Investing in making doors and docks energy efficient can return a different kind of green in the form of measurable cost savings. The more docks with weather-stripping problems, the higher the energy costs in the facility. You can increase your ROI quickly before the cold weather hits and make your docks a safer and more comfortable environment for your workers and products.
Dock Seals and Shelters
A dock seal is a system of vinyl covered compressed foam padding which lines the edge of a loading dock door. Dock seals are designed to close and protect the gap between the dock door opening and a truck trailer so that the process of loading and unloading isn’t negatively impacted by the elements.
Without efficient seal solutions in place, dock operations are at risk for cold air and snow penetration, energy loss, unsafe loading and unloading conditions, and damage to products and equipment.
Unlike a dock seal, a dock shelter is a structure with a curtain style cover designed to protect the space between a truck trailer and the building from the elements. Dock shelters cannot be used in conjunction with dock seals and vice-versa. Dock shelters are typically installed when dock seals aren’t an effective solution or a building must accommodate a variety of truck styles and sizes.
Missing, damaged, or improperly installed weather-stripping on overhead doors and dock levelers can be costly. A quarter inch gap around a standard 9’ x 10’ overhead door and dock leveler is like having a one square foot hole in the wall for cold air and moisture to pour in. The more docks with weather-stripping problems, the higher the energy costs in the facility. On average, effective weather-stripping pays for itself in 2-3 months while increasing comfort inside the facility.
Sectional overhead doors are often specified for upfront cost savings on the doors themselves and not for long term energy advantages. As a result, many commercial and industrial facilities are forced to deal with the shortcomings of doors that meet minimum construction standards but don’t adequately handle the snow, cold, and wind of a typical winter.
The reason is that many standard sectional doors (pan doors) are constructed as hollow shells with Styrofoam pieces inserted. When pan doors are dented or damaged their thermal resistance decreases. When a damaged overhead door section is replaced with one that doesn’t match the original manufacturer, the door sections may not seal properly resulting in energy loss.
Consider the benefits and advantages of an expert solution provider. A qualified commercial & industrial door and dock solution provider can help you design an effective, well balanced winterization strategy that fits your unique operational requirements and delivers long term ROI.