Locked external doors help to keep trespassers out of your premises, and most of us pay close attention to our locks. But doors are only locked when they are closed, so door closers and automatic door operators need to be checked as well. They are also crucial to the operation of your internal fire doors, and they can help keep heating bills down through controlling the loss of cold air that occurs if a door remains open.
How Winter Weather Affects Door Closers
Whether your closers are surface based or concealed; operated with hydraulics and springs, cold weather affects them. When the temperature drops, oil can congeal and make your door closing take longer. Any door closer affected in this way will need to be adjusted. While the lower grade closers are more likely to suffer, even the newer, higher quality models should be checked and serviced. In stormy weather, when buildings and doors are buffeted by strong winds, door closers must still be effective against wind resistance. Adjusting the speeds of the closing and latching sweeps is essential here to ensure the closer operates as required in these changing conditions. You may also need to get the hydraulics recalibrated for satisfactory performance. If you are not 100% sure of what you are doing, it’s best to get professional help for this.
How Winter Weather Affects Doors
Other factors that might change the performance of door closers include changes in the doors they service. Timber doors and frames expand in cold weather pulling their locks and hinges out of alignment. Although this may be hardly noticeable initially, the continued pressure on locks and hinges will effect the reliability of their operation. Even draught excluders added to the bottom of the door can change its positioning within its frame and have the same effect.
This is not likely to happen with metal doors, although locks and door pivot mechanisms are sensitive to temperature changes, and lubrication is the key. Make it a regular part of your maintenance schedule, especially in the winter months.
Taking Preventative Measures
If you make a point of regularly checking your self-closing doors, you will learn to recognise potential problems. Then you can take action to prevent them escalating into expensive security issues where you have a door that won’t open or won’t lock. Even doors that are not often used need to be checked; especially emergency exit doors which have just as much exposure to bad weather and would be a disaster if they did not open. Check their panic bars and closers and make sure they are always well lubricated and adjusted where necessary.