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Commercial or industrial garage doors are those doors which are used in, unsurprisingly, a commercial or industrial setting. This can be for shops and stores, factories and warehouses, depots, parking facilities, or otherwise. The two ‘traditional’ types of commercial garage doors are roller doors and roller shutters. At Eden Roc Garage Doors, we can provide you with the commercial garage doors that suit the needs of your Perth business.
Roller Shutters vs Roller Doors
Roller shutters are the ’heavy-duty’ iteration of a roller door. Shutters are typically much larger than doors (to accommodate larger vehicles) and are composed of individual slats of steel or aluminium. These slats are much stronger than the roller doors and are much more difficult to damage should a thief or vandal attempt to do damage to the door. These slats are also designed to slide into place, connecting each slat to the next. This allows the roller shutters to be any size, while roller doors are restricted to a maximum size of five meters high by five meters wide. Additionally, the ability to remove individual slats allows a technician to replace individual slats should they become damaged. Roller doors, if they become damaged, will need to be replaced in its entirety.
Which is the best choice for me?
Unless there is a particular reason you require the additional security provided by roller shutters, the size of your garage door will be the main determining factor in whether a roller door or a roller shutter is the ideal commercial garage door for you. If your door is greater than 5m x 5m (height x width), you will require a roller shutter. If your door is smaller than 5m x 5m, a roller door will be satisfactory.
Commercial doors vs residential doors
Typically, commercial garage doors are suited to whichever commercial application for which they are designed. As such, there is a huge variety of commercial garage doors in terms of size, shape and material. Residential doors are designed specifically for use in residential homes and are of a more standardised size and material, but do offer a greater number of ‘aesthetic’ and design choices.
Commercial garage doors can be used much more often than a residential garage door. Some commercial garage doors open and close dozens or hundreds of times throughout the day (it can be as extreme as in the case of a private parking lot, where it will open and close with each entry and exit of a vehicle), while some are only used once or twice per day (to open and close up a street-side store). Some commercial garage doors are huge in comparison to even the largest of residential garage doors (especially those used in a factory, warehouse, or hangar context which accommodate trucks and other large transportation vehicles). Additionally, cost, reliability and ease of repair are of greater importance in the case of commercial garage doors. As such, typically roller doors are preferenced above sectional garage doors.
Given the wide range of different applications, there is equally as wide a range of commercial garage doors. The best way to determine which set-up is the best for you is to give us a call on (08) 9304 9334 and talk to us about the application for which you will be using the door. We’ll be able to walk you through the options and help you determine which is the best option for you.
You’ll usually find that for those commercial doors which are small and seldom used (e.g, store entrance), that the cost-effective manual roller door will be the optimal choice as it is both cheap and easy to use. Also, the lack of a motor is not too great an inconvenience.
For those commercial doors which are frequently used (warehouse, factory, and transport depots), it is ideal to have roller doors or shutters designed specifically for frequent use. These doors are tensioned with a specifically designed ‘high volume’ torsion spring. The size of the commercial door will need to be matched to those vehicles which will pass through the door’s opening, with doors of greater height being used in those circumstances where trucks and large transport vehicles are used.
Finally, roller doors are the typical style of door used in commercial contexts given their cheaper price tag, the simplicity of their design and use. Roller shutters are the second choice only when roller doors are inappropriate for the commercial context for which it will be used.
Repair and maintenance service
Unlike residential garage doors which is simply an inconvenience when it is not operational, commercial garage doors can carry significant monetary consequences when they are not working as they should be. Many businesses would struggle to continue their operations should their door fail to open or close when required. When commercial garage doors do fail and are in need of repair, if they are halting operations, their repair is prioritised above the service and repair of residential garage doors.
Additionally, commercial garage doors are often very high, and very heavy. Should a roller shutter come crashing down for one reason or another, anything that is situated within the opening will be crushed. To a person, this will cause very serious injury or death.
For a bit of perspective, a typical commercial roller door (not a roller shutter, which is even heavier) which is ~5 meters wide and ~5 meters high (commercial garage doors can be much larger than this) weighs about 300kgs. If this door were to come crashing down on top of someone or something, this would be as if a Harley Davidson Fatboy (weight 310kg) Motorcycle were to fall from a height of 5 meters onto that person. They would NOT be in a good state.
Here is a video of a commercial door free-falling onto a metal bin to demonstrate the power with which these doors can come crashing down.
Due to the nature of commercial activity, it is very common for roller doors and roller shutters to sustain damage as a result of forklift impacts. This sort of damage is generally covered under the vast majority of insurance policies but, if no repairs are made, the door is left in its damaged state. Or, if the door is not maintained, the door’s warranty can become void.
Commercial door motors/openers
The motors (also known as openers) used for commercial doors are matched to the size of the door. The bigger and heavier the door, the more powerful the motor must be. While some residential garage door motors are acceptable for use in the case of the smaller commercial roller doors, for the larger roller doors and roller shutters, specific commercial motors will be required.
Which motor should you use for your commercial door?
The primary range of commercial garage door motors our Perth team recommend and use is the LR Range by Grifco. This is a range of DC motors which will require an electrician to connect to 3 phase power. We recommend this range as it is a particularly great fit for commercial garage doors. They are not only great motors, but they also come with a warranty which is valid when used for a commercial application (many motors’ warranty does not apply when the door is used for a commercial application).
Commercial door dimensions: height & width
There are two tiers of commercial garage doors: light industrial, and heavy industrial.
Light industrial doors are roller doors and have a maximum height and width of five meters by five meters.
Heavy industrial doors are roller shutters and are used for those doors over and above the 5 metre height.
That being said, our commercial garage doors on offer for Perth businesses range from being smaller than residential garage doors to being much larger. Regardless of the commercial application for which you require a garage door, you will likely be able to find a garage door to meet your size requirements.
Commercial door cost
Light industrial roller doors start from around $3,500 while heavy industrial roller shutters can be up to $20,000 for the extremely large shutters used in extreme circumstances such as airport hangars. The best way to determine the cost of your commercial garage door is to give your local garage door company a call and allow them to determine which model of door and size of door is required. They should be able to provide you with an accurate quote.
Commercial garage doors have many individual moving parts due to their large size. It is not uncommon for these parts to endure some level of wear and tear before eventually breaking and needing to be replaced.
Torsion springs take the strain of up to 80% of the door’s weight, such that only 20% of the door’s weight must be moved by the door’s opener. If the spring were to snap, and someone attempted to operate the garage door, the motor would fail and the door would likely come crashing down.
While roller shutters don’t have seals, roller doors do. These seals are designed to ‘seal’ the opening to prevent fire embers, dirt, dust, and vermin from slipping through the gap around the edges of the door.
All garage doors, commercial or otherwise, require tracks to guide the door as it opens and closes to ensure that it opens and closes safely and without issue. These tracks can wear down or be pushed out of alignment in the case that the garage door is impacted. As soon as an issue with the track has been identified, it must be addressed before the door can be operated. Attempting to operate the garage door while the track is not in a working state will put your garage door set up at risk of enduring further damage.
Locks are frequently required for commercial garage doors to ensure thieves and vandals do not do damage to your property. Roller doors come with in-built door locks and have the option of additional floor locks and side bolts, which are available in three different types of locks attached to three different parts of the door. A minimum of one lock is required for roller doors as a roller door, whose spring is correctly tensioned, is easily opened by hand.
In the case of roller shutters, they do not come with locks nor are locks required. The roller shutters are so large and so heavy that they cannot be opened without the assistance of a specific commercial roller shutter opener.
Garage door safety beams project a laser beam between two points on either side of the garage door opening. When someone or something passes through the beam and cuts it off, it will detect that something is in the opening and will not allow the door to close. This is a critically important safety feature of any commercial garage door given their immense size and weight, and their potential to crush someone should they be in the door’s opening when it is closing.
Given their importance, these safety beams are a requirement for all commercial garage doors in Australia. The safety beams do come included with any commercial motor purchase and installation. The expected lifespan of the safety beams is comparable to that of the motor, meaning that it is unlikely that they will need to be replaced before the motor is. Although, given the safety beam’s location, which is close to the ground, it is in a position where it is prone to damage. If it is damaged and no longer working, it will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
Commercial door installation
Commercial garage door installation is much more difficult a task than traditional residential garage door installation. Given that the size, weight and height of the door, specialised skills and equipment is required and cannot simply be performed by a regulation qualified garage door technician.
While a ladder is usually sufficient tech required to install a garage door, to successfully install a commercial garage door both an elevator work platform and lifting equipment is required. An elevator work platform is required to get the technician up to the appropriate working height to allow them to perform the installation. It is not uncommon for this height to be above five meters, especially in the case of roller shutters.
Lifting equipment is required to raise the garage door, which can weigh up to and over several hundred kilograms, up to the position where it can be installed.
Additionally, given the immense weight of the commercial garage doors, different and specialised fixings are required to be able to take the weight of the door.
A traditional garage door technician will not have the skills nor the required qualifications to perform a commercial roller shutter installation. In Western Australia, the installation will need to be performed by a specialised technician with the appropriate White Card, High Risk Work License, and Working at Heights tickets.
Commercial door insulation
While sectional garage doors can be insulated to reduce the transfer of noise and heat through the garage door, unfortunately insulation is not possible in the case of roller doors nor roller shutters, the two most common commercial garage door types. This is the case as garage door insulation requires the thickening of the door with an insulating material such as foil, foam, or fibreglass. Commercial garage doors, in the process of opening, furl into a cylinder. The slats (in the case of roller shutters) and the steel (in the case of roller doors) if thickened with an insulating material would not be able to furl, effectively preventing the door from opening. It would be stuck closed, meaning you wouldn’t have a very useful garage door if it cannot open.
For this reason, commercial garage doors cannot be insulated, unless you use a sectional garage door in place of a roller door or roller shutter!
Using a sectional garage door for commercial purposes is not common but can be done if there is appropriate ceiling space and if the door dimensions are less than six metres wide and three metres high. If the door’s dimensions are outside this range, you will unfortunately be restricted in your choices to roller doors and roller shutters.
Manufacturers of commercial doors
The two primary commercial garage door manufacturers are B&D and Centurion Garage Doors. B&D offer three types of commercial garage doors: roller doors, roller shutters (both of which we have explored quite extensively), and sectional doors. Their commercial sectional doors are heavy-duty doors and are much stronger than a traditional sectional door. Additionally, their P7 industrial range is unique as it is composed of an aluminium frame with a variety of inserts. These inserts can be solid, transparent, or mesh which will allow the flow of air through the door.
Centurion Garage Doors do not offer sectional garage doors, nor roller shutters, but they are the leading manufacturers of roller garage doors in Western Australia. If you encounter a commercial roller door in Western Australia, there is a high likelihood that it is a Centurion manufactured door.
If you would like to find out more about installing commercial garage doors for your business, we’re the experts in Perth you can rely on. To find out more, contact our team today by giving us a call on (08) 9303 9334.