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Should I repair or replace my damaged commercial door?

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Industrial doors
July 5, 2018
minute read

Find out what's wrong with your commercial doors, and discover the right solution

At this very moment, commercial and industrial doors are being mistreated in many different ways. It might be an emergency bed crashing through a hospital door, kids kicking open a school door to start the weekend 3 seconds earlier, or cleaning staff wedging a broom handle between the door and frame to keep it ajar. Whatever the situation, we know industrial doors have a tough life.

That's their job — to absorb impact and keep working as intended. But like everything, commercial and industrial doors can succumb to damage, compromising their ability to provide security and safety.

Larnec makes strong, reliable commercial doors that stand up to damage. When your commercial doors become damaged beyond repair, get in touch with our friendly team.

Buying new doors can really put a dent in a business’s limited budget for maintenance and facility management. Fortunately, steel doors can often be repaired, rather than replaced with an entirely new door.

But not all repairs make financial sense — if your maintenance person would have to spend four hours on a repair, it may be better to just purchase a new door.

Here are a few guidelines to help you determine whether you should repair your door or replace it entirely.

1. The door frame is no longer square

The older a building gets, the more likely it is to have shifted. This may result in door frames being rendered no longer level, flush, and square. In this case, you are better off replacing both door and frame.

Skewed door frames can leave doors open to a range of problems, including:

  • Hinge bind, where undue stress is placed upon the hinges, leading to compromisation
  • Affected fire rating due to improper clearances above and below the door.
  • Improper fitting and operation of hardware and accessories.

Diagnosis: Replace the door and frame with a brand new commercial door solution.

2. Compromised core

The harder the impact, the more likely a door is to have suffered internal damage. This structural damage may not be visible to the naked eye, but nonetheless, it can several degrade the usefulness of the door to the point of it being entirely unfit for purpose. The core of the door gives it strength and when this is affected, the door must be replaced.

Diagnosis: Replace the door with a commercial door with a solid core.

3. Delamination

A common symptom of degradation is delamination, where the material used to make the door splinters into layers. Water damage, wind, and other harsh environments can encourage delamination. This drastically affects the strength of the door, oftentimes to the point of needing replacement.

If you think your door is flimsy, give it a test before you replace. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Try and twist the door vertically
  2. Set your foot at the base of the door on the lock/handle side
  3. Pull the top of the door toward your body
  4. If the door moves greater than 2 centimetres, your core is probably delaminated

Diagnosis: Replace the door with a brand new door. Look for a new door with a solid door that does not have a honeycombing core.

4. Dents

Dents to doors might be a sign of greater internal damage, depending on how deep the dent has penetrated. However, if the dent is relegated to just the top layer of the door, you can easily repair it without having to replace the entire door.

Here's what to do:

  1. Apply bondo to the dent
  2. Sand the surface back to flat
  3. Paint the door to hide the repair

Diagnosis: Have a professional handyman repair the door. Call Larnec if you have any questions.

5. Hinge damage

Propping open a door with tools, mops, or broomsticks can be detrimental to the overall health of the door. Keeping a door propped open can place undue stress on the hinges, especially the top hinge. This can degenerate to the point where the weld points can break entirely. This will lead to a sagging door with improper gaps. It may even render the door completely inoperable.

Diagnosis: Replace the door, or follow the below instructions to repair the door.

The first thing you should do is let everyone using the door know that you have a strict rule against propping doors open. With the help of a handyman, or some basic welding skills of your own, you can have the door fixed in no time at all:

  1. Remove the door and all hinges
  2. If you are adding a hinge reinforcement, drill holes where it will sit
  3. Position the hinge reinforcement and weld to the door
  4. Grind smooth, prime, paint and rehang

In the end, the safety, security, and utility of commercial doors are paramount. Having a damaged door can pose a significant risk to people and property.

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