Coming soon in the October issue of Professional Carwashing & Detailing, Assistant Editor Maria Woodie writes about what owners and operators need to know in order to select the right door for their unique wash needs. Below is an exclusive first look at a section from this upcoming feature.

Choosing between polycarbonate and vinyl doors will ultimately come down to the particular needs and preferences of a carwash. William Stokes, senior sales representative of Ultimate Supplies LLC, offers the following door considerations specific to certain types of car care businesses:

Lube bays should consider durable door systems that offer alluring visibility and security when closed. Speed and corrosion resistance are less important for lube bays, so a polycarbonate door with galvanized hardware would work better in this application.

In-bay automatics and tunnels need doors designed for high speed, high volume and protection from chemicals. Industrial or standard commercial doors generally have materials that can deteriorate quickly and cost additional money to maintain and repair.

Carwashes with multiply cycles per day need a durable door with custom hardware, including high-density polyethylene (HDPE) hinges, high-quality stainless bearings, bearing-less rollers, stainless or aluminum hardware and reliable operation by an air opener or a waterproof electric opener.

In addition to wash type, owners and operators must consider the overall differences of polycarbonate and vinyl doors, such as functions and features, when making a decision.

One such difference is the door’s breakaway ability. “The vinyl rollup door will offer a breakaway feature if the door is impacted and will automatically reset on the next cycle whereas a polycarbonate door would sustain damages if impacted,” asserts Jim Johnson, general manager of Airlift Doors Inc.

Vinyl rollup doors also have a lower R-value (a measurement of thermal efficiency) than polycarbonate doors, notes Johnson, adding that if choosing this style door, carwashes should consider an option with a complete seal on the track, the sides of the door and across the top and bottom to eliminate the potential for air gaps.

Stay tuned for PC&D’s October issue to read this entire article on door considerations as well as other informative topics related to the car care industry. And, in case you missed it, you can find the September issue here.