Car wash door

When considering carwash doors, you might struggle with several questions. Primarily, do you need them? What type should you get? How much security do they provide? Are they easy to maintain? Depending on what type of carwash you own or operate, you might be wondering any of the above. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers because every carwash has different needs. But here, we can lay out some basic facts to help answer some of the more fundamental questions.

Do you really need carwash doors?

Why does any facility have doors? To keep weather and other unwanted natural elements outside. To insulate a building. To provide security. The list goes on. It is for these very same reasons that carwashes can benefit from installing doors on their tunnels or bays. If you are in a warmer climate, there are still plenty of reasons to get carwash doors, particularly, Hart says, as they can solve the following problems:

  • Noise: Especially for carwashes in high-density residential areas, doors are important for reducing noice and may even be required by a municipality.
  • Traffic flow: While there are normally signs or lights instructing a driver when to enter a carwash bay, inattentive drivers may miss these signals and drive in at the wrong time. Doors that open and close between cycles make it obvious when to enter the bay.
  • Wind tunnel effect: Carwashes can often become wind tunnels, and when there’s too much wind, chemical can spray anywhere, thus affecting your wash quality.
  • Water runoff: In addition to keeping chemicals from spraying wildly, carwash doors can keep wind from pushing water runoff outside the bay and keep it flowing into the drains, as it should .
  • The harsh conditions of a carwash require materials that can withstand constant attack of high moisture and harsh chemicals. Typical overhead doors are not built for this type of environment. For instance, polycarbonate doors offer the best security level
  • when operated by pneumatic or electric operators. Not only are they shatterproof, unlike a glass and metal door, but they have an impact resistance that’s 200 times greater than a glass panel, making these doors durable to impacts comparable to that of a steel door but without denting. Paired with a pneumatic opener that holds pressure from the operator on the door in the closed position, it is very difficult to break through or lift up this style door. Vinyl doors, on the other hand, are easily lifted and cut through.

However, if door speed is more of a concern, then a vinyl door might be the better choice. Vinyl doors can roll up at 34 inches per second, whereas a polycarbonate door with a pneumatic opener can only reach speeds of up to 18 inches per second.

But, if retaining heat in winter is your biggest concern, both will provide insulation, although a polycarbonate door will provide more. However, the vinyl door’s speed helps to make up for its lower thermal resistance since less heat will escape when you open and close the doors.

If car impacts worry you, vinyl doors have the edge, since they are designed to break out of their tracks upon impact and pull back onto the track on the next opening cycle. The polycarbonate doors will most likely suffer damage on impact and will require replacement panels to fix the door.

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