Extend the Life of Your Hangar Door / Good Maintenance Practices for Your Hangar Door

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February, 2018

When you invest money in a quality hangar door to protect your valuable aircraft, vehicles and equipment, you want to know that it will do the job for many years, but like everything else, a hangar door system requires upkeep and maintenance to keep performing at its best. The type of door system that you have will dictate the procedure for proper preservation, though some general maintenance tips are universal. We’ll take a look at the main three types of doors and how best to keep them at their best.

The first thing that you should bear in mind is that an aircraft hangar door system is a precision piece of engineered hardware. All of the parts that go into the construction are made to fit, and many of those pieces are welded from steel. It’s rare that a Wellbilt Industries door will require any large scale maintenance items over its life, but here are a few steps that you can use to help pinpoint potential problems well before they become performance issues.

The first step to maintaining your aircraft hangar door is to inspect the paint and coating regularly. It’s rare that a Wellbilt® Industries door will chip or flake, but depending on the environment and location of the hangar, even the strongest protective coatings can fail. Wellbilt uses a two-stage primer and metal prep coating designed to keep the metal safe from the elements, so paint failure will often be a byproduct of misuse or impact.

The second thing to be mindful of is the brushes and seals. Depending on your style of door, you could have more or less rubber edge seal than another door. It is relatively common for brushes to slowly wear down over time through friction and contact. That said, it’s a relatively simple repair and is often a very reasonable expense given the amount of use the hangar door system sees. The rubber seals are tasked with sealing out the elements, so it’s assumed that their exposure means that they will degrade over time. This repair is typically a simple one, but inspection of the seals once every other month can allow you to maintain the seals prior to any fatigue or failure.

An all too common overlooked piece of equipment that is very important is the hangar door system brakes. Any motorized hangar door system has a power source, and it’s usually very powerful. The brakes are an essential part of the system, especially when unexpected emergencies arise. It’s a good practice to inspect your brakes every month, but always order the parts for replacement at least a month in advance of your expected replacement.

One of the more obvious pieces of a bifold hangar door system is the cables used to lift the door. While typically these cables are oversized, it is still possible for them to fail over time. Sometimes very small pieces of the cables fray due to improper use or high stress loads in adverse conditions, so inspecting the cables at least twice per year is a good practice. Unlike the fabric belt-style straps that some manufacturers are offering, a cable system is still far superior and far less likely to fail when properly maintained.

An obvious point of attention for a hydraulic hangar door system is the lift cylinders themselves, but the fluid reservoir is equally important. Even small leaks can be the telltale sign of a larger problem looming on the horizon. Being that these doors depend on the hydraulic pressure to lift and hold these doors in the upright position, maintaining proper hydraulic seals and fluid levels are of paramount importance. Should you find leaks in either the cylinder seals or see droplets on, or near the reservoir, contact a qualified repair technician as soon as possible to alleviate the likelihood of failure.

Finally, exclusive to bottom rolling hangar doors systems, the cam followers and bearings are another good idea to stay a step ahead of any performance issues. The bearings in all Wellbilt® Industries doors are sealed steel ball bearings with a one-piece design. It’s highly unlikely that they will fail over the life of the door with proper use and maintenance of the doors’ rubber seals, but it can happen, so inspection should be carried out at a minimum of twice per year. Essentially, if you see any tearing of the bearing seals or exposed metalized ball bearings, you should have those bearings replaced. Since they are over engineered to withstand an extraordinary amount of use, it will be a very rare failure, but one that can cripple your aircraft hangar door if not given due attention.

So there you have it. These are the best ways to keep your Wellbilt® Industries hangar door system performing at its very best! We hope that we’ve answered your questions, but if you have any for us, please give us a call! We’re Wellbilt® industries and we’re “The Hangar Door People”™!