Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Maintaining Rolling Aluminum Grilles

Rolling aluminum grilles are a simple solution to keeping merchandise safe while still allowing visual access to those inside the building. While high-quality products should require very little maintenance, all doors need occasional TLC to operate smoothly and reliably day-after-day, and year-after-year.

Tips for Maintaining Your Business’s Rolling Aluminum Grilles

The following tips will ensure your doors are well taken care of to maintain optimal performance.

1. Work with a reliable installer. The quality of the product and its installation has everything to do with how it performs. Make sure you work with a licensed and experienced commercial door installer so you purchase the product that is right for your application. Not every business – or business location – is created equal, and doors should be designed specifically for their location, climate and use. This is a huge first-step in enjoy the low-maintenance attributes these doors are known for.

2. Keep the tracks (guides) clean. Any dirt, grime and debris that builds up in the door’s guide (commonly referred to as a track) will affect how it opens and closes. Over time, accumulation of debris in the track can lead to the breakdown of the door’s mechanical parts or can prevent it from opening, closing and/or locking completely. Remove larger debris by hand. Use a soft brush or broom to sweep smaller debris out and away from the track. A damp, wet cloth can be used for very small particles or more stubborn debris.

3. Use the doors regularly. Some rolling aluminum grilles are used on a daily basis, others are used less often and that can become a problem. A door that is left unused can begin to stick as the result of settling dust or potential rust or corrosion. It’s best to open and close the door at least once a week to keep things moving fluidly and to address any problems that arise before they become more permanent.

4. Be mindful of excessive elements. If you have a door that receives more sun exposure, is constantly faced with high winds or is the focus of driving rain in the wintertime, give it a little extra attention. Speak with your commercial door installer to make sure there aren’t any additional maintenance measures that should be taken – such as the addition of an awning, a specialized protective coating, and so on.

5. Refresh paint/coatings as needed. Metal is susceptible to moisture damage and the elements. For this reason, most metal doors are sold and installed with a protective coating suited to their environment. If you notice any peeling, scratching, bubbling or gaps in the coating, it needs to be replaced. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations in regards to approved coating products. Failure to adhere to their guidelines can compromise your warranty, not to mention the well-being of the door.

6. Make immediate repairs. If you notice rust, corrosion, breaks or the door isn’t working properly, schedule repairs ASAP. The longer you wait, the more damage can be done. This results in more expensive repairs or, potentially, an unnecessary door replacement. Also, holding off on a necessary repair may void your warranty.

7. Schedule annual inspections. It’s a good practice to schedule annual or bi-annual inspections with a local commercial door company. This small investment will pay off in preserving the durability and longevity of your rolling aluminum grilles as well as other commercial and personnel doors. Invoices from these inspections are excellent proof to have on hand should you need to process a warranty claim in the future, and routine inspections and maintenance will help to prevent potential code violations for hardly-used doors that aren’t functioning up to local building code requirements.

Have a rolling aluminum grille or service door that’s giving you problems? Looking to schedule annual door maintenance? Give us a call here at R&S - 1-925-671-7606 - or contact us online. We’ll send someone out to visit the first chance we get.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Replacing Weather Stripping on Service Doors

Weather stripping seems like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in your building’s interior comfort, not to mention temperature regulation, energy efficiency and even theft control.

Did You Answer Yes To These 5 Questions?

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself and/or your employees to determine whether or not it’s time to add – or replace – your service door’s weather stripping.

1. Do your exterior service doors have weather stripping? When were your service doors installed? If you’ve recently taken ownership or moved to a new commercial space, inspect the service doors to see if they are currently equipped with weather stripping. If not, consider installing it or hiring a professional to do it for you.

2. Is there an obvious draft? Weather stripping serves a variety of purposes but one of its most important roles is to prevent air leaks. Air leaks can increase utility spending considerably (more on that below) but they also interfere with interior comfort and/or maintaining a consistent temperature. If employees notice a draft, take a look around the service doors to see if there is a perimeter edge that lacks weather stripping, or if the weather stripping around a particular door seems worn, cracked or corroded.

3. Is climate control an issue? If you have a building with an HVAC unit, climate control should certainly be a focus. The more you can maintain a consistent interior temperature, the lower the energy bills will be. Weather stripping seals air leaks and also helps to insulate exterior doors, preventing undesirable heat gain and loss as exterior temperatures fluctuate. Take a look at the heating/cooling bills for the past several years and perform a month-by-month analysis. If you feel like costs are increasing, taking fuel price hikes into consideration, inadequate or poor-performing weather stripping could be a contributing factor.

4. Does water leak into the building when it rains? Do rainy days and nights mean employees have to get the mop bucket out? Not only is this a nuisance, it’s not a good idea to have moisture inside the building. The more moisture there is, the more difficult it is to control temperature and humidity. In addition to interior comfort for staff and clients, excess moisture also threatens the structural components in the building (especially metal doors that are more prone to rust and corrosion). Accumulated moisture also makes it easier for mold and mildew to develop, which compromises interior air quality.

5. Is there visible wear and tear around the edges? If your doors lack weather stripping, or your current weather stripping is outdated, you may notice extra wear and tear around the edges of the doors. In addition to helping with air leaks and insulation, weather stripping also works as a buffer, keeping the perimeter of the door from unnecessary scraping that can slowly wear down the materials.

Replacing Weather Stripping on Service Doors

Installing and replacing weather stripping is a fairly simple DIY task. That being said, there are a few things to consider:

1. Manufacturer’s Recommendations. Get out the service manual that came with the door and read the manufacturer’s recommendations. They will probably list specific products that are recommended/approved. Always invest in the products they recommend because veering from these recommendations could potentially void any existing warranty.

2. Read the Warranty. You’ll also want to read through the warranty stipulations. Sometimes, manufacturers require their doors to be serviced by a licensed, approved vendor and any DIY work you perform on your own may compromise the warranty.

3. Use a licensed commercial door supplier. Don’t have time to be bothered with maintenance requirements? That’s where a reputable, licensed Bay Area commercial door supplier comes in. Research online or call the door’s manufacturer to connect with preferred vendors in your area. Scheduling routine inspections and warranty work is a smart way to keep your doors functioning as reliably and efficiently as possible.

Have a questions about the service doors at your place of business? Contact R&S and we’ll be happy to schedule a service call or answer any questions you may have.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

7 Tips for Storing Holiday Decorations Safely in Your Garage

Holiday decorations are like a beautiful fungus, they seem to multiply year by year. The problem is that while boxes of holiday decorations may multiply, your home’s storage space does not. That means you need to get creative about where and how to store them.

Rather than using interior storage space, which is best left to the things you use on a more regular basis, we recommend storing your holiday decoration collection in the garage. The trick, however, is to store them safely.

Too many boxes stacked one on top of the other pose a hazard to both the people and pets who traverse your garage, as well as the possessions stored around them.

1. Organize your garage. If your garage is already too-crowded-for-comfort, make a New Year’s resolution to organize it. Use one of the bay area’s beautiful, crisp, clear winter days and haul everything outside of the garage so you can assess what needs to stay and what can go. Read or post, 8 Tips For Making Space in That Cluttered Garage for more detailed instructions on a simple, no-nonsense approach to de-cluttering and adding storage space.

2. Ditch the cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes are fine for moving and temporary storage but not for permanent collections – like holiday decorations – which are used every single year. For one thing, cardboard has a tendency to collapse – especially when stacked - which can mean breakage of valuable or sentimental ornaments and decorations. Also, cardboard boxes harbor pests. Spiders and cockroaches are particularly drawn to them, and rodents will happily chew their way in if they smell a hint of anything edible or sense there is potential nesting material or space inside. Instead, upgrade to durable, plastic storage containers in uniform sizes.

3. Opt for clear containers. When you go to select your new storage containers, spring for the ones with clear plastic and red or green tops. The colorful tops are indicators that holiday decorations are stored inside. The clear plastic allows you to get a better idea of what is stored inside so you have quick access to the tree stand, for example, and can leave the wrapping paper or table setting boxes alone until you’re ready for them.

4. Purchase high-quality shelving. If you haven’t done it already, invest in high-quality metal shelving that is easy to assemble and high storage options. The shelves should be wide enough to accommodate the depth of your boxes with only a very minimal amount (if any) of the box bottom extending over the edges to avoid toppling. Use the top and corner shelves, the most difficult to access, for holiday boxes.

5. Test and wrap lights. Get rid of any light strings that don’t work. Then, wrap each strand of your holiday lights around a section of cardboard to avoid the frustrating tangle that always ensues, regardless of how carefully you wrap them in loops. Then store the lights in plastic tubs as well to prevent breakage or exposure to moisture and/or cord-chewing rodents.

6. Utilize the rafters. If you aren’t handy, hire a local handyman to use plywood and/or 2x4s that can be installed to reinforce the rafters. The “shelf-space” you acquire this way will become invaluable extra storage space and makes an excellent spot for storing decoration boxes, the artificial Christmas tree and so on.

7. Heavy duty hooks. Does your artificial tree come with a sturdy bag? If so, you can use heavy-duty garage storage hooks and suspend the tree from its bag handles. This can be an easier option if lugging it into the attic or into the rafters is too cumbersome.

Safe storage of your holiday decorations will pay off in a more organized home and garage space, and the assurance that your favorite decorations and ornaments will be protected from breakage, pest damage and dust.