Winter is Coming—Prepare by Winterizing Your Loading Dock

November 13, 2017

SSE_winterizationPrepared Your Dock & Door Facilities For Winter

It’s that time of year again! It is time to prepare your warehouse for seasonal changes. Winterizing the dock and door area of your facility should take top priority otherwise energy efficiency literally slips out the back door.

Striving to apply green initiatives in your business is a sensible idea, especially at dock and door operations in commercial and industrial business environments where it makes dollars and cents to ensure your loading dock is operating as efficiently as possible.  

Letting heating energy operating cash go out the door is preventable. Here are a few tips to make sure your dock and doors are as energy efficient as possible with a measurable return on investment (ROI).


SSE_winterization2Check Dock Seals & Shelters:

Dock seal systems are generally composed of vinyl covered compressed foam padding. Typically, these dock seals will line the outside edge of a loading dock which allows for a seal of any gap to the outside environment when opening loading dock doors that are being used to load or unload from a tractor trailer truck. It is important that these dock seals are inspected for any damage or wear received from constant abuse of trailers bumping into dock seals when loading and unloading. It is important that damaged and worn dock seals are replaced because without an effective and efficient seal, dock operations are at risk of energy loss from warm or cold air leaving the building during loading and unloading. This can also put people, product and equipment at risk from the elements.

Now dock shelters differ in that they are curtain-like covers that are designed to protect the space between the truck trailer and the building from the elements. Dock shelters in most cases cannot be used in conjunction with a dock seal and vice versa dock shelters are typically installed where a dock seal will not work as an effective solution. An example would be a facility that requires the ability to accommodate a variety of truck sizes and styles. Just like dock seals, dock shelters must be inspected for and wear or damage from on going loading and unloading. Any damage must be repaired or replaced in order to mitigate any energy loss.  No one likes spending money on maintenance, but doing this actually prevents lost energy and money.

Check Weather-Stripping:

Inspections and maintenance for weather stripping are also critical to efficiency. Make sure to have a dock and door specialist inspect for damaged, missing or improperly installed weather stripping on both dock levelers and your overhead doors to make sure you get the most out of your energy expenditure.

A single quarter inch gap on a 9’x10’ overhead sectional door equates to having an open one square foot hole in a wall of your building. That adds up to a lot of money lost on cooling and heating, not to mention creating a dangerous work environment due to moisture getting inside. Imagine if you have multiple doors with improper or missing seals. That can add a significant amount to your energy costs. Bottom line is weather stripping pays for itself, usually in less than six months or sooner.

Check Overhead Doors:

Typically, overhead sectional doors are great for upfront energy cost savings but have characteristics that make them susceptible to reduced long term energy cost savings. Why is this you ask? Some common reasons come from how most standard sectional overhead doors (pan doors) are constructed.

Typically built from hollow metal, or composite foam filled shells these doors can be damaged easily from equipment, which reduces the doors thermal resistant properties. The damaged sections frequently get replaced with non-OEM sections when not done by industry professionals, causing the gaskets to not seal properly. 

This in turn will reduce the energy efficiency of the door itself. The degree of efficiency reduction in energy efficiency depends the exact type of overhead sectional door you have. Whether you have a standard sectional (pan door), or the more expensive thermal break, foamed-in-place and insulated doors, it is important that you have a trusted industry expert solutions provider working with you.

Southern States Dock & Doors is a trusted commercial and industrial dock and door service provider with the experience to get you ready for the changing weather. Don’t be stuck in the cold, make sure your contact SSD&D to get your facility inspected today.

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