One of my (non-hardware industry) friends commented recently that she’s been reading this blog and can’t believe how complicated doors and hardware are. It’s true! There are a thousand ways to screw up a door and I’ve made my share of mistakes over the years, but at this point I often spot problems from across the room while “regular” people continue to walk through the doors without noticing.
The other day while I was talking to the ticket concierge in our hotel, I noticed that the weatherstrip was cut on either side of the closer on the door leading from her office to the exterior. I knew I had to take a photo so I could write a post about closer seals, but I didn’t want to explain my motives to everyone waiting in line behind me so I figured I’d come back later.
When I returned I realized that ALL of the exterior doors in the lobby (and there were A LOT) had this same condition, and even better, I saw the weatherstrip between the vertical rod strikes pictured below. Not only is this a problem for energy efficiency, it doesn’t look very good.
We were actually discussing this application in our office recently, to make sure that what we were specifying was the best solution. We use a continuous solid bar brush weatherstrip which allows the closer shoe and the exit device strikes to be mounted directly to it. This does require some coordination, since the gasketing is 1/4″ thick. The closer moves down by 1/4″, so on the door pictured above the closer would be visible through the glass. Ideally, the top rail of the door would be slightly wider to accommodate the closer. The strikes for the vertical rod panics aren’t a problem, but when rim panics are used, we specify a low profile strike (for example, the Von Duprin 264) so the backset of the exit device doesn’t need to be changed. Some hardware consultants use the solid bar at the top of the door and less expensive weatherstrip for the jambs, which is fine too.
Refer to this post for more information about using this type of gasketing on a fire door assembly.