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Bug Off! The Benefits of Industrial Screen Doors


Cool breezes and bright sunshine. Comfortable, invigorating; and in the case of an industrial or commercial facility; one way to help save building energy costs. More than just a convenience, keeping the dock door open can improve morale and consequently efficiency. It is a good deal all the way around, especially if you have insect control to stop insects from entering the building.

In many areas of the country, it's normal for employees to leave doors open when the weather gets nice. Generally the feeling is "what's the harm" for a few minutes of fresh air. A few minutes turn into a few hours or the whole shift if the doorway is not supervised. Not so nice are the mosquitoes zipping into the building or birds turning the dock area into an aviary.

Insect control can help keep the great outdoors, outdoors. Curtain screen doors allow the flow of fresh air and traffic, but keep out problems - dirt, birds, leaves, persistent rodents and airborne seeds. These doors also discourage passersby and intruders from just strolling into a building.

A number of manufacturers have developed mesh curtain screen doors that allow air to flow into the building while blocking out harmful elements. These doors offer a 65% shade factor reducing radiant heat. This kind of protection can be especially important for facilities that process food, beverages, drugs or chemicals, and those that manufacture sensitive products. Because screen doors are available in large sizes, they are frequently found on body shop and garage doorways, protecting the surfaces of newly painted vehicles.

There are three styles of screen doors, which are used in addition to the solid doors already on the doorway. Which style is best for a particular application will depend on your traffic needs using the door. Here's a break-down of the three styles:

Powered roll-up this type of door is generally used on ground level doorways that handle powered vehicles such as forklifts and carts. These doors can open at a fairly fast rate to minimize the exposure of the doorway and allow fast passage of traffic.

Spring assisted roll-up these are like large window shades with spring assist rolling mechanisms. Tug on the bottom of the door and it rolls up; pull it down and it stays shut. It can also stop at various points along the track. This style is used on dock doors. On a temperate day, the solid panel door can be kept in the up position through all working shifts. The less the dock door is used, the less maintenance needed on the tensions springs. Once a truck pulls away from the dock, the bug screen door can be lowered into position.

Manual slide ideal for foot traffic doorways, this style slides open.
It's usually guided by a solid leading edge and compresses into a compact bundle. To bring the best doorway protection to a working facility, a bug screen door should offer these basic insect control features:

  • Heavy-duty mesh curtains that resist tears, rot, mildew and everything that nature can throw at it, and be UV-resistant.
  • All curtain seams should be double stitched to prevent separation during everyday usage.
  • Openings in the scrim should be too small for even the tiniest insect to access.
  • A tight seal around the full perimeter is a must. Pests are always looking for a way in, especially if the temptation of large quantities of food waits on the other side of the door. This protection includes a double baffle under the valance and a sweep gasket along the bottom of the door. On roll-up styles, the guide track should enclose the rollers.
  • Another key element is smooth and easy door operation to encourage door closing. For a manual roll-up door, smooth motion would come from a heavy-duty tension spring. On powered roll-up doors, to drive frictional load on the motor, garage roller-style wheels should be part of the door support system.
  • On roll-up style doors, curtain stiffeners are needed to prevent the curtain from coming out of the guides if there are wind gusts. These stiffeners should flex and not kink or break.
  • Powered roll-up style doors should have a break-away feature to prevent tearing to the curtain if hit by a vehicle. The curtain should be easy to reset in its guides to minimize the amount of time the door is left opened following an impact.

Once the mesh doors are in place, employees and facility managers will be able to enjoy the benefits of refreshing air and reliable insect control.

Information for this article courtesy of Goff’s Enterprises, Inc.

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The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.