Converting Buildings to Self-Storage Facilities Podcast Transcription

Lexi: Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Metal Minutes by Cornerstone Building Brands. My name is Lexi and with me today, I have Bray Allen. He's the General Manager of Doors and Hallway Systems for Cornerstone Building Brands. Hi Bray.

Bray: Hello, Lexi.

Lexi: So today's topic will be an introductory course to steel-curtain roll-up doors. So just to get started, what are steel-curtain roll-up doors?

Bray: So steel-curtain doors often referred to as drum doors or barrel doors or canister doors and sheet doors. The official term in the industry is often defined as sheet doors. Ultimately, what it is corrugated sheet metal seamed together to form a consistent and solid curtain with tracks to allow the door to ride up and down. It also gathers at the top of the opening, just adjacent to the header, rather than like a typical sectional door that comes back into the building or even a high-lift that has to go even much further up the wall. So a basic 2’ x 2’ cube at the top of the opening helps contain the entire assembly of the door when it's opened.

Lexi: Okay. So when you say roll-up door, you literally mean it is rolling up into itself.

Bray: Very similar to an old fashioned window shade, like my grandmother would have in her house that you just pull it a little bit and it goes crazy rolling up. That's kind of the way a roll-up door rolls up.

Lexi: Okay. So then where are these metal roll-up doors commonly used?

Bray: Most often, when people think about roll-up doors, they inherently go to self-storage facilities. And that is a large portion of where this product goes, but it's not only in self-storage facilities. These are widely used in manufacturing facilities, freight terminals are an ideal location, commercial and industrial facilities. They are also used even in smaller applications or less noticed applications. My neighbor, in fact, has two doors that he just converted from sectional to roll-up doors, because he wanted to put a car lift inside of his shop. So he put canister doors and so that he could raise this drag racing Mustang up on a car lift. And he couldn't do that with a sectional door, because it impeded into the inside of the building as to where a roll-up door does not.

Lexi: Okay. So, that kind of segues into the next question I had. So what would be the reason to use a roll-up door instead of a sectional door, like you said? So what are some of the benefits of these roll-up doors?

Bray: Sure. So some of the most common, especially in the storage industry, when you think about applications where you're having to sprinkler a building or something for fire prevention, containment, your door won't impede with the progress of sprinklers. You don't have to worry about running into the water pipes, HVAC, electrical conduits or anything of that nature. That's probably one of the most beneficial aspects in the storage industry.

Bray: But also when you look into commercial or even a light commercial or manufacturing, just think about lighting. When the door's open, if it's a sectional door and there's overhead lighting, the door itself will, will block lighting from shining down into the working area as to where a roll-up door, it's contained, again, very close to the wall. Therefore, any overhead lighting is not affected. The ability to raise and lower things that they're actually larger than the opening or would go above the opening, is not affected. You have minimal just minimal obstructions all the way around. Most everything is contained right there, centrally above the header.

Lexi: So those sound like a lot of functional benefits, obviously that affects the interior of the building. What about the security of these doors?

Bray: Yes, there's some natural security as far as theft and burglary and things of that nature. The fact that we use Grade E high-strength steel, it makes it more rigid. The corrugation aspect of it makes it very rigid, the deep engagement guides that we use on most of our commercial products on the storage we use, we've got a variety of latch options that we utilize, and we often try to select those and look at those and evaluate them for pry points.

Bray: We use reinforced aluminum on the bottom bar. It's reinforced with heavy gauge angle for more stability on the commercial side. Most of those in most applications, unless you deem otherwise, there's not even a lift handle on the outside. It's primarily used when you have an entrance door or a manned door, so that you minimize the risk of exposure from the outside of the rolling door. So just the steel in itself, the high quality steel that we use, helps with the durability and the security aspect of it.

Lexi: Okay, great. So how do you lock a door like that?

Bray: On your typical self-storage application, we use an exterior latch. And we have a couple of options there. We have latches that have lock capabilities of double padlocks or what we call a cylinder lock, which is very similar to a Coke machine, the old time Coke machine round locks. We have that. We also have the ability to do both, in fact, on one particular latch that we have. And as I said earlier, we've minimized, on those latches specifically, we've minimized the opportunity for pry points, for removing locks. It minimizes the ability to even get in with bolt cutters or saws or whatever. We've tried to do a really good job of protecting that. On the commercial side, most of those were what we call bottom bar locks. And essentially, they're slide locks, slide bolts that are at the bottom of each side of the door. And they engage into the vertical track when the door is closed, it's slotted. It's a piece of solid steel that slides in and prevents the door from being opened.

Lexi: That makes sense. So since we're kind of talking about additional components like latches and bottom bars, do you commonly add other types of components to add additional durability or protection?

Bray: Sure, we do. So on the commercial doors, we add curtain wear strip to minimize steel on steel as the door’s going up and down. We also add guide wear strip, that serves the same purpose. We use oil tempered springs. We use an aluminum bottom bar. So in more harsh climates up North, things of that nature, where you have salt or de-icing agents, we use aluminum to try to relegate, the corrosion aspect of it. And the paint that we use, the siliconized polyester paint, we have multiple paint options there that we can review and look at, multiple colors. The biggest factor for me again, again, is the aluminum bottom bar that we use. And that is without a doubt, the best option in the industry. That is a standard for us, it's not an upcharge, it's not an upsell. We promote high quality and high value right out of the gate. And so that's a standard for us on all of our roll-up products.

Lexi: Great. Can you talk a little bit about the maintenance of these doors and the process of cleaning and making sure that the doors stay pristine?

Bray: Sure. Yeah. So the most important thing is in more harsh comments just to keep them somewhat clean. Now, granted in nature might do a lot of that itself, but if it's an application where you're in just say an oil field or something like that, where there's a lot of dirt, dust, debris, hosing it off helps tremendously. You can wash them if you want, the same way you would an automobile.

Bray: But outside of that, and even that's optional. I do recommend that when it comes to maintenance of the actual mechanical parts, I do recommend lubricating springs on occasion. Generally tell people if you do it once every two or three years, that you're in good shape. And that's simply done with just some lithium spray grease, something like that. The reality is, is they're moving parts. So keeping them clean of debris, keeping the moving parts lubricated is a fantastic thing. It will promote the longevity of your product. The reality is, if you go buy a $300,000 car, they're going to tell you to change the oil.

Lexi: Right. Okay. So we covered quite a few of the different benefits of metal roll-up doors. Now let's talk about the factors that we should be taking into consideration when selecting a metal roll-up door. So what are the things that we need to keep in mind when we actually go to purchase one?

Bray: So, the most important thing is going to be what your expectations are and what you're trying to ultimately accomplish. So if it's a door that you're going to be using, let's just say at a warehouse facility, it's a rather large door. You want to consider motorizing that. It's important to select the right motor for that as well as the door. You want a door that has chain hoist or motorized operation for larger products. If it's something that you're using on a shed in the back of your house, to store your four wheeler in the summertime or your motorcycle in the winter time, typically that's going to utilize what I would refer to as, as a mini warehouse door, which is our 650 series. It's an entry-level overhead coiling door. It's made out of the same high quality steel on the exterior, as well as the aluminum bottom bar.

Bray: It's a little lighter gauge and the components are a little different, but we still use 10,000 lifecycle springs for that. So it's still very high quality product. When it comes, as I say it in the more heavy or commercial or industrial applications, you're going to want to look at either the series 2000 or the 2500. For me, I prefer the 2500 as the entry level, quality commercial door. And then of course, we also have the 3000 and the 5000 series. Those are both considered high velocity hurricane products, for the coastal regions of the country, or high wind zones. And the 3000 is the most user-friendly, easiest to install product that we have in the high velocity wind-rated doors. The 5000 is a phenomenal product. Time doesn't allow us to go into all the testing that we've done with that product, but in partnership with some other industries and even some of the top colleges in the nation, we've had the opportunity to do some really extensive testing on that product. And I was almost giddy about how well it performed.

Bray: But it is a more tedious product in installing. So it's not really the do-it-yourself kind of product, but the 650 series for the backyard project, that's one that you and a buddy can do. And I typically tell people, the first one will take you an hour and a half, and the next one take you 15 minutes, because it's that simple. You'll figure it out that fast. So when you go to select the product that you want, what's going to be important is knowing what the application is.

Bray: On our website, we listed the generic applications for each product. As I said, backyard buildings and light duty, just recreational type buildings are primarily your 650 series. When you get past that into light commercial, or even heavy commercial products, you're going to want to look at the 2000s and 2500s. And even for, as I said, the wind-loaded or the high wind velocity regions, you're going to look at the 3000 and the 5000. You may even want to consider those products, if you're in an area of where security is more prevalent to you, the 3000 and 5000 series is something that you want to consider.

Lexi: So basically you got to think about what you're going to be using the door for what part of the country you're in, so obviously those areas that are more susceptible to hurricanes and high winds would need a different door than those located elsewhere. Now do roll-up doors need to meet certain kinds of codes whenever they're being used for commercial use?

Bray: Absolutely. And that varies from municipality to municipality. So obviously hurricane regions, they have their own, or high velocity regions, they have their own requirements. We publish all of that data as far as wind load ratings and things of that nature. On occasion, you may run into some anomaly that has a specific code requirement, but we try to supply all of that data and all that useful information on our website so that you can get all of that data. But again, for us, especially with our high wind velocity products, we post the maximum allowable pressures and design loads. And then there's resources like DASMA, where you can go in and your engineer or your architect, or even your local building inspector will do some evaluating of the product in conjunction with industry standards. But I'm happy to say that we meet or exceed every standard that I've come across in that regard where our product would be applicable.

Lexi: Okay, great. The last thing that I wanted to ask you about in terms of factors to consider when selecting a metal roll-up door would be the warranties that are covering these roll-up doors. Can you speak a little bit about how the warranties come into effect?

Bray: Sure. So we offer a one-year parts warranty on any mechanical part or moving part of the door. So if something's defective out of the shop, we always stand behind it. And with it being an overhead door, we'll stand under it as well. So we always take care of our product because that's the right thing to do. That's our motto as our company. And so anything within reason, even outside of the one year, if it's something that we feel that was neglected or a defective or something of that nature, we're still going to stand behind it.

Bray: That's the benefit of us being able to do that is because we do it right the first time. We offer high quality, high value right out of the gate and that enables us to take a stance like that. As far as paint, chalk fade, film type warranties, those vary from color to color. We have them ranging from 25 years to 40 years, depending upon the color. And so those are typically film integrity, and chalk and fading warranties that we can gladly supply for a specific color as requested, but they range from 25 years to all the way up to 40 years.

Lexi: Great. Well, I think you did a great job at covering all of the high level aspects of metal and steel roll-up doors. Is there anything else that you want our listeners to know about the basics of roll-up doors?

Bray: I would just say that when you're going out there and looking for a roll-up door, the last thing that we as a company want, or anybody in the industry wants is for someone not to get what they're expecting. So our goal is to meet your needs and expectations at a minimum. But in reality, we hope to exceed your needs and expectations. And something just to keep in mind, when ordering this product always verify that width times the height. Most people, when it comes to the specifics of ordering a product, just make sure to ask as many questions as possible and ask whomever you're ordering the product through, ask them to give you thorough details. You may not always know the questions to ask, but if you ask your sales rep to give you as much information as possible, then they will gladly communicate anything and everything that they can to ensure that you're getting what you're requesting.

Lexi: Great. Well, thank you so much, Bray, for joining us today. It has been a pleasure to talk about steel roll-up doors with you.

Bray: Oh my pleasure. I love to talk shop when the opportunity comes around. Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Feel free to call me at any point and I'll do everything that I can to help you out.

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