Whether they’re protecting a business or a home, roller shutter doors are superior security solutions. They offer safety, privacy, insulation, and strength – as long as you look after them.
A faulty roller shutter door leaves your premises vulnerable to intruders looking to steal or vandalize valuable property. The last thing anyone wants is to compromise the safety of individuals, goods, or equipment in their building, which is why it’s crucial to keep on top of roller shutter maintenance.
If you want your commercial roller shutters to stay fully operational, you’ll need to make sure everyone using them does so responsibly, and regularly check that all of their functions are in working order. The sooner you identify an issue, the faster you can fix it, minimizing further disruption and damage.
As part of your ongoing maintenance, you should have your roller shutter doors serviced at least once a year. A roller shutter service normally involves a professional coming to your site, performing comprehensive tests on every component of your shutters, and completing any necessary repairs.
Is servicing roller shutter doors a legal requirement?
Yes – any property owner has a duty of care to safeguard employees, visitors, or residents while they’re on the premises. So, not only is roller shutter maintenance important for the security of your building, but as the owner, you also have a legal responsibility to keep them working safely.
Legal liabilities are more comprehensive for commercial and industrial roller doors. There are many pieces of workplace health & safety legislation that employers must comply with, which include:
- Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 – Regulation 5
- Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 – Regulation 5
- Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
You’re required to have a planned maintenance schedule and keep a record of every check and repair. Doing so will keep your shutters in good condition and your personnel and equipment safe.
How to maintain roller shutter doors
The most important part of roller shutter door maintenance is carrying out regular checks. You should do a quick visual inspection for any visible damage every time you open or close the door.
Not all damage is obvious from the outside, however, as there could be a problem with the internal mechanisms. You’re only likely to notice this if the door moves stiffly or makes unusual noises.
Even the smallest defects can cause a roller door to malfunction if they go unnoticed or untreated for too long. The worse things get, the greater the risk of injury or breaking and entering, the shorter the lifespan of your shutters, and the more it will cost to repair components or replace the door.
Roller shutter defects can range from cosmetic damage like dents and scrapes to dangerous structural issues, such as loss of power, broken motors or sensors, and curtain misalignment. Here are three areas of concern:
1) Careful operation
Whether your roller shutter has a manual or electric operating system, anyone responsible for opening and closing the door must follow the appropriate procedures. Never let the bottom of the shutter crash to the ground or slam it upwards, and try not to handle the controls too roughly.
Similarly, make sure that anyone in the vicinity stays out of the way while the shutter door is in motion. For example, don’t let people duck under it while it’s halfway down. Only operate equipment or vehicles around the door, either inside or outside, when it’s fully open. Common culprits of roller shutter defects are heavy forklift trucks, which can cause structural damage.
2) Regular cleaning
Like any mechanical equipment, a gradual build-up of dirt and debris can cause blockages that hinder your roller shutter’s performance. Things like leaves and mud can find their way into the channels with the help of the wind and rain, making the door’s movements slow and jerky.
To prevent the shutters from locking up or breaking down completely, you should thoroughly clean them at least once every 3 months. This is easily done with a soft-bristled brush and warm soapy water. It’s best to avoid abrasive cleaning chemicals, as they could damage the finish. Wipe down the channels, ventilation holes, and between the slats, then rinse the shutters with plain water.
3) Oiling mechanisms
If you notice that your shutter door isn’t rolling up and down as smoothly as it used to, or it gets jammed and won’t move at all, this may be due to rust. Never try to force rusty rolling mechanisms, as you might cause further damage to the door and end up having to pay for replacement parts.
First you should clean the shutters and check the power source, to make sure the problem isn’t caused by debris or a power failure. If this doesn’t fix the problem, try applying a lubricant like WD-40 spray to the stiff components. You should be oiling your shutter mechanisms at least once every 6 months to prevent this occurring, and keep chains, guide rails, and bearings operating smoothly.
Hire professionals for roller shutter repairs
A broken roller shutter door can be a health and safety hazard, and cause your productivity to grind to a halt. You won’t necessarily have the tools or materials to hand to service and repair the shutter yourself, or the necessary knowledge – which is why it’s best to trust a roller shutter specialist.
Whether you have an ongoing roller shutter service contract with the company who installed yours, or you just book a one-off roller shutter service once a year, a professional engineer will be able to:
- Check wiring, springs, brakes, and fixings
- Test switches, remote controls, and manual overrides
- Check operational limits (especially for electric systems)
- Test the efficiency of locks and security features
- Check for damage, obstructions, or misalignment
- Repair or replace shutter parts (including key fobs)
They’ll be well-trained in spotting problems, identifying their sources, and taking the correct steps to fix them. It’s always better to find and hire a local roller shutter repair specialist to do it for you.
For example, if your property is in Bolton, you would look for a company offering roller shutter repairs in Bolton. Or, if you needed services in Manchester, you would look for help with roller shutters in Manchester. Wherever you’re based, paying for a professional roller shutter service is actually likely to save you money in the long run – so don’t neglect your roller shutter doors!