Your access panel is an integral part of the functionality of your business , whether you realize it or not. Just think about it for a minute. That panel is opened every single day. Every time you receive a shipment. Every time a truck leaves your yard. Every time a piece of equipment needs maintenance. Your access panel probably gets more use and more wear and tear than you think. Because of this, regular maintenance is extremely important. However, maintenance can only go so far. Sometimes the answer to increasing the efficiency of your workplace is to make improvements to your access panel. Focusing some effort and funding into the everyday function of your workplace can be rewarding in terms of both finance and efficiency.
Obviously, the most effective way to make a significant change would be to replace your access panel, its framing and the lifting mechanism entirely. Newer doors, newer tracks and newer designs are always being developed, each claiming to be better than the last. But what happens when you don’t have the funds available or are not yet prepared to make this financial commitment? Are there cost effective solutions that actually produce results? The answer is, of course! It’s about knowing how exactly to solve your problems. Here are some cost effective ways to improve your access panel.
Insulate the panel itself – Here in Canada, we constantly battle both the freeze/thaw cycle and the intense humidity during the summer months. Access panels are the gateway to these outdoor elements. They are constantly exposed to extreme weather fluctuations, acting as a barrier, protecting the indoors. All of this creates opportunities for cold or hot air to transfer within your building. This air transfer not only increases heating and cooling costs but can increase maintenance costs, as well.
Cold air can cause condensation during freeze/thaw cycles which creates undue wear and tear on door mechanisms and the access panel itself. So how do you reduce the impact of air transfer and the effects of condensation? Insulate. It seems like a no-brainer. Most Canadians are quite familiar with the concept of insulation, yet when it comes to commercially used access panels, insulation is often overlooked. Better insulated access panels help to reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. It can also be considered preventative maintenance. A more efficient door helps to reduce the requirement of reactionary maintenance.
Reduce spaces and gaps in the door frame – Similar to air transfer through the access panel, moisture and air can pass through gaps or cracks in the door frame. Again, this is a concept we are familiar with in our own homes but is, for some reason, not commonly thought of in commercial environments. When it comes to business, every dollar counts; every action counts. Small cracks or gaps in the frame can very quickly grow into large gaps. When moisture freezes, it expands and increases the size of the cracks it fills. In addition to cracks, this moisture can also create rust and corrosion.
Just like cracks, over time rust spreads. So how do you save your dollars and reduce possibly extensive maintenance costs?
The answer is relatively simple.
Fill those gaps and insulate the door frame. It is important to minimize any air and moisture transfer that flows through the gaps in the panel frame. Filling the actual gaps can be accomplished quite easily by inspecting for any areas that let daylight seep into the building. If they let light in, they will allow moisture in as well. Gaps like this bring cold air inside and let warm out which obviously increases heating and maintenance costs. The most effective way to deal with cracks that may be too small to see is to insulate all around the frame. This will not only prevent growth, but also add an extra barrier from the elements in areas that are considered weak.
Add glass panels –When working in busy yards, bustling shops or tight parking lots, lines of sight are extremely important. Quite often, commercial access panels are installed as solid bay doors with no sight in or out. To increase safety and efficiency, it may be an effective choice for you to add a row or section of glass windows to your access panel. Glass panels allow workers inside or outside the workplace to see what is on the other side. This advanced site can ease the need for other doors to be opened and closed. It will clear when a truck arrives for shipment or a vehicle returns to the shop at the end of the work day. By only needing to open one door one time, heating and cooling costs will be reduced.
Additionally, glass panels can be used by drivers to see if there are obstacles in their way before opening the access door to back out. Again, this reduces the number of time the door needs to be opened, which reduces maintenance costs. Another significant advantage to glass panels is the element of increased safety. Each time a side door is opened a potential accident is waiting to happen. What happens when someone is on the other side of that opaque door? Creating visual access through the main access panel reduces the aspect of the visually unknown. Sight equals safety.
Overall, making changes to your existing access panel may be the most effective solution for you. If your panel needs to be replaced for safety reason – never hesitate to do so. However, if you are looking for ways to increase your efficiency, reduce your overhead costs and make safety a priority, making minor adjustments to your access panel may be the solution for you. Insulation of both the access panel itself and the frame can significantly reduce heating costs while preventing unexpected repair costs. To increase your efficiency and safety, adding glasses panels may be a good route for you. No matter what you chose, make sure to do your research and make an informed decision.
At Best Access Doors, we have a wide arrangement of products to help with your improvements or to fully replace an existing access panel. With knowledgeable staff ready to help you, don’t wait to start the improvements!
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