If most people could chose between the cold slap of air conditioning and the green glow of florescent tubes versus fresh, fragrant air and pleasant sunlight, Mother Nature wins hands down. Everyone likes the feel of being in the great outdoors rather than cooped up in a building. To insure those inside the building can have the benefits of fresh air, manufacturers are bringing to the market an array of bug blocking screens that prevent the contamination of the inside rooms from up open, unprotected door.
From the building owners’ viewpoint, letting in sunlight and fresh air means they have to generate – and pay for – less from their HVAC and lighting systems. It is doubtful that studies have been done, but at the gut level management knows the natural elements create a working environment that is more comfortable and as a result contributes to overall productivity while pumping up morale.
The concept behind the bug blocking screens is to provide a mesh curtain that allows the flow of air into the building, yet filters out not just insects but also other airborne debris. While sunlight brightens up the inside of the building, the mesh screen cuts glare by 65% to provide illumination without irritation.
The various designs of bug blocking doors should offer these basic features.
- § The curtain scrim with openings as small as 17 by 11 to keep out bugs, seeds, leaves and dirt. It is this mesh that is generally the initial point of interest for the building owner or plant manager. The screen provides an ideal access for fresh air, the protection against insects and the ruggedness of the screen. In addition, depending upon the features offered by the manufacturer of the bug-blocking screen, table-top models of the door can be provided to give the prospect some idea of door operation and component durability.
§ Horizontal stiffeners made to bend if impacted, but not break or kink.
- § The mesh curtain must be heavy enough (11 oz) to fold or roll multiple times without cracking, with the ability to stand up to UV rays, rotting, tearing, mildew and the harshest weather.
- § Seams should be double-locked stitched so they won’t unravel and for extra strength.
- § The top valance panels, EPDM strips, and bottom floor sweep to form a complete seal to stop entry by at all of those portions of the door from insects, rodents, and birds. The “Double Baffle” valance panel ensures a tighter seal against unwanted insects while the front of the valance mounts to the building rather than to the curtain track, improving stability and creating a more rigid mount.
The doors are mounted within the doorframe face or are projection mounted, providing clearance for the solid panel door that is closed to fully protect the building. These solid panel doors can be either manual or powered.
Primarily these screens make sense for any building with a large doorway with people at work in the vicinity. Many distribution centers have dozens of dock doors and often provide a heated/air-conditioned environment that could rack up real savings by turning some of those building conditioning functions over to the outdoors.
Production operations are typically adverse to an open door depending upon the kinds of products they manufacture, particularly if a coating process is involved such as in auto plants, wood working plants and large equipment manufacturers. In keeping out insects, the bug blocking doors also protect against dust or dirt.
In some cases a production operation may use the screens to separate interior rooms where one side may have a quality sensitive operation and the other is a less controlled environment. The screens enable these plants to use a single HVAC system to control the comfort in both rooms.
Certainly the FDA appreciates these types of bug barriers in food processing and packaging, meat processing plants, diary plants and bottling plants. Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and chemical processing plants have similar concerns.
Though in many cases the processing operations may be many rooms removed from the dock, insects and other infestations are talented enough to track where their possible meal may be. For all of these facilities bug-blocking screens are surely a good idea in the waste handling areas.
Large warehouse retail and hardware stores can also use this type of protection in the dock area and those doorways where customers load up their large orders. Bugs of course area unwanted but think about those trips to the big box stores where birds can turn the rafters into an aviary.
The other intruders the bug screens deter whether the building is used for commercial or retail are the human type.
There are three basic bug blocking door designs to handle different traffic flows:
Motorized – Generally used on high-traffic ground level doorways, which handle powered vehicles such as forklifts and carts. These doors open at a fairly fast rate for minimal doorway exposure and for fast passage of traffic. The drive can be either protectively mounted inside the roll-up tube or on faster models next to the header. To protect employees these doors can be equipped with safety edges.
Spring assist roll-up – Tug on the bottom of the door and it rolls up; pull it down and it stays shut. Much like a traditional window shade the spring assist can be drawn into use in a matter of seconds. These bug screens are typically used on loading dock doorways or in low traffic areas.
Manual slide – Ideal for foot traffic doorways, this style slides open from side to side, guided by a solid leading edge and compresses into a compact bundle when not in use. The sliding curtains should have some type of clasp mechanism to prevent the curtains from spreading open from wind gusts.
On the roll-up models to ensure a smooth operation and to reduce frictional load, garage roller style wheels should be part of the door support system. The guide rollers should travel in an enclosed track to prevent the screen from being blown out from high winds.
A breakaway feature can be available on these doors to prevent curtain tearing should a vehicle drive into it, and quick reset to get the doors back into service quickly.
For these doors to adequately handle the weather, they should be able to stand up to most high winds to prevent debris from blowing into the building. Models are available with capability to face down wind gusts of up to 70 mph, with tensioning cables to keep the screen in tension.
For all facilities, the battle against the bugs is never ending along with the desire of the building’s employees to leave the door open to enjoy a breath of fresh air “for just a minute or two”. These screen style doors can be the best line of defense against varmint intrusion, while everyone else inside can feel cool and invigorated.
Please send inquires to:
Goff’s Enterprises, Inc.
1228 Hickory St.
Pewaukee, WI 53072
Telephone: (800) 234-0337
Fax: (262) 691-3255
Motorized door open – closes tight to prevent the invasion of insects into sensitive building areas. The Goff’s Draw-Tite Bug Blocking model also withstands winds up to 70 mph. Motor mounted on the door enables quick door opening and closing.
Manual slide – door manually closes and compresses into a compact bundle for full doorway access.
Manual roll-up – for low traffic areas or loading docks, this door works like a window shade to open in seconds.