Security Screen Doors for Commercial Properties: What Business Owners Need to Know

Security Screen Doors for Commercial Properties: What Business Owners Need to Know

As a business owner, your top priority is protecting your employees, customers, and assets. One of the most effective and affordable security measures is installing security screen doors at all of your building's entrances.

While security screens won't completely prevent unwanted access, they provide an extra layer of protection to deter potential threats. By keeping unwanted visitors out, you can focus on serving your customers safely and running your operations smoothly.

This guide will cover everything business owners need to know about choosing and installing quality security screen doors for commercial properties. We'll discuss features to look for, materials, installation requirements, costs, and more. Let's get started!

Types of Security Screen Doors

There are a few main types of security screen doors used for commercial buildings:

Solid panel doors: Made of lightweight aluminum or steel, solid panel security doors provide blocking visibility into the building. They are very durable and prevent objects from being passed through the mesh.

Mesh panel doors: Mesh panel security doors allow natural light and airflow while still providing security protection. The mesh is typically aluminum, stainless steel, or bronze and comes in various densities for different levels of visibility and security.

Glass panel doors: Glass panel security doors maintain visibility into and out of the building while protecting the glass entrance doors behind them. The glass is typically security-grade polycarbonate for strength.

Rolling accordion doors: These space-saving doors roll up vertically and have overlapping horizontal slats of mesh or solid aluminum. They are ideal for high-traffic commercial entrances like retail stores.

For most small to mid-sized commercial buildings, a mesh or solid panel security screen door is likely the best choice in terms of functionality and cost-effectiveness.

Material Options

Security screen doors can be manufactured from various strong yet lightweight materials:

Aluminum: The most common material, aluminum doors are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and very durable. They come pre-finished or can be painted.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel provides ultimate strength and corrosion resistance but at a higher material cost. It maintains its appearance over time without painting.

Bronze: A beautiful material option, bronze forms a protective patina over time that resists corrosion. However, it is more expensive than aluminum or steel.

Composite: Fiberglass-reinforced composite materials like Grato or Trex offer the look of wood without maintenance needs. They withstand all weather conditions extremely well.

Aluminum is usually the most cost-effective choice that still provides excellent durability and low maintenance needs. Stainless steel gives maximum strength and longevity for high-traffic commercial entrances.

Screen Mesh Options

The mesh or grating used in security screen doors comes in a variety of materials, weave densities, and designs to meet different security and visibility needs:

Aluminum: Comes in various square inch densities from 16 sq. in. up to 1/4 in. smaller sizes provide more security.

Bronze: Durable wire mesh options with 1/4 in. or smaller openings.

Stainless steel: Very strong wire mesh in various densities for maximum protection.

Composite: Reinforced plastics like polycarbonate or ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene provide shatter-resistant clear or translucent panels.

Choose a smaller mesh opening for higher security in areas prone to vandalism or theft. Larger 1/4 in. or 1/2 in. mesh maintains good visibility and airflow while still deterring unwanted access. Also consider location - exterior doors need stronger mesh than interior ones.

Additional Security Features

Beyond basic materials and mesh density, security screen doors can have helpful built-in features to enhance protection:

Locking hardware: Door locks at the top, bottom, and/or meeting rails for multi-point locking security. Consider keyless digital locks too.

Panic bars: Allow quick exit in an emergency from the inside without a key or handle turn. Required for commercial building codes.

Closers: Self-closing hinges ensure doors don't remain open for intruders to follow through. Adjustable for interior/exterior usage.

Viewers: Allow interior views to identify visitors before unlocking without compromising security. Peepholes mount flush.

Alarm contacts: Connect doors to commercial security systems so any unauthorized openings trigger an alert.

Kick plates: Reinforce door bottoms to prevent being kicked or shouldered in. Thick heavy-duty plates withstand impacts.

Adding locking hardware, self-closers, viewers or contacts helps take security to the next level compared to basic screen doors. Consult local building codes for requirements too.

Commercial Grade Quality

Since commercial screen doors see heavy, all-day usage, it's important to invest in commercial grade quality products rated for high traffic. Some things to look for include:

  • Heavy-duty aluminum or steel framing reinforced for rigors of commercial use. Choose gauge thickness accordingly.
  • Stainless or galvanized steel hardware resistant to corrosion even with daily use/cleaning.
  • Commercial-grade hinges, rollers, locks rated to withstand intensive openings/closings.
  • Weatherstripping/seals to maintain a tight seal despite elements and constant use.
  • Windload rating certified to withstand high commercial building winds without damage.
  • Welded or riveted frame construction for maximum strength over years of use.

Commercial grade doors cost more upfront but provide lasting value by standing up to demanding commercial environments where residential doors would quickly fail. The security investment protects business assets.

Installation Requirements

Installing commercial screen doors typically requires:

  • Mounting the frame securely into existing door or window framing using bolts or toggles per manufacturer instructions. May need wood blocking.
  • Installing self-closing hinges, locksets, handles/pulls according to instructions.
  • Adjusting weatherstripping/seals around the perimeter for a tight fit.
  • Anchoring any sill/jamb seals that run along the bottom and sides.
  • Caulking or sealing along all exterior joins to prevent water intrusion.
  • Programming digital lock systems for automatic locking and unlocking schedules.
  • Installing any security system wiring and contacts for central monitoring.
  • Labeling or adhering appropriate building code signage relating to security features.

Most commercial properties require a licensed contractor perform installations to code. Proper installation ensures longevity of both security and operating functions. Ongoing maintenance can extend the life of doors further.

Security Screen Door Costs

Security screen door installation costs can vary widely depending on door size, materials, features and labor needs. Expect to pay:

Materials only: Basic aluminum or steel doors start around $300-600 each for a standard 27-36" width sized for most entrance doors. Larger custom sizes or stainless steel cost more.

Labor only: Figure $150-300 per standard sized screen door installation depending on your area. Larger/heavier doors, complicated framing or alarm wiring may be more.

Total installed cost: For a basic 27" door with standard mesh in aluminum, expect $500-1000 fully installed. High-end commercial grade doors with all features can reach $2000-4000 each.

Factors driving costs higher include custom sizes, multiple doors, stainless/composite materials, keyless digital locks, alarm integrations and overtime labor rates. Reputable installers usually provide quotes customized to your project.

Don't forget ongoing costs like lock/closer maintenance and periodic screen replacement should mesh deteriorate after years of heavy use. Locking systems may require digital code updating or repairs over time too.

Weighing Security Screen Door Options

When choosing security screen doors for your commercial property, carefully consider:

Building location/traffic: Higher risk areas demand maximum protection. Adjust features accordingly.

Door sizes/usage frequency: Larger, busier doors need reinforced commercial grade doors rated for intensive use.

Budget: Balancing front-end and lifetime costs. Quality typically saves money in the long-run.

Code compliance: Consult local building codes for requirements like self-closers and panic hardware.

Aesthetics: Some options like bronze or glass panels look nicer for customer-facing areas.

Maintenance needs: Materials like stainless steel minimize future painting/repairs.

With proper selection, installation and care, commercial security screen doors provide an affordable entryway protection solution for years while maintaining functionality and curb appeal at your business. Don't overlook this smart security investment.

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