Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Roll-Up Door for Your Business

When it comes to picking a garage door for your business, you may feel unsure of what you need among the many different options and features available. Despite this, roll-up doors remain a staple among businesses because they are usually quick to install and relatively easy to use. 

Installing a roll-up door is a smart investment for many commercial businesses. They provide protection from the elements, security and added temperature control. When deciding between the types of commercial roll-up doors, keep in mind the needs of your business and the environmental conditions. 

In this buyer’s guide, review the information you need to make an informed decision about purchasing a roll-up door for your business. 

What Is a Roll-Up Garage Door?

There are many different types of commercial garage doors. A roll-up garage door is also known as a rolling steel garage door. It can be made up of horizontal sheets of steel and is traditionally used for commercial spaces. The door covers the opening as a conventional garage door would when it’s closed. When raised, however, the metal sheets coil into one roll inside the top of the door opening. 

This feature allows for many benefits, chief of which is space savings. Sectional garage doors are stored inward in a large space allotted for them. This is unnecessary with rolling steel garage doors, allowing that space to be allocated for other purposes. Another advantage is a higher level of security. A roll-up garage door makes theft through the garage a thing of the past. The solid steel sheets make getting into your business’ garage a nearly impossible task for unwanted guests. 

Roll-up doors also provide greater protection from the outside temperatures. If it is essential that your business keep a consistent temperature, a roll-up garage door makes this an easier feat. The door can keep outside air from heating or cooling your business to an inappropriate temperature, ensuring your business can continue to produce quality products. Customizations can be added to enhance this ability depending on the needs of your commercial space. 

Another reason business owners are investing in a rolling steel door is workplace safety. Sectional garage doors pose a significant safety risk for employees. The springs holding the door up can snap, and the door could come crashing down on what is positioned underneath it. Since roll-up garage doors coil into a tight tube when raised and do not use heavy spring equipment, there is no snapping, which eliminates that safety issue. 

What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and Residential Roll-Up Door?

There’s a number of differences between roll-up doors for homes and roll-up doors for commercial spaces. If this is your first time purchasing a rolling garage door for your business, you may not be aware of the differences and how they can affect your purchasing decisions.

Key differences between commercial and residential roll-up doors include:

  • Dimensions: Though residential doors can be modified for a different size, variations of size are typically limited. Commercial doors allow for more size customization. Roll-up garage door sizes can vary significantly depending on the intended use of the door. 
  • Opening capacity: Because residential garage doors are typically used just a few times a day, they are not made to be as durable and the doors move up and down the track slowly to avoid damage. Commercial doors are designed for durability, and doors are able to open and close much faster — saving your company time.
  • Value: With their advanced design, commercial roll-up doors are often a larger investment than residential doors. They are more pricey, but their capability to handle the toughest operations pays off immensely. 

Selecting the Type of Roll-Up Door You Need

Rolling steel garage doors are typically placed in the following three categories: 

  • Light-duty roll-up garage doors: Light-duty roll-up garage doors are designed for spaces that require less-frequent use and less-demanding operations. Because of this, you can find this type of door used in buildings that store small specialty vehicles. Light-duty roll-up doors also are usually the least expensive of the three classifications.
  • Medium-duty roll-up garage doors: Medium-duty roll-up garage doors provide a balance between heavy-duty and light-duty. They are optimal for standard commercial spaces such as warehouses. These doors are capable of more frequent operations without wear and tear, unlike their light-duty counterpart.
  • Heavy-duty roll-up garage doors: Heavy-duty roll-up garage doors are designed for demanding high-cycle operations. These types of roll-up doors are most appropriate for industrial buildings or freight terminals. Because heavy-duty rolling doors were created for strenuous activity, they are designed with superior durability and strength. Though this option has the most upfront cost, it is among the most cost-effective options as it is least likely to need constant maintenance due to wear and tear.

There are two key points to consider when selecting a roll-up door for your business, including: 

  • Use: Intended use will play a key role in the type of door needed. For example, light-duty doors are more appropriate for smaller buildings while heavy-duty doors are more appropriate for warehouse use. Industrial settings are more likely in need of medium-heavy duty doors, which would allow for more frequent use. In general, if the door is intended to be used frequently in your business operations, opt for a heavier-duty door. 
  • Environment: If located in an area susceptible to heavy storms, such as Florida or the Carolinas, it will be useful to get wind-certified doors with weather resistance in order to reduce the maintenance and replacement costs associated with storm damage. It is necessary to ensure they are compliant with International Building Codes (IBC) and to communicate this compliance with your insurance company to avoid insurance claim issues if there happens to be damage.

How Commercial Roll-Up Doors Open

An additional aspect to consider when determining what type of rolling garage door is compatible for your business is the door’s opening system. For commercial and industrial applications, roll-up doors are operated with automatic openers. The doors typically use one of two operator types — an electric door operator or jackshaft operator.

An electric door operator works similarly to how the standard residential roll-up door would. A low voltage motor is used for quiet and smooth operation. Because of new technological advancements and government regulations for commercial businesses, safety options for this method can stop the operation when an obstruction is sensed to avoid workplace safety threats.

A jackshaft operator is also known as a wall-mounted opener since it is mounted on each side of the garage opening. It is capable of opening and closing doors of all sizes, making it a suitable option for larger and heavier doors. This operator is also the better option if your garage space has restricted overhead room. Jackshaft operators are quieter than other options and offer an additional level of security because they’re mounted to the garage wall.

Can You Insulate a Roll-Up Door?

You can insulate a roll-up door, and this practice has become increasingly popular in commercial industries given its many benefits. The barrier from insulated roll-up garage doors protects the inside of your building from the intense weather outside. It can be costly to keep the temperature in your building consistent with traditional garage doors. Insulation is a good option that can cut costs and energy for your business as it would require less work to keep steady coolness.

The insulation is typically made of polystyrene or polyurethane. Polystyrene is the least expensive of the two. This material is more common for residential spaces as it only provides the basic level of insulation. For commercial spaces, polyurethane is the more efficient option. Polyurethane is more expensive, but its higher density makes it a better insulator and its durability makes it more resistant to the heavy vibrations of day-to-day activity.

Questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not an insulated roll-up door is necessary for your business include:

  • Are you located in an area with drastically varying temperatures?
  • Is temperature stability essential to your business?
  • Are your energy costs abnormally high and in need of reducing?

Roll-Up Garage Door Measurements and Sizing

Before picking out an actual roll-up door, it is important to understand which roll-up door dimensions are appropriate for your business. If your company utilizes trucks and other heavy equipment, you will need a size that will allow for safe loading and unloading. The standard size for a commercial roll-up garage door varies, and a good installer will be able to accommodate most door openings and building requirements. Many garage door providers allow you to customize. For exceptionally large spaces, double rolling steel doors are recommended.

What Sizes Do Roll-Up Doors Come In?

When deciding what roll-up door sizes are optimal for your business, first measure the rough opening of your space. The rough opening is the width and height of your finished opening area. Industrial roll-up door sizes have to conform to the space and the building code requirements. 

Account for clearances around the opening, which are the spaces on all sides of the garage. First, measure the side room space, which is the area left and right of the door, to ensure comfortable maneuvering. Next is to measure headroom. Headroom is the area between the top of the garage and the ceiling or nearest barrier. Of course, it is important for you to allow plenty of space for headroom to avoid impacts between the operating garage and obstructions.

How Much Headroom Do You Need for a Roll-Up Door?

Not having enough clearance can be detrimental to your door’s operations and can cause safety risks. There are required minimums for roll-up door headroom that are important to keep in mind when accounting for the different clearances. 

The minimum amount of side clearance required is 6 inches. It is recommended that you allow for more than 12 inches, especially if you’re unsure that your measurements are accurate. Fourteen inches is ideal, but technology has progressed in recent years, meaning garage door installers are able to work with and adapt to a variety of different conditions. 

How Much Do Roll-Up Doors Cost?

Roll-up garage door prices vary depending on the types of doors, the customizations added and the dealer. You don’t want to cut corners when purchasing a garage door. Buying a cheaper option because you’re worried about the price of an insulated roll-up door might mean you suffer in the long run. Be sure to invest in a quality roll-up door that has everything your business needs — otherwise, you’ll be spending more money in the long run. 

Since garage doors are an investment, financing options are often available. If you have an urgent need or require significant repairs that you can’t afford up-front, financing is a great option. 

Tips for Making Your Roll-Up Garage Door Purchase

Choosing a garage door for your business is a major decision. Here are some tips for selecting a roll-up garage door you’ll love:

  • Safety is the top priority: When installing a garage door, it is best to leave it to trusted professionals and choose the safest door option for your business. Account for commercial garage door safety regulations and requirements.
  • Determine your needs beforehand: If possible, go into the buying process knowing what type of roll-up garage your business needs and the features required to suit day-to-day operations. 
  • Keep maintenance in mind: Choose materials and durability that can handle your business operations without excessive need for repair.
  • Choose your garage door provider carefully: It’s necessary to choose a trusted garage door provider that is dedicated to providing quality service at the time of purchase and beyond. 

As a business owner, it is crucial to invest in equipment that aids the long-term success of your company and its operations. Roll-up garage doors can be used to enhance your day-to-day performance, improving productivity. To choose a roll-up garage door for your business is to choose security, efficiency and certainty. 

Contact RCS Garage Doors for Roll-Up Door Services Today

RCS Garage Doors of the Carolinas is your selection, style and service expert. Repairs and installation for a commercial roll-up garage door are an investment in your business, so it’s essential to work with a trustworthy and experienced company. RCS Garage Doors is your source for reliable roll-up garage door installation, repair and maintenance. 

To inquire about how RCS Garage Doors can help you in your search for a commercial roll-up door, contact us today and schedule a free project estimate! 

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