Why It's Important to Weatherproof Your Commercial Door

Winter can have a serious impact on the integrity of commercial overhead doors. The severe cold has been known to cause numerous problems to garage doors, leaving businesses with untimely financial burdens. As we dive deeper into bone-chilling temperatures, it may be time to make sure your commercial door is weatherproofed before it’s too late.

The Importance of Insulating

Insulating your commercial garage door is probably one of the last things on your business’s winter to-do list. We understand this isn’t a high-priority task for most people, but being in the garage door business for over 50 years, we know how important it can be for a business to conserve heat and save money. If a garage door is not properly insulated, heat will escape. This will force your business’s heater to work harder and produce more heat, raising the cost of your heating bill. 

Not only will insulating save money, but it can also save the items being stored in the garage itself. If a garage is kept above freezing, there’s a strong chance that all contents inside will survive damage from the cold. Freezing temperatures can harm anything from a plant to your garage door opener, and every garage that isn’t properly weatherproofed is susceptible to the cold, potentially compromising valuable assets to a business. This includes garages that stand independently as well as garages connected to a building.

How to Insulate

In order to contain heat, your commercial door should be insulated. This process may not actively make your garage warm, but it will keep it about 10 degrees warmer. Polystyrene is a high-quality insulator similar to what you would find in a styrofoam cooler. This material comes in different levels of thickness, from around R2 per inch to R10. Depending on the size of your commercial door, you may need to cut the insulator yourself to cover each section. Applying foam insulation adhesive spray or tape to the insulator will help it stick to the door, allowing it to stay bonded through the entire winter season. This waterproof material is also quite durable and has the sustainability to last through harsh weather conditions.

The Importance of Sealing

Sealing a commercial door is another important part of weatherproofing. A sealed door will keep moisture levels in the garage extremely low, helping prevent mold growth. Mold is no friend to a business owner and can grow on almost any moist surface, negatively affecting the health of anyone working in its vicinity. When inhaled, mold can inflame airways, cause chest tightness, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing, nasal congestion, reduced lung function and even increase the risk of asthma. Prolonged exposure can cause serious infections. Black mold, also called toxic mold, most often grows in cellulose-rich building materials and is known to cause memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, trouble concentrating and confusion. A properly weatherproofed commercial door can prevent all of this.

The cold months are also known to drive mice to look for shelter, and if your business’s commercial door isn’t sealed, you could be inviting them to hunker down for a few months. Mice are known to crawl through openings as small as a dime, which means the garage door needs to be free of holes and completely sealed off. If the bottom is not sealed tight to the ground, mice can slip underneath. Small openings on the side edges of the door can also serve as entryways for mice, requiring business owners to check the area thoroughly for any possible critter entrance. Even if it looks impossibly small, it should be sealed off. Mice don’t have collarbones, making it very easy for them to slip through almost any opening your door offers them. 

How to Seal Your Door

Installing weatherstripping is the best way to seal off the top and side of a garage door. Thin vinyl seals are a commonly used weatherstripping material that will protect your garage from critters and mold. To start, you will need to measure the height and width of your garage door in order to cut a piece to fit both sides and the top. First, put self-tapping galvanized screws in the strip about 12 inches apart from each other in height, on the side that will touch the stop board. Lightly screw them in before putting up the weatherstrip. When your garage is closed, secure the strip into the angle between the door and the wall and firmly screw it in, connecting it to the existing stop board. From there, use a caulk gun to apply caulk to the edge of the weatherstripping where it meets the stop board, closing off any remaining gaps.

A bottom threshold seal will be the last piece of the puzzle. This weatherproofing device connects to the ground and will help keep out water, snow, dirt, insects and rodents. Ten-inch Garage Door Threshold Seals are good to use, and generally come ½ inch high, 3 feet wide and 10 feet long. Made of vinyl, this is usually adhesive and UV stabilized. Only taking a matter of minutes to install, the seal is placed on the ground across the length of where the garage door meets the floor. Once the seal is secured to the ground with the adhesive, the process is complete. The weight of the door pressing on the seal will be tight with the ground and act as a firm barrier, leaving no gaps. 

Commercial doors are often overlooked when it comes to weatherproofing. The cold weather can cause numerous problems for a business, all of which can be avoided by following these common practices. 

Don’t have the time to do any of this yourself? It’s never too late to weatherproof your commercial door. At Hamburg Overhead Door, we offer services to help you get through the winter. Contact Us today to find out how we can help your business.