The Internet has created a need for warehouse-based stores, and companies like Amazon are rising to meet the challenge. Protecting these distribution houses from the elements becomes extremely important if you don’t want to lose any of your stock. The warehouse door is a weak link in the chain of insulation, and it’s often overlooked as a source for insulation and protection from the elements.
How Doors are Made
The actual make up of the warehouse garage door greatly affects its ability to insulate your space. Materials vary, as does the level of thermal resistance. This measurement, called the “R-Value,” looks at the door’s ability to resist heat flow. This is where the type of insulation becomes important:
- Polystyrene insulation are on the lower range of the R-Value
- Polyurethane doors offer twice the insulation of a polystyrene door and is recommended in severe winter weather conditions
Aside from the door’s thermal rating, it’s important that the installation does not allow excess air through small cracks in the door frame. Usually a seal, called an “astragal,” helps create an airtight space when the door closes.
Wood vs. Metal Doors
Wooden doors are more common at the consumer level, but commercial garage doors are typically made of metal. Wooden doors are more susceptible to the elements, and a metal door is more likely to stand up to day after day of industrial usage. The other advantage to owning a metal door is the paintjob you can apply, which is useful for branding or to match the colors of your building. It’s also easier to modify an industrial metal door if you want windows or some other custom installation.
The Ideal Door Setup
The ideal set up for commercial roll up doors is typically a 26 gauge metal unit. Polyurethane is recommended, but remember that insulation works both ways, so if extreme heat is an issue then polystyrene may be a better choice. An R-Value of 8 will work in most climates, and two layers of steel will be sufficient for many installations.
Cold storage may be required if you’re holding vegetation or food products. Ammonia freezers are generally cheaper than their Freon counterparts, and insulation is equally important for keeping the cold temperature inside. Don’t forget also that there are regulations that control what temperature food must be stored at to maintain freshness.