How to Optimize Your Warehouse for Winter

December 12, 2018

Winter means more than the beginning of the holiday season; it also signifies the changing of the weather. While other parts of the country are accustomed to seeing temperatures plummet into the 30’s and 40’s (or lower), the southernmost portions of the U.S. are not as accustomed to freezing temperatures. For the most part, winter in Florida and Georgia typically means increased rainfall. However, there is always the chance of a major cold front bringing sudden freezing temperatures, and that can mean working conditions becoming much more difficult.

Preparing Your Warehouse Building for the Winter

If you work in a warehouse facility, this time of year may not be your favorite since it means having to bundle up from head to toe to combat the freezing temperatures blowing in from the loading dock. Because of this, managers could expect slower work from their employees. However, with the right strategies in place, this doesn’t have to be the case. When optimizing your warehouse for the winter cold, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

Install Proper Dock Seals and Shelters

Gaps around your dock seals and shelters are the largest contributor to heat and energy loss in your warehouse facility. Dock seals and doors receive heavy abuse from being bumped by trucks during loading and unloading. Several actions must be taken to ensure proper dock door seal and shelter standards:

  • Check dock seals and shelters: Damaged or worn dock seals disturb dock operations by letting the heat and cold escape from your warehouse facility. It also places the workers, products, and equipment at risk when constantly exposed to the elements. Southern State Enterprises offers a number of dock door seal and shelters for replacements, at a reasonable price.
  • Check weather stripping: Damaged, missing, or improperly-installed weather stripping on dock levelers and doors adds to the loss of energy. To get a better idea, a quarter inch gap on a 9’x10’ overhead door would be like having a one square foot hole in your warehouse building wall. This significantly adds to energy costs.
  • Check overhead doors: Overhead doors are made from a hollow metal or composite foam filled shells that can easily damaged by equipment, reducing the thermal resistance properties of the door itself. The amount of energy efficiency lost depends on the type of door you have, whether it is a pan door or a more expensive insulated door, and either one should be replaced by a professional dock door provider.

Utilize HVAC Systems

HVAC systems provide quality indoor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Typically, damage to an HVAC system occurs if there is water damage or it was struck by lighting during a bad storm, but damage can also be caused by a lack of maintenance, leaks and clogs, or obstructions from equipment and storage items. Before the weather takes a turn, have a reputable HVAC professional service your warehouse building’s HVAC system. Replace and check the filters and, if need be, replace the system if there is extensive damage.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Measures

Every warehouse center should always have a checklist of preventive maintenance guidelines to ensure proper employee and equipment safety. During the winter, safety measures can be overlooked due to the stress of year-end operations. If your warehouse is in an area that snows, hazards like a slippery floor are all too common. Heavy snowfall can also impact motive power operations if a blackout occurs. Preventative maintenance not only protects your assets, it reduces warehouse costs that would come from various fines or medical expenses from an injured worker.

Service Any Motive Power Equipment

The quickest way warehouse operations can becomes suspended is if the motive power equipment or other warehouse systems haven’t been properly serviced or go unnoticed. You want to make sure everything is in working order before winter so that failures in warehouse operations are minimum. Faulty pallet rack systems or corroded forklift batteries should be immediately replaced, and any non-functional forklifts should receive proper maintenance unless needing to be discarded completely. The quickest way to have your time consumed from performing basic warehouse operations is from faulty or un-maintained warehouse equipment.

If you are in need of motive power, storage and handling, or dock and door replacements or services for the winter season, Southern State Enterprises is your go-to warehouse business provider. We pride ourselves on offering the best solutions to warehouse operations that improve safety, efficiency, and productivity. Contact a representative today for more information!

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