Is the jamb plumb (vertical)? A level, plumb bob or string with a weight placed against a vertical line of the jamb or molding can be used to determine if the jamb is plumb. Always check the entire length and both sides of the jamb. An out of plumb door can be caused during construction or can be a result of building settling from any number of different causes. If the opening changes enough, the door will have problems opening and closing and/or problems latching. An out of plumb door strike plate opening can sometimes be modified to accommodate the movement of the latch.
Does the door fit evenly into the jamb? The gap between the jamb and door is 1/8”. For double doors, the gap is 3/16”. For fire rated doors, the gap between the bottom of the door and the finished floor can be 5/8” or 3/4” depending upon flooring.
If the gap is larger or uneven, this can indicate a structure or installation problem. A larger gap can allow air infiltration. Filling the gap to limit air filtration can be accomplished using a number of different gasketing products, many specifically designed for different parts of the door.
PEMKO manufactures thresholds, door bottoms and gasketing products for commercial door and openings, including perimeter gasketing and door bottom sweeps to prevent air infiltration. For specialized applications, there is PEMKO MicroShield® Antimicrobial Gasketing for medical facilities. For specific fire rated openings, there is Adhesive Backed Fire/Smoke Gasketing.
For many exterior doorways, a threshold is installed at the bottom of the door opening to smooth any transition between spaces. Thresholds can have a variety of applications. They can be installed to prevent moisture or cold air from getting in. They can transition between different flooring materials and to adjust for height variations. Thresholds can be manufactured from different materials including metals, wood, stone and vinyl.
For extreme weather conditions, the PEMKO Thermal Barrier Saddle Threshold has a black rigid polypropylene key between two halves of the threshold that prevent the outside temperature from gaining entrance into the building.
Door Closers/Power Operators
A door closer or power operator is designed to function on doors that are in adjustment and able to smoothly open, close and latch. If the door closer or operator stops functioning, check the operation of the door.
One significant problem is the door closer -- in addition to closing the door -- is used to act as the doorstop. When a door closer is used as a doorstop, the closer body and arm mounting screws are pulled beyond anything that is part of their operational design. The mounting screws are pulled; excess pressure is exerted against the spindle and seals. For many applications, a stop can be installed to prevent the door from opening beyond the installed limits.
Alley and dock doors or any door that can come in contact with a cart or hand truck should be protected even if the door itself has a very heavy gauge skin.
To protect the door from damage, aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel and plastic plates come in varying sizes. Don-Jo has armor plates in sizes up to 48” height and 48” wide. Their kick plates are 8” to 16” height and up to 48” wide. The mop plates are under 8” height and up to 48” wide. Plate options include magnetic backing for metal doors, scotch mount, self drilling screws, countersunk holes, cut outs for locks louvers and windows, Torx security screws and Warnock Hersey listed fire rated armor plates for 3 hour metal doors.
In addition, door edges, corner protection and channeling cover a portion of the door face and one or two edges and/or cover the face and the bottom of the door. The material options include aluminum, brass, bronze and stainless steel. The attachment options include scotch mount and screw mount. For U-Channel protection, cutouts can be ordered for flush bolts and locks.
Installing door protection can provide an alternative to replacing a door, as long as the damage and the repairs do not affect the operation and meet with rules, codes and regulations.
Ripping off the cap from an exit device installed onto an alley or dock door is not uncommon. Sargent Lock has changed the end cap on some of their exit devices from a sheet metal cap to a cast cap. The cast cap is better able to withstand cart abuse with out breaking or coming off.