The importance of maintaining your docks and doors of your warehouse
It is important to keep proper climactic conditions in your warehouse, and there are a number of ways to do this. The most important concern is the safety and comfort of your warehouse and dock workers, but it is also important to maintain energy efficiency to avoid losing money to poorly sealed doors.
The best way to ensure that your warehouse is comfortably heated and efficiently sealed is to carefully maintain a good, tight seal around all doors and loading docks. If the sill of warehouse doors are in poor condition or are not properly maintained, a great deal of heat can be lost from these often overlooked areas. If you maintain your dock equipment regularly, the docks and doors will last longer and operate better. Regular dock and door equipment maintenance increases employee safety, helps to control repair costs and assists in avoiding company down times. When unexpected repairs occur, it can cause unforeseen delays by stopping goods from entering or leaving a facility. Maintenance of your equipment on a regular basis can minimize these delays and improve safety at the loading dock area.
Even when tightly closed, large warehouse bay doors can lose a significant amount of heat at the junction of each panel. There are many ways to prevent this and a variety of sealing materials and technologies. The crucial thing is to evaluate which areas need attention.
This can be accomplished by carefully measuring the temperature at the sill of each door, and at the sealed areas where the door panels come together. It is common for seals on the bottom third of the door to begin separating and losing thermal efficiency, as a significant amount of strain is focused in these areas when the door is repeatedly closed.
A third common area that prevents the warehouse temperature from being properly maintained are any windows mounted in warehouse doors. Just like residential windows, warehouse windows are notorious for their lack of a good seal. While rubber products are improving, it is still difficult to maintain a good seal when two materials as dissimilar as glass and aluminum or steel come together.
Ultimately the maintenance of your warehouse docks and doors is an investment that will yield good returns in energy savings. There are many products to find air leaks and seal areas that are problems, but a policy of carefully minimizing the opening and closing of doors can be just as effective.
As a simple starting place for docks and doors maintenance, try to find the areas of your warehouse docks that have the least comfortable working conditions. Replacing docks and doors can be expensive, and may not be needed. A cold breeze that is always piping in around a door indicates a definite problem area. Additionally, if the sills on bay doors are corroded there may be a constant draft that travels up the door, and is very noticeable when the doors are opened or closed.