Friday, March 25, 2016

Maintaining Your Home's Automatic Security Gate System

Your home’s security gate provides protection, but it’s also the main entrance to your property and residence. Routine maintenance will ensure the gate works reliably while also looking it’s very best. Also, there’s a good chance your gate’s warranty benefits are based on the premise that the gate will be maintained on a regular basis. Failure to observe recommended maintenance could compromise the warranty.

SAFTEY NOTE: It’s always best to err on the side of caution so please cut the power to your gate before performing any maintenance to avoid injury or gate malfunctions.

Tips For Maintaining Your Home Security Gate

1. Take a Lesson From the Installer. When the security gate installation is complete, meet up with your installer and have them give you a short tutorial on basic gate maintenance. They can show you the gate maintenance basics and will also train you in some simple trouble shooting matters so you don’t have to rely on professional repairs for more minor problems.

2. Read the Manual. Once the gate was installed, the installer should have left a copy of the gate’s operation manual with you. It will have a section on basic maintenance that is specific to your gate. While we can provide a list of generalities here, you are best off reviewing the maintenance steps recommended for your particular gate. Failure to do so could affect your gate’s warranty.

3. Pay Extra For a Solid Warranty. Speaking of warranties, it’s worthwhile to research the warranty options available to you when purchasing a new gate or looking into a replacement. It can be worth it to pay a little more for a gate with a more solid maintenance warranty. While you’re still responsible for routine maintenance tasks, larger repairs or malfunctions will be covered and that can pay for itself in the long-run.

4. Keep Them Clean. To look their best, clean the automatic gate every month or so to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris that will dull the gate’s appearance. Most gates are coated with heavy-duty, corrosion-preventative finishes, but the more dirt and grime that accumulates, the more moisture can settle onto the finish. This will slowly break down the coating, which leads to rust and corrosion. Have the gate re-coated if you notice any signs of peeled, flaking or missing paint.

5. Lubricate the Hinges. Hinges bear the brunt of the workout in terms of daily wear-and-tear so they need a little attention from time to time. Well-oiled metal parts work more smoothly and efficiently, but that lubrication also acts like a water repellent, which minimizes the hinges/joints vulnerability to rusting. Different hinges may require different types of lubrication so – again – referring to your manufacturer’s recommendations is always the best bet. In most cases, you’ll need a standard grease gun and a tube of heavy grease. Look for “zirk fittings,” or the grease fittings – and insert the end of the grease gun there. Pump grease into the fitting until it begins to ooze out. You can do the same thing at any hinge-pin locations. 

6. Grease the chains. If your driveway gate is a slide model, relying on a chain, use axle grease to lubricate the chain at least once a year, perhaps twice if it looks like it needs it. If the chain is sagging more than an inch or two, it probably needs to have its tension adjusted.

7. Beware of pests. Homeowner’s mistakenly believe their automatic security gates are pest-proof since they’re made of metal. However, snail and slug tracks can wreak havoc on a gate’s circuit boards because their dense slime trails harbor moisture and then act like electrical conductors. Similarly, dense spider webs and cobwebs soak up moisture. This moisture will wick up the web fibers and make contact with gate materials and components, leading to unnecessary rust and corrosion. 

Not interested in doing all of the security gate maintenance yourself? No problem. Give us a call here at R&S Door and we’ll be happy to do it for you. We can set you up with a gate maintenance service contract, which ensures your gate receives the TLC required for an optimal lifespan. (925) 671-7606.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to Avoid Loading Dock Injuries

Your loading dock is an integral part of your business, regulating the flow of shipments and deliveries. It’s also one of the busiest building hubs. Without proper maintenance, education and training – employees are at risk for injuries ranging from lower-back, shoulder and neck injuries, to slip and fall accidents, and some of the more serious injuries that can as the result of fork lift scenarios gone wrong.

Avoid Loading Dock Injuries With These 7 Tips

The following tips can help to make sure your loading dock is as safe as it is efficient.

1. Observe regular safety meetings. Safety meetings are typically greeted with a roll of the eyes and a groan. The last thing a busy company needs is another meeting, right? In fact, those Friday morning safety meetings – or whatever day/time works best for your company – are integral to the health and well-being of your employees – and the company’s bottom line. Not only does it offer a chance for employees to refresh their memory in regards to your company’s safety guidelines and protocols, it helps to foster a company safety culture, which goes a long way in preventing injuries. When education, training, and weekly safety meetings are routine, workplace injuries are reduced.

2. Keep the paint fresh. The edges of your loading dock should be painted with bright, visible, reflective colors. Sometimes, the business-as-usual mentality can result in faded or missing paint that goes un-noticed because everyone is used to the lay of the land. Make it a point to have the edges of your loading dock repainted on a regular basis so it always looks as bright as new.

3. Post signage. While loading dock personnel have an innate respect and understanding for safety regulations, guests, pedestrians and passersby may not realize how dangerous the area is. Post signage letting passersby know that large, heavy equipment, trucks and trailers are in use. Use verbiage indicating that large trucks and heavy equipment may improperly neglect to yield for them. Again, brightly-painted boundaries and edges will indicate the “safe areas.” Safety lighting is also important for cloudy days and/or the late-night and early-morning hours.

4. Review forklift safety. Forklift falls off a loading dock are one of the most dangerous, possible loading dock accidents – and can result in a workplace fatality. Only OSHA-trained and authorized employees should be allowed to operate powered hand trucks, hand jacks or forklifts. Keep the area safe for forklifts and employees by mitigating wet, icy or slippery conditions that can cause a forklift to continue moving when the brakes or locks are activated, being aware of tail swing, maintaining a safe distance from the edge of loading dock (See #2) and maintaining clean, clear work surfaces.

5. Keep the area clean and clear. Even the smallest amount of debris, grease or oil, moisture or ice can lead to serious injuries. Maintain a clean and clear area in and around loading docks. Spread absorbent materials on spills that cannot be avoided until they are cleared. If chemicals or toxins have been spilled, use caution tape, cones and relevant signage to clearly secure the area and isolate it until it can be remedied. Always move slowly and cautiously over and around slippery areas that cannot be avoided.

6. Protect the people. Protect the individuals and personnel who need to move through and around the loading dock area by using padding or guards on sharp corners. Safeguard open dock edges by using dock barricades. Review warehouse ergonomics and make sure that conveyor heights are adjusted properly, that heavier products are stored at knee- to chest-high levels and that employees are provided with proper safety equipment so they can complete required tasks with the lowest level of risk. Keep an eye on pallets and inspect them regularly, moving products on compromised pallets to safe pallets.

7. Conduct routine inspections. Create a routine inspection procedure to prioritize safety at all times. Some of these inspections will occur daily or multiple times per day. Others may only be required weekly, by-monthly or quarterly, depending on a product’s or equipment’s manufacturer’s instructions.

Worker comfort and safety should always be the top priority of any warehouse, industrial building or manufacturing plant. These 7 tips will help. For more information, contact your local OSHA safety representative.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Benefits of a Well-sealed Garage

Spring is almost here and that means the return of warmer, dryer weather. But, you know what they say: March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, so we haven’t seen the last of blustery winter weather yet. 

Garage door seals are instrumental in protecting your garage from moisture infiltration as well as cold drafts that affect the interior of your home. Once warm weather hits, you’ll also appreciate a well-sealed garage door because it will help to keep the garage a more habitable place.

5 Benefits of a Well-Sealed Garage Door

Garage door sealing is cheap and easy. It’s a simple DIY chore that should only take you an hour or two at most – depending on how far you live from your local hardware store. Remember that a well-sealed door requires high-quality materials and correct installation. If you aren’t up to the task, never hesitate to contact a garage door installation company who will gladly get the job done for you.

The following are some of the benefits of keeping your garage door seals (also called weather stripping) in good shape.

1. Reduced utility bills. As mentioned above, a leaky garage is more susceptible to outdoor temperature fluctuations. A super-cold or super-hot garage space will slowly affect the interior temperature of your home. While insulated walls do their best, there’s no way to permanently stop the laws of thermodynamics. Thus, living spaces attached to the garage – including the floors above – can experience temperature fluctuations if your garage door seals are shot. This will result on more wear-and-tear on your HVAC unit and increased energy costs.

2. Reduce garage door malfunctions. The more the mechanical components are exposed to moisture and debris, the more likely they are to malfunction. The garage door track can get clogged up by larger dust and dirt particles, leaf materials and so on. Water can cause electrical components to short out. Even something as simple as a small pile of leaf and twigs can prevent the door from shutting all the way or will throw the lasers off, causing your automatic door to open back up. If you’ve already driven away, this can leave your garage – and your home – more susceptible to thieves and vandals. By sealing the door, you minimize the amount of water and debris that can come in or affect door function.

3. Reduce service calls and repair bills. Some garage door malfunctions can be corrected or repaired by the homeowner, others are best left in the hands of the professionals. Excess wear-and-tear as the result of heavy debris accumulation, rust and/or corrosion will lead to increased customer service calls and higher repair and replacement costs.

4. Improve interior comfort. While the idea of a swanky garage man cave is appealing, it’s simply not a realistic goal for most homeowners who need their garage space for a variety of purposes. That isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy hobbies or a little game time in a garage corner though, right? Sealing the garage door will make it more comfortable to enjoy your garage year-round for yourself, family and friends.

5. Protect items stored in the garage. It goes without saying that if water, moisture, dust and debris can get into your garage, they can also affect the contents stored within. Your shovels and rakes may not mind so much but your car, toys and other electronic or mechanical equipment sure will. The last thing you want to do is replace a bunch of tools or expensive toys damaged as the result of old or deteriorated garage door weather stripping.

High-quality garage door seals should last for several years so a little work now will pay off for a long time to come.