plumb (precisely vertical): A plumb bob (Those strings with weights on the end you hang to determine the angle of a vertical plane) can help determine if the jamb is plumb. If the opening becomes increasingly out of line, you may have to modify the strike plate to line up with the latch. A door that isn’t latching properly is a security risk and an easy fix, so don’t leave it.

When You’re Working with an Historic Door and its Original Door Hardware

In historic buildings, there is often no such thing as a straight wall or 90-degree angle which can cause friction. While this isn’t exclusive to historic buildings, there is an easy solution. Sand and re-varnish either the door frame or the door itself wherever it is rubbing so much that you can’t close it. This is an easy DIY fix that doesn’t require you to compromise or replace any original historic pieces.

  • Hinges are worn, need adjusting, or were not right in the first place: They may not be the right size they need to be based on your door’s width and thickness, for example. Pick the right hinges for your door.
  • Latch and strike plate don’t line up: Sometimes when this happens, the door may close but not latch. This is a serious risk for security and energy efficiency, and it’s also a simple fix; adjust the hinges and/or rehang the door.
  • Door is warped: This is more commonly a problem with wooden commercial doors than with those made of metal or fiberglass. Wood holds moisture, so it changes and warps with weathering, use and exposure to moisture. This is especially true for salty moisture, which is a constant factor in coastal climates. If you’ve got exterior wood doors on your business storefront, check the various faces of your door with a straight edge to see if it’s warped.
  • Operator or door closer is not adjusted properly: The door operator will not work right if the door is misaligned. Also, when the door closer is used as a door stop, the body and arm mounting screws of the closer body are subject to twisting, excess stress and pressure. It’s advisable to install a stop to decrease the stress on the door.

Contact Your Local Exterior Door Installer for a Quick & Quality Fix

When the door to your commercial operation stops closing properly, it’s bad news. A wonky door lets in insects, lets your heated or conditioned air escape, and can make it easier for the burglars and vandals to gain entrance – not to mention the safety risks it could pose. If your commercial door won’t close properly, hire a door repair expert to solve the problem. Whether it’s time to install a new commercial door or to fix an old one, a professional with the right tools and experience can ensure the door to your business opens and closes the way you need it to.