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Can a Commercial Door Be Replaced Without Replacing the Frame?

man repairing commercial door frame

If you have a door in your commercial business that’s damaged or ineffective, now is the time to replace it. You can often simply replace the door with a similar model since the measurements should be the same. However, there are certain situations where it’s either necessary or advisable to replace the door frame. These include:

If Your Door Frame Has Become Damaged

When your company's facility is older or has faced extreme weather conditions, your exterior door frames may not be in the best condition. Look for signs of rust at the base of the frame on both sides and on the seams where the horizontal and vertical elements come together. These areas will show the earliest signs of damage. 

If you spot rust or damage, you should plan on replacing the door frame when installing the new door. This approach can save you time and labor costs instead of waiting to replace the frame when it inevitably fails.

If You Feel a Draft Coming from the Closed Door

While your new door may have excellent weatherstripping, you might still feel a draft coming from the closed door. This draft signifies that the door isn’t connecting with the frame. 

In addition to wasting energy, this setup poses a fire hazard. As UL recommendations outline, eliminating gaps in doorways helps prevent oxygen from feeding any fire that breaks out. A tight seal will also slow the spread of smoke during a fire.

If the New Door Doesn’t Align Properly

When you’re replacing a metal or steel door, it probably won’t be possible to modify the strike plate or hinges to align with the existing frame’s features. You can address this problem by measuring these components on your existing door and shopping for a door with similar measurements.

Finding a door that fits might not always be possible. If you’re changing the type of door or buying a door from a different manufacturer, you might not be able to get a model with similar measurements. In that case, you’ll have to replace the door frame to accommodate the new door.

If the Previous Door Frequently Suffered Impact Damage

Depending on your business type, you might be replacing a door because of severe damage. If that damage results from impacts caused by gurneys, carts, or other equipment, the frame may also have suffered damage.

A visual inspection won’t always help you identify damage to a commercial door frame. Use a level or a carpenter’s square to check the frame’s trueness. If the corners have become misaligned or no longer meet at 90-degree angles, your new door won’t fit properly. 

Even a minor misalignment can cause problems when you install a new door, so make sure you check the door frame before buying a replacement door.

If You See Mineral Damage

High winds, rain, and snow will all shower your door and frame with lime, salt, and other minerals. Over time, these elements will corrode the wood, metal, or steel. 

As the International Facility Management Association explains, this type of delamination will adversely affect the integrity of the door frame. This deterioration can cause structural problems within the frame and the surrounding material. 

Brace your foot at the base of the frame and try to twist the upper portion of the frame. If you feel the frame is giving way, this flexibility is an early sign of delamination. 

In some cases, you won’t see delamination with the naked eye, so physically testing the door frame will help you determine its integrity. Replace the frame before further erosion occurs.

If You Want to Build a Stronger Point of Entry

Even though you might not need to replace your door frame, you might want to do so to create a stronger access point. Perhaps you’re switching from a wooden door to a metal one or installing a keycard entry system. 

Replacing the door frame as a part of these improvement projects will help you increase the impact of your new security measures.

We Sell Commercial and Industrial Doors and Frames

When you need to replace a door or door frame in your commercial business, trust the high-quality products at CDF Distributors. You can view our products, contact us, and order the doors you need for your business when you visit our website.

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