Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Comparing Rolling Steel and Sectional Garage Doors

If you are considering replacing your garage door, you have some options to consider. You can choose between a rolling steel door or a sectional door. Both work well in residential or commercial applications.

A rolling door is made from slatted metal that coils up into a roll right above the doorway. Sectional garage doors are constructed from larger sections that float up into the ceiling and hang overhead when open.

Rolling doors have significant advantages:

They are constructed from heavy-duty material and have a long life
They have very few moving parts. These parts are protected from the environment because they are encased in a shaft in the wall. This means that rolling doors require very little maintenance.
Rolling doors are installed directly into the wall and roll up compactly above the door when open. They do not interfere with other building systems. HVAC units, ceiling fans and lights can be installed in the space directly above the entrance.
If the garage door is impacted by a vehicle, it is quick and easy to repair. The affected slats are easy to remove and replace with spare material.

Disadvantages of rolling doors include:

The materials used to make the door are very heavy
These doors have a high initial cost

Sectional garage doors have a few advantages. These include:

They are priced much lower than rolling doors
Sectional doors are much lighter than rolling doors
There are, however, significant disadvantages associated with sectional doors:
The light-weight materials that are used in the fabrication of sectional doors are not very durable. These doors do not have a long life.
There are 30 to 40 moving parts on these doors. Because the guide-rails are exposed to the environment, these parts are likely to corrode and fail. Sectional doors do require more maintenance than rolling doors.
There are some safety risks associated with these doors. If a cable snaps, the door can slam shut suddenly. Since the door hangs overhead suspended from the ceiling, it could fall if the supports fail. Further, when moving, the sections of the door create a pinching action. It is possible to hurt a finger if it gets pinched in the door.
Because the door must be suspended from the ceiling, it interferes with other building systems. You cannot install HVAC units, ceiling fans or lights in the space directly above the entrance.
The sections are often custom-made and need to be ordered from the factory. If a section is damaged by a vehicle, it may take a long time to replace it.

On the whole, rolling garage doors are a great option for a wide variety of reasons. They have a long life, require little maintenance, are easy to repair and allow you to effectively use your interior space. The high initial cost of the door is offset by the low cost of maintaining the door over its long life. So if you have a commercial application where the door is going to see a lot of use, it is definitely worth it to consider rolling steel doors.

If the initial cost is the dominating concern, sectional doors will get the job done. You can expect to replace them more frequently, and they will require more service calls. So if you are thinking of installing a garage door for your residence where it will not see a lot of high impact use, this may be a good option.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tips for Choosing the Right Style Garage Door for Your Home

Not only is a garage door often the largest part of a home, it is also usually a very prominent feature. As such, it can have a significant effect on the value of your home. According to a 2014 Remodeling Magazine study, homeowners who replaced their garage door recovered over 83 percent of the cost when they sold their home. The right garage door can greatly improve your home's curb appeal. 

Choosing the right style of garage door involves considering certain factors such as:

Your Home's Style. 
Your home’s architectural style will be best complemented by a garage door with a similar style. For example, if your home is built in the Victorian style, you may want to look for a door with a more detailed design. A classic carriage-house door may provide the right kind of elegance and charm to complement your home's exterior. Homes with a more contemporary style may require a garage door with cleaner lines. Look for ones with a minimalist design and straight lines. For a Craftsman bungalow, you may want a swing-out garage door as these were common on the earlier homes built in this style. A garage door style that matches your home's design will improve curb appeal and thus provide greater returns on your investment.

The Ideal Material for Your Climate
. This is a factor that is often overlooked when choosing garage doors. Many homeowners may think of their garage door as simply a way to provide protection for their vehicles; however, it is also a part of the home. For example, if you live in an area with salt in the air, you will have to choose a corrosion-resistant material. If your location sees extremes in temperature, you may want to consider fiberglass as it provides exceptional insulation. Better insulation means that it can lower your heating and cooling bills.

The Safety of Your Garage Door
. Choose the style of garage door that is safest for your home. Your garage door is a point of entry into your home and therefore it could be a means of access for an intruder. You will need to ask a garage door professional about the different styles of opening mechanisms; they can also help you to decide whether a roller door or a canopy or sectional style garage door is best for your needs. Note also that the garage door will be the largest moving object in your home and can present dangers as a result. Your garage door should be pinch-resistant so that there is little danger of it closing on someone's fingers or other body parts.

The craftsmanship and design of garage doors has evolved significantly in recent years. These days, homeowners have multiple options from which they may choose. There are garage doors that can stand up to almost any environment without you having to compromise on appearance. By choosing the right garage door, you can make an addition to your home that will function properly and look good for many years to come.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Making Your Loading Dock Safe

Any loading dock is a hub of constant activity and the possible location for tragic accidents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports work-related deaths of more than 1,000 forklift operators since 1980. Many of these fatal accidents occurred when lift operators overturned or tipped off unsecured loading docks. Each year, hundreds more workers are injured while loading and unloading semi-trucks. A great many of these accidents are avoidable and your business suffers when they happen. Business owners suffer lost productivity and reduced profits when workers are injured or killed on the job. Insurance costs and employee morale and productivity can plummet.

Common loading dock hazards:

Wet or oily floor surfaces

Unsecured dock plates

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Damaged loading dock concrete

Lack of vehicle restraints and barriers systems

Poor communication between dock workers and drivers

The solution

The solution to loading dock safety is a combination of training, procedural changes and better technology. Creating a culture of safety begins with the implementation of vigorous safety training program so that your employees are better prepared to avoid accidental injuries.

Safety training combined with changes to your companies loading/unloading process reduces the risk of incident by better controlling access in and out of the loading dock area. Restrict loading dock area access to authorized personnel only. These workers understand the series of steps involved with safely loading and unloading cargo trailers. Keeping other workers out of the area reduces the risk of incidents from falling, improper lifting or forklift related accidents.


Some facilities may have loading dock areas that need repairs and better technology to keep workers safe. Cracked concrete flooring, damaged loading dock doors and loading ramps should be replaced or repaired. Replace damaged dock plates promptly and take steps to ensure dock plates are always seated properly. Have maintenance personnel regularly inspect, repair any damage to loading dock surfaces, gates and equipment.

Many older loading dock areas lack adequate barrier systems and vehicle restraints. Installing better barrier technology greatly reduces the risk of forklift accidents. Installing better automatic barriers, doors, and dock levelers are beneficial in several ways. The improved technology keeps employees safer and working more productively.

Effective vehicle restraint mechanisms use a system of colored lights to show vehicle restraint status. The control box display lights must be clearly visible to both drivers and forklift operators. Make sure that the system is working properly and not obscured by stacked pallets or in a location where it is difficult to see clearly. You can save lives and profits by replacing an older vehicle restraint system with one equipped with a fully integrated communication system.

A culture of loading dock safety

Create a culture of safety at your company. Instituting comprehensive safety awareness training programs dramatically reduce the risk of accident and make your employees feel safer as they carry out their duties. Employees who are aware of potential dangers and the correct way to carry out loading/unloading procedures are much less likely to be injured on the job. The result is safer workers, lower insurance and lost time related costs. The work is more efficient and profitable for your company.