One of the most overlooked items of hardware in a door opening is the threshold. Thresholds are prone to abuse from weather elements, delivery carts and ordinary foot traffic. Floor expansion and contraction can cause the threshold to raise or lower which can lead to either interference with proper closing of the door or too large of a gap between the door and threshold.
Thresholds are the first thing people notice when entering a building. If a threshold is bent, worn or loose, people tend to enter a building with apprehension. As a locksmith, you can add to your profit by inspecting each door opening at a job site and then making recommendations for threshold replacement if needed. Even if your offer is not immediately accepted, your suggestion for threshold replacement will be remembered and may perhaps lead to a profitable service call in the near future.
Thresholds are not difficult to install. In most cases a cement drill and lead or plastic plugs are all that is needed to make a clean, neat installation.
There are a wide variety of threshold shapes, sizes and options depending on the needs of your customer. This is where National Guard Products (NGP) can help. NGP began business in 1935 in Memphis, TN. NGP features products made in USA. Their product line features commercial door products including thresholds, gasketing, lite kits and louvers. Their ADA compliant products meet the accessibility guidelines of the Americans With Disabilities Act. NGP remains a unique, independent, family-owned business. All of NGP’s fire-rated products have been tested and listed by Underwriters Laboratories.
A partial listing of NGP tresholds includes:
Saddle Thresholds – a basic threshold containing a flat center section with both sides of the threshold having equal angles and height.
Bumper Seal Threshold –similar to a saddle threshold, but with a vertical, raised section in the flat center section to stop air movement when the door is closed.
Offset Threshold – heights of the outer edges of the threshold have different inner and outer edge heights in order to transition between uneven adjacent floor surfaces.
Half Saddle Threshold – contains a flat section plus one side having a bevelled section. Non-bevelled edge is designed to fit over adjacent floor surface.
Thermal Barrier Threshold – Similar to a saddle threshold except that the center section consists of two pieces connected by non-conductive material. This resists the transference of heat or cold from one side of the threshold to the other.
Additional threshold products by NGP include interlocking ramps, cover plates, diamond tread plates, abrasive surface options, floor closer covers and a line of residential thresholds.
NGP also manufactures a complete line of door seals. One interesting class of seals is called intumescent. In case of fire, these seals are designed to expand to 8-10 times their original thickness when temperatures reach 375 degrees.
For normal hot/cold weather conditions, NGP has seals made from several different materials and a variety of shapes to solve any door or frame sealing problem. Sealing materials include:
Vinyl seals (0 / 140 F)
Brush Seals (-70 / 160 F)
Neoprene Seals (-30 / 210 F)
Polyurethane Seals (-65 / 210 F)
Silicone Seals (-100 / 525 F)
For more information contact your local locksmith distributor or download a full NGP catalog at Web Site www.ngp.com.
Cut Air Filtration, Build LEED Points
Buildings are responsible for more than 30 percent of energy usage and more than 60% of electricity consumption in the U.S. Infiltration of outside air can cause nearly 30% of the heating and cooling loads for new U.S. office buildings. An EPA article notes that openings around windows and doors are a major cause of air infiltration.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building System (LEED) encourages the adoption of sustainable green buildings through the use accepted and understood criteria. State and local governments across the `country are adopting the LEED system for public-owned and public-funded buildings. LEED projects are underway in 41 countries around the world.
National Guard Products manufacture a complete line of high efficiency thresholds and gaskets designed specifically to meet LEED guidelines. High efficiency gaskets and thresholds prohibit unwanted air from entering through the building envelope, controlling inside temperatures, preventing noise transmission, and lowering heating and cooling costs.
According to Neal Frazier, VP of National Guard Products, two factors should guide the selection of gasketing systems. “First, higher quality silicone, neoprene and nylon brush gaskets provide the better seal and retain their flexibility longer. Their useful life is longer, so they are both more efficient and more economical over time. Second, use easily adjustable products that can be periodically re-set to restore the original efficiency of the seal.”
Other LEED standards deal with acoustical performance plus materials and waste management. National Guard Products gasketing can contribute strongly to the reduction of background noise levels. National Guard Products such as aluminum, bronze and stainless thresholds plus all gasket products made with an aluminum retainer contain 75 percent post consumer recycled material.
While locksmiths are not generally involved in hardware decisions during new construction, existing buildings seeking to improve their LEED rating can be potential customers.
For more information on the LEED program see Web Site www.USGBC.org.