Automatic doors are a great addition to just about any business. They provide ease of access, a more welcoming environment, and can be a necessary accessibility feature for anyone with mobility issues. In this article, we’re talking about automatic door maintenance. We’ll tell you how often automatic doors need regular maintenance service, and what you can do to avoid problems going forward.
How often should automatic doors be serviced?
It is recommended that automatic doors are inspected by a professional every 6 months on average. These routine check-ups allow a professional to diagnose whether your doors need immediate corrective action, routine or extensive maintenance.
Of course, your automatic doors may see much heavier use, meaning they should be serviced more frequently. For this reason, many repair companies also offer “risk assessment” services. This means that they will evaluate whether you need more frequent “check-ups” to ensure that your doors are in working order.
Routine check-ups may sound expensive, but it’s more expensive to let the problem develop into something that requires a serious fix!
What is an Automatic Door?
It’s important to note that automatic doors represent a broad category of doors. Therefore, our maintenance tips & tricks will need to be adjusted depending on your specific needs. Obviously, an automatic door is a door that opens “automatically” when detecting a person, typically using a motion sensor that triggers a mechanism to open the door hands-free. Types of automatic doors include:
- Sliding Door: The most popular type of automatic door for commercial use. Sliding doors are more appropriate for heavy foot traffic because the door slides horizontally and doesn’t occupy any space within the building. These doors are typically controlled with a motion sensor or control mat.
- Swinging Door: For commercial purposes, automatic swinging doors are usually installed in sets, with each door swinging in an opposite direction to allow for foot traffic from either side. There is usually a sensor on the door or above the door frame. Safety becomes an issue with these doors as they swing outward into the space in front of the door, so safety zones become imperative.
- Folding Door: Automatic folding doors contain separate panels that fold into each other, forming a series of “V” patterns. Like swinging doors above, these doors need to be clearly marked, so that users know where the “folding zone” is, and to avoid that area.
How do you maintain automatic doors?
As with just about any fixture, routine maintenance can solve many headaches down the line. If you want to avoid future expenditures on repair bills for your automatic doors, then taking proper care of them is key. Along with having your automatic doors occasionally inspected by a professional, there are a few things you can do on your own to keep your doors in working order. Here’s how to properly maintain your automatic doors:
- Buy the Proper Door: It all starts with the buying process. You need to be sure that the door you buy is actually suited to how you are going to use it. You need to consider how often your automatic door is going to get used. Businesses with more extensive foot-traffic will need a door designed for this purpose. The more a door has to open and shut, the more wear and tear on the overall system. You need to buy from a reputable manufacturer that can match your needs with an appropriate automatic door.
- Safety Checks: The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) recommends that you perform safety checks on your automatic doors every day. These checks are basically just to see whether the door is operating properly. Here’s how to do it:
- Activate the automatic door (motion sensor or otherwise) to ensure it is opening properly (slow, smooth, consistent). Once fully open, see that it remains open for a minimum of 5 seconds before shutting. Ensure it closes in a similarly predictable manner (slow, smooth, consistent).
- Inspect the footpath leading to the door and surrounding the door for any mess, debris, etc. You might want to do this multiple times a day when foot-traffic is especially heavy. Also, be sure that the safety signage indicating foot-traffic paths is intact.
- Give the door a thorough look for any loose parts or obvious defects.
- And that’s it! It’s a simple process, and should only take you a couple of minutes each day.
- Weather Checks: Automatic door maintenance is especially important in colder months, or after significant weather events. During winter, you want to check for and clear any build-up of salt or ice on your door’s components (sensors, door frame, door itself). This build-up can interfere with the door’s functionality, and cause damage to the door itself. You might want to check multiple times a day during serious rain, snow, or cold.
- Safety Markings: Always be sure that your automatic doors are properly marked because a door without proper safety outlines can lead to liability issues for your business. You need signage that clearly indicates desired foot-traffic (ie. arrows or “stop” markings on either side). You also want signage that clearly indicates where the door is going open so that no one is standing in this area.
Why do automatic doors need to be serviced?
Automatic doors need to be serviced to ensure that they are working properly, and are in compliance with any health & safety laws that moderate your workplace. In simplest terms, these doors need to be serviced to ensure that they are functioning properly, and are safe and effective for customers, employees, and any other users.
Your business could be liable for any injury or hardship caused by an improperly functioning automatic door. Businesses can and have been sued for these accidents, and you don’t want it to happen to you. This is why you need to follow our maintenance advice above, and keep to a consistent service schedule to ensure that any issues which need addressing are addressed.
How much does it cost to service automatic doors?
The cost of servicing your automatic doors depends on many factors. It depends on whether you need extensive repair work, or whether the issue is minor. That being said, having your doors routinely inspected will usually save you money in the long run. A professional can identify any potential quick fixes before they develop into serious problems. We recently did a study that showed service contracts for automatic doors can actually save your business up to 25%, you can read more here.
A routine service call will only cost you a couple of hundred dollars, but it can potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs down the line. What’s more, is that maintenance professionals will offer you discounts if you commit to a routine inspection schedule. Consistent with our advice above, we recommend you have your automatic doors inspected and serviced at least once every six months, and more if your door receives particularly heavy use.
Thanks for reading our guide to automatic door servicing requirements. We covered what you can do to keep your doors in proper working order and avoid any major expenditures down the line. With proper care and routine inspection, you can keep your automatic doors in working order for years and years to come!