Having been in business in New Orleans since 1986, we’ve seen what happens to all those metal doors, frames and the hardware that has been exposed to floodwater…and it’s not pretty. With all the recent flooding in Louisiana, especially all the areas from Ponchatoula to Lafayette, business owners should make sure to include flooded metal doors, frames and all their hardware in their flood insurance/FEMA claims.
Metal doors and frames that have been flooded fail because water gets in the walls behind the frames and even inside the doors. Floodwater, loaded up with lots of nasty, toxic materials and chemicals, will corrode flooded doors and frames from the inside out.
As metal rusts, it expands. If you see a door or frame with what appears to be bubbles under the paint it is probably rust expanding from the inside out. Breaking these bubbles open can reveal brittle and crumbling rust indicating the items need to be replaced.
When a customer has an older door that no longer closes properly (and has been exposed to water) typically either the door or frame or both have begun to swell and are no longer square.
Not “If to Replace” but “When”
If your doors, frames and door hardware have been submerged under water, it’s not a matter of if they will need to be replaced, but when. Even if hardware such as panic devices were not submerged they can get mold, mildew and rust inside.
Flood Damage Tips
If you can’t replace your doors, frames and hardware quickly, here are a few tips to help get as much life as possible out of them:
- Remove the door and check the bottom edge of the door for weep holes. If the door doesn’t have them you can drill a few ¼” holes to let the water drain.
- Knock on your metal frames, especially at the bottoms.
- Solid sounding frames are probably filled with concrete and may be okay
- Hollow sounding frames will have had water behind them. The water needs to be removed and the area needs to be dried. Drill holes at the bottom to let the water drain.
- Disassemble door & hardware, clean with mild detergent and rinse completely with clean water. Dry and spray everything with a lubricant that doesn’t collect dirt such as Tri Flow which also inhibits rust and corrosion.
- Plan on replacing your hinges. If they were under water, they are going to be shot.
- Metal Doors that have been scratched to the bare metal need to be sanded to the metal and re-primed with first, a Direct to Metal (DTM) paint, then repainted the final color coat.
In light of all the recent flooding in Louisiana, we felt it was prudent for this month’s blog to discuss flooding and how it affects Hollow Metal Doors and Frames. B & M Metal Doors & Frames LLC is always happy to help you with all your questions. If you’re not sure exactly what you’ll need, we will be happy to come out to your project and see what your estimate requires.