Automatic doors utilize automatic door operators and are a great addition to any business because in many cases they are required per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) code, but they also provide ease of access and a sense of professionalism. To enshrine those benefits though, your doors need to be in good shape. It all starts with regular maintenance and on average, it is recommended by the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) that automatic doors be inspected by a professional at least once a year but every 6 months (or more frequently) depending on the use of the doors. Heavier use meaning, they should be inspected and have routine maintenance conducted more often.
In this post we’ll go over why automatic door operators need regular maintenance, how you can maintain automatic doors and include some basic troubleshooting tips you can do yourself before calling a professional, AAADM certified inspector. Let’s dive in and discuss the various factors that you should consider and watch for so that you know when automatic door repair services are necessary.
IS MY COMMERCIAL SPACE ADA COMPLIANT?
- What are the ADA requirements for automatic doors?
- What are the ADA requirements for doors?
- ADA requirements for door width and closing speed
- ADA requirements on door hardware and thresholds
- What about ADA compliance for the rest of my facility?
Why Do Automatic Doors Need Regular Maintenance?
While automatic door maintenance may not seem to be a priority, routine service to your doors and other areas of your property can prevent accidents and the need for more expensive repairs or replacement down the line.
If your building or facility has automatic door operators, you should move automatic door maintenance to the top of your to-do list. We recommend scheduling routine maintenance, but you can also call us after completing a visual check on your own. Look at a few of the things we recommend assessing:
- Door Sensors – Make sure your door sensors are opening (and closing) your doors as usual. Problems with the former can prevent people from entering your building, and issues with the latter can cause an injury.
- Signage & Safety – Check that all your required safety signage is on display and that any mats are secure to prevent slipping.
- Door Panels – When they open, the doors should be able to clear any floor mats and shouldn’t come close to any merchandise or furniture in your building.
- Adjust with the Weather – Rain, snow, wind and other weather can cause dangerous situations. Keep the weather in mind and make sure the area is free of debris, your doors aren’t broken and your mats are clean.
Once you’ve invested in high-quality automatic door operators, it makes sense to keep up with routine maintenance. Whether you’ve completed an assessment and found an issue or want to be proactive with preventive maintenance, The Flying Locksmiths can make sure your automatic doors are fully functional and ready to welcome customers, clients, tenants or patients.
Automatic Door Repair Servicing Guidelines & Repair Schedule
The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) recommends automatic doors be serviced annually to preemptively repair breakages that otherwise would be costly as well as ensure the safety of guests who rely on the safety of the door system overall.
In fact, anytime an automatic door is touched by a security professional, it must be fully inspected using AAADM’s inspection process. It also goes without saying that a repair technician absolutely must be AAADM certified to even perform lock work on an automatic door. Reasons for this abound—with the most important reasons being legal and safety-focused. Facility maintenance directors nationwide toss stories at the water cooler of costly litigation from companies allowing non-certified technicians to touch handicap operators or automatic doors.
If your automatic doors experience heavier than normal use, for example, during your business’s busy season, then it’s recommended you have a professional inspect your doors more frequently than once a year. Many services offer risk assessments that will help you keep an eye on the condition of your doors and prevent major issues from occurring.
How Can You Maintain Automatic Doors?
AAADM recommends daily safety checks on your automatic doors. This involves testing your automatic doors yourself and verifying there are no apparent issues and the doors are operating correctly. These safety checks include, getting the correct door operator, viewing safety markings, conducting daily safety checks and performing weather checks. These are all good ways to keep an eye on your doors and catch problems early on so you can call a professional for servicing before it becomes a much larger and costly problem.
Automatic door repair bills can get quite costly so taking care of them should be a priority. Besides routine maintenance and inspections by a professional, a few things can be done on your own to ensure your automatic doors are in good working order. To properly maintain your doors, you can do the following:
- Get The Correct Door Operator: You must first ensure the automatic doors can handle the amount of traffic at a particular opening. Consider how often your automatic door will be used first, then decide on the manufacturer and model of automatic door operator. Whether you have limited users or extensive foot-traffic will determine the model of operator needed. Some auto operators are light duty, medium duty, and heavy duty, so talk to a professional AAADM certified company for recommendations on the appropriate door operator to handle your specific needs.
- View Safety Markings: Check that your automatic doors are correctly marked with the required safety signage because a door without proper safety signage can lead to liability issues. Signage that clearly indicates it is an automatic door with foot-traffic arrows or “stop” markings on both sides of the swing path of the door.
- Conduct Safety Checks: Perform daily safety checks on your automatic doors. A daily safety check will ensure the automatic door is working correctly.
• Activate the automatic door by engaging the actuator or motion sensor to ensure it is opening properly. The door should open smoothly and at the fully open position, it should remain open for a minimum of 5 seconds before starting to close. Ensure it closes slowly, smoothly, and consistently.
• Check the path leading to the door and surrounding the door for any obstructions or debris. If foot traffic is heavy, do this multiple times a day to ensure there are no obstructions that can cause the auto operator to function abnormally.
• Just as you look at the pathway to the door, check the door itself for any loose parts or obvious defects.
- Weather Checks: After storms, in extreme heat or colder weather, it is especially important to check your automatic operators. On an exterior opening during winter, check for and clear any build-up of salt or ice on your door’s components (actuators, sensors, door frame, door hardware or door itself). Any build-up can interfere with the door’s functionality and may even cause damage to the door. Check multiple times a day during serious rain, snow, or cold. And during summer heat waves, swelling of the door may cause rubbing on the frame or threshold, so check to ensure the door is not getting hung up on anything, causing overuse of the automatic operator and potentially burning out the motor.
During your daily checks if the door is dragging, or lagging, going faster or slower than usual, this is cause for concern, and your team should absolutely call an AAADM certified technician to inspect the door.
Simple Troubleshooting Steps Before Calling For Automatic Door Service and Repair
Stanley, one of the largest manufacturers of automatic doors in the country, recommends a few basic troubleshooting steps before wasting a service call out though.
- Ensure the door switch is set to “on.” Typically, the door switch will be below or to the side of the automatic door unit. This seems like common sense, but we’ve seen many cases where people simply switch the unit off as a gag.
- Clear any obvious obstructions in the pathway of the door. Do NOT prop an automatic door. Look also within the grooves on the track beneath the door for obvious debris. Clear it if possible.
- If the door simply isn’t opening or closing—turn off the power for about 30 seconds, then try again.
If all else fails, we won’t. The Flying Locksmiths are AAADM-certified security professionals happy to help with any automatic door issues you may experience. From automatic door operator installation to automatic door maintenance and inspections, we are here whenever you need us.