Doors to your business need to be functional and aesthetically appealing to give customers confidence in your operations while protecting your property from break-ins. Whether your problem door is wooden, steel or storefront—there are things you can do yourself to maintain your commercial doors and preserve the appearance of your business.
Commercial door maintenance isn’t just relegated to locksmiths, you and your employees can help identify problems before they arise. Here are our top five tips to increase the lifetime of your commercial doors.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
KEEP THE DOOR DRY
Keeping doors dry is especially important for employee entrances, which historically we’ve seen take the most abuse over time (surprisingly). While most commercial doors are sealed against water intrusion, there’s several ways doors can receive water damage.
- Grout or concrete filled frames for instance can hold water, weakening the constitution of your door frame and allowing water intrusion and into the frame itself.
- This is especially important considering many general contractors recommend grout-filled frames. If you’re noticing water damage in your door frame, there’s a solid chance it’s because it’s grout filled.
- Spraying doors with hoses can cause water damage
- While pretty much any commercial door is built to withstand rain, most doors have drip guards installed above them to redirect rain away from the door. Hoses can bypass protection on doors and hardware over time and splash water in places the door might not have been properly sealed.
- While you’re not going to instantly ruin most doors with a hose, it’s a good idea to spray away from the door if possible.
Overall, keeping doors dry is an important part to extending their lifespan.
PAINT AND SEAL DOORS
Painting and sealing doors is the most cost-effective way to extend the lifespan of a commercial door. Not only does it enhance the aesthetics of your entryway, but it extends a protective barrier to the door and frame itself.
Without proper sealant, a frame will rust and fall apart, especially if it’s an exterior door. Without paint, a commercial door is extremely vulnerable to the elements.
We recommend oil-based paint for commercial doors if you have the time to work with it. Oil-based paint must cure completely between coats. Though, if you make the time for it, oil paint will pay dividends, as it provides the strongest barrier for commercial doors.
LUBRICATE, TIGHTEN, AND CLEAN THE DOOR AND HARDWARE
Among your annual checklist should be lubricating, tightening, and cleaning doors and hardware. Commercial doors take a great deal of abuse, so some yearly TLC goes a long way to staving off a locksmith visit.
- For hinges, both TFL and the manufacturers themselves recommend regular lubrication with WD-40. The wonder spray is wonderful for preventing rust and keeping hinges from creaking, squeaking and squealing, but will also help prevent hinges from getting quite so worn-out overtime from the near constant friction they see.
- For hardware with keyways, make some time annually to clean out keyholes.
- To do this: spray some dry lubricant within the keyhole and run your key in and out of it several times to remove any remaining debris.
- To clean your hardware, it’s as simple as hitting it with a soapy rag. Shy away from chemical cleansers though, as they’re abrasive and can spell the early demise of sensitive hardware.
CONTROL THE DOOR PROPERLY
Buy the most expensive commercial door you like—but it still won’t last long in the entryway if there isn’t a door closer or an automatic door operator. If you haven’t noticed yet, people tend to treat doors roughly by kicking them open or slamming them shut. Do this enough, and the entryway itself can go from pristine to lemon quickly.
The door itself swinging and banging against exterior walls and the frame itself can destroy the entryway. For that reason, investing in a door closer is an absolute must. Also though, it becomes incredibly important to maintain that door closer.
Unfortunately, door closer maintenance isn’t something we recommend to business owners, as there’s a lot that can go wrong in the process. Still though, add to your checklist to check for door closers on every door and to check the tension of the door closers.
- If a door takes more than a light amount of pressure to open, the back-check of the closer isn’t properly adjusted and not only provides a bad experience to customers, but in some municipalities could actually be violating fire code.
- On the other hand, if a door doesn’t appear to slow down enough before it fully shuts, the door sweep and latch speed may need adjusting.
In either case, don’t delay in calling us. In most cases we can swing by same day to resolve door closer issues.
DON'T LEAVE DOORS PROPPED OPEN
This one is a bit of an obvious one from a security perspective, but from a hardware and door longevity perspective, this tip also has its place.
Make sure your employees understand the importance of keeping the business secure all day, every day, by giving them ample tools to avoid propping open doors.
Not only does keeping doors closed make it more difficult for break-ins to occur, but leaving doors propped open can cause alignment and hinge issues. If you prefer keeping doors propped open for airflow, we have options for that. Never use a broom stick, block of wood or any other object to prop open a door, it will cause damage to the door.
At The Flying Locksmiths, we can make sure your commercial doors are ready to handle heavy traffic and the elements. Turn to us for commercial door installation and maintenance. We can get you started with a free assessment or quote if you contact us today.