It’s Dead Jim: Metal Door Repair or Replacement?


On Star Trek, Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy always made the call, “He’s dead Jim.” But when dealing with metal doors, no matter how many times you hear it, it’s not easy to tell when it’s best to replace or perform a metal door repair. In New Orleans and the surrounding areas this question will come up more frequently due to our tropical climate.

In this month’s blog post we will address a question we hear a lot, “When should you perform a metal door repair, or when do you say, ‘It’s Dead Jim,’ and replace it?”

Multiple Factors Determine a Metal Door Repair

Unfortunately this is not always a straightforward situation. There are a few factors that are major contributors in the decision process. In our blog Why Do Metal Doors Rot? we discussed one of those major factors “Rust”. We also have to consider the situation, did someone try to break in or was there a fire? These scenarios usually mean that the door and possibly the frame were damaged and are not worth the effort or cost to repair. Accidents or misuse are also problematic. In cases such as these it is worth looking past the end result. Finding out the actual cause can be invaluable for having the proper doors, frames and hardware for the situation.

This will keep the door from prematurely needing repairs or replacement.  Matching 16 gauge doors and 14 ga. frames with stainless steel hinges and heavy duty hardware might just be part of what is needed for your exterior opening in a Marine situation.

When should you perform a metal door repair, or when do you say, “It’s Dead Jim,” and replace it?

Simple metal door repair

Simple Fixes

Almost every day we talk to customers who have a metal door, metal frame or commercial door hardware failures that only requires a simple fix. Think about it, when a door is used all day, everyday for years and years, sooner or later the hardware will break or simply wear out. That door is not dead Jim! In cases of daily wear and tear, replacing the worn out hardware will usually make the door work like brand new.

In other cases the hardware, such as fire rated panic devices, might have been installed in incorrectly and is falling off the door or creating alignment problems. Fire rated rim panics are required to have through bolts to securely attach the end bracket (opposite side of the latching mechanism) to the door. A simple fix and proper installation of the hardware will fix the problem.

Door failures and simple fixes caused by improper installation can be avoided altogether if you simply take advantage of B&M Metal Doors & Frames’ installation service. No one is born knowing how to install or repair doors. Let the pros install and repair your doors, frames and hardware for you.

Mixed SituationsMetal doors & frame failures come in mixed situations

Because a metal door, metal frame and commercial door hardware must work as a single unit, it is quite possible one element to need repair and another to require replacement. It is not unusual for a compromised opening to have a frame that needs minor adjustments, but the door and or hardware would need to be replaced. This is usually due to a combination of door and frame parts being worn out.

How can you tell? Well, it requires an experienced eye from years of working with door issues. When you have a project where it appears some components may be salvageable, but others may need replacement, we would like to visit the jobsite with you and evaluate the situation. This way we are able to make decisions for what is required as accurately as possible. We always want to ensure our customers get the right product for their projects. We take great pride in making the experience as simple as possible.

Take a look at the testimonial video from B&M Metal Doors client Mike Elshereif over at Belle Chasse Cigarette store. Burglars tried to break into his building by taking a blowtorch to his metal door. Mike’s was a mixed situation for sure! Unfortunately, his door was dead, Jim.

Wondering If Your Door Is Dead?

This blog is just a brief sampling of the many types of issues we deal with every day at B & M Metal Doors & Frames LLC. If your project has any of these types of situations or is even new construction and you have any questions about metal doors and frames don’t hesitate, call us today! We will be more than happy to come out to your project and give you an estimate of what is really required.

Have questions about the health of your metal door? Contact us today!