As the cold weather sets in, frozen and stuck automated doors can become a major hassle. This winterisation guide covers key steps so your automated entryways continue gliding open smoothly all season long.
What Causes Doors to Freeze Up?
Before tackling solutions, it helps to understand exactly why and how electric doors freeze. Most commonly, moisture finds its way into cracks and crevices, then expands as it turns to ice in below-freezing temps. This causes sticking and seizing up of the mechanical parts. Specific trouble spots include:
- Gaps around door frames and seals where cold air and moisture seep in
- Worn out, cracked, or missing weather stripping
- Accumulation of water in door tracks and moving components
- Temperature drops turn residual moisture into immobilising ice
Do Preventative Maintenance
Getting ahead of winter with regular servicing cuts down on operational issues
- Lubricate Moving Parts: Apply non-resin-based lubricant on rollers, tracks and hinges monthly to maintain fluid movement and repel moisture. Silicone or lithium spray lubricants work best for metal.
- Inspect and Replace Seals: Look for cracked, loose or missing seals around the frame which compromises the doorway’s insulation. Replace worn weatherstripping right away.
- Clean Tracks and Guides: Use a strong vacuum to remove built-up debris, soil and moisture from the door tracks and component mouths before it leads to freezing issues.
De-Ice As Needed
Even well-maintained doors sometimes accumulate ice. Commercial deicing sprays formulated for automated doors dissolve frozen buildup on contact without corroding delicate parts. For quick fixes, a hair dryer can safely thaw out problem areas.
Install Preventative Heating
Adding heating systems keeps doors ice-free during cold snaps:
- Frame Heaters: Low-wattage heat tape adheres directly to surrounds to maintain above-freezing temps.
- Heat Cables: Discreet heating cables are installed along the tracks and threshold to target frost-prone areas.
Be Ready for Emergency Issues
Despite best efforts, doors occasionally freeze up solid. Be equipped to get back up and running:
- Manual Override: Understand manufacturer procedures for disengaging the motor so the door can open manually.
- Emergency Defrosting Kit: Have commercial de-icers, portable heaters or hair dryers ready to rapidly thaw.
Stay Proactive with Daily Monitoring
Facility managers should inspect automated doors daily once cold temperatures set in. Advance weather reports allow time to winterise ahead of storms.
Train staff on indicators of winter problems like stiff openings, strange mechanical noises, or ice accumulation around seals. Catch issues early before malfunctions occur.
Check doors at start-up, midday, and closing as a standard procedure during extreme cold or heavy usage times. Periodic re-inspection after snow events doesn’t hurt either.
Having an ice removal protocol and supplies readily available means rapid response when problems are found. Don’t hesitate to call Access Automation for advice on tailoring winterisation to your doors.
Proactive monitoring allows fixing minor problems before they become major access issues. We urge clients to adopt vigilant habits that keep doors functioning all winter.
Regular maintenance and emergency preparedness will prevent your automated doors from freezing this winter.
At Access Automation, we recommend monthly lubrication, inspecting weather seals, cleaning tracks, installing door frame heaters, and keeping commercial deicers on hand. Specifying fibreglass or thermally-broken doors also increases cold resistance.
Stay proactive by monitoring forecasts and performing daily checks during extreme cold. Know how to manually override frozen doors.
With our all-inclusive preventative measures, Access Automation customers can be confident their automated entrances will keep people moving freely and safely – even in frigid conditions. Contact us today to protect your door investment from icy winter issues.
How do sealing gaps help in preventing door freezing?
Sealing gaps prevent cold air and moisture from entering, which are primary contributors to freezing.
Is it safe to use a heat gun for de-icing?
While effective, heat guns must be used cautiously to avoid damaging the door materials.
What are the signs that my door is at risk of freezing?
Listen for unusual noises, difficulty in moving, or visible ice formation—these are indicators that your door might freeze soon.
How can I ensure my door’s emergency manual override is working?
Regularly test the manual override to ensure it’s operational in case of an emergency.