There are many benefits to using aluminum doors for your business' entryways, including the fact these doors can withstand a high volume of traffic and tend to require less maintenance than other types of doors. However, aluminum doors can still suffer from issues that make it a challenge to use them. In particular, these doors can sag over time, making them impossible to open and damaging other door elements (e.g. weather stripping). Here are a few things you can try to fix a sagging aluminum door.
Check the Hinges
One of the most common reasons for a sagging aluminum door is loose or bent hinges. The door is opened and closed thousands of times a day. Over time, screws work themselves loose or the hinges warp out of shape, throwing the door out of alignment. Therefore, before spending a lot of time and money on other diagnostics and repairs, check to see if the hinges are the cause.
Position the door square and have someone hold it in place while you check the hinges. If the screws look like they worked themselves loose, simply tighten them and see if that fixed the problem. Even if the door sits right afterwards, you want to check it again in a few days. If the screws have worked themselves loose again, it may be a sign that either the screws or the holes they site in have become stripped.
To fix this issue, use longer or larger screws to secure the hinge. Alternatively, you can find repair kits for stripped holes that typically contain a filler material you place into the hole that will grip the screw and eliminate the excess space. A third option is to use a tap to re-thread the hole for use with different screws.
Sometimes the door hinge itself is the problem; namely the joints that let the door open and close may have become misaligned or warped. This can happen if the pin inside breaks or bends out of shape. If the joints appear crooked, this may be what's causing the sagging. Replacing the hinge (or pin if it's broken) may solve this problem.
Check the Frame
Another reason your door is sagging is because there's a problem with the frame. Since aluminum doors are typically set in metal frames, the most common reason for uneven frame is a settling building. Although everything may have lined up when the building was first erected, the structure subtly shifts and moves over time, resulting in misaligned frames.
However, misalignment can occur in other ways. Although the frame may be metal, it may be surrounded by drywall, wood, or other non-metallic building material. These materials can fall victim to environmental damage that may affect its ability to support the door frame. Therefore, have the walls inspected to see if they are suffering from internal damage (e.g. termites, rotting) that could be pushing the frame out of alignment and replace as necessary.
Otherwise, if the frame is just out of alignment from building settlement, there are a couple of ways you can fix this problem. The easiest is to install a door brace that will help keep the door square in the frame. The other option is to have a professional realign the frame and the door so they sit square with each, which is a good option if there is significant sagging.
Check the Pneumatic Closer
Many commercial doors use pneumatic closer to help alleviate reduce some of the wear and tear on the door. These closers control how fast the door opens and closes. However, some also provide additional support for keeping the door square in the frame. If the screws connecting the closer to the door and frame come loose, it could affect how the door sits in the frame. Check the screws on the pneumatic closer, and tighten if they've come loose.
For more information on fixing a sagging commercial door, contact a local door contractor, such as Caplan Bros Inc.