While most keypads are built to last for many years without any intervention, you can extend the life of your keypad and prevent any expensive upkeep by taking a few steps to protect your investments. Keep reading to get tips on how to prepare your self-storage keypads to stand up to icy conditions, lightning, and excessive heat. 

 

First, it’s essential to acknowledge the following:

Choose the Right Location for your Access Control Keypad

Selecting a good location for your gate and access control keypad is the easiest way to weatherproof your access control products from the start. The driveway where tenants enter and exit your facility should be smooth and flat, and not in an area where water can pool or flooding can occur. If severe weather is common in your area and often causes power outages, it’s even more important to do careful research when choosing a location for your access control products.

Always Perform Routine Maintenance & Cleaning

To keep your keypads going through the toughest weather conditions, it’s essential to take good care of it with preventative maintenance. Access control keypads generally require a minimal amount of maintenance, however, as with any electronic or mechanical device that is used regularly, a small amount of maintenance done periodically will extend the life of your keypads. 

Keypads should be cleaned at least twice a year (more frequent cleaning may be required in harsh environments). Any maintenance related to the installation or configuration of your keypads should only be completed by a trained maintenance technician, but keypad cleanings are a form of preventative maintenance that can easily be completed by a site employee. 

There are additional steps you can take to make sure your access control keypad remains operational even in the toughest of conditions. What you prepare for all depends on the type of extreme weather your facility will face.

 

Extreme Heat

In a tropical or desert climate, the sun can be just as hard on the your access control keypads as the snow and ice of a wintery climate. High temperatures can even melt the exterior of a keypad if you opt for a plastic coating. High-quality stainless steel enclosures (like PTI’s VP & APEX keypads) are the best way to protect against heat damage but, if your facility currently features plastic keypads, try to generate shade around them with a large shade cover or hood to prevent damage. The proper placement of a large shade cover will keep the keypad out of the direct sun and won’t burn your tenants’ fingers when they try to enter their code. Try to avoid keypads with rubber or plastic buttons – they’re the least likely to stand up to those hot summer days. If the heat is too much to handle, consider investing in a mobile access control solution like EasyCode. A tenant-facing mobile app can keep your tenants cool by giving them access to your property without ever leaving the car. 

For self-storage facilities whose keypads face extreme heat, we recommend PTI’s Apex keypads. Both the enclosure and the faceplate on the Apex series consist of 1/8” thick aluminum, which is twice as thick as most access control keypads available in the self-storage industry. Our Apex keypads are tested in the Arizona heat and specifically built to stand up to the elements of extreme temperatures. With a double layer of UV coating and watertight construction, there’s no need to worry about Apex keypads chipping, fading, peeling, or having moisture-related issues.

 

Storms

If your facility often sees severe thunderstorms and hurricanes, take the necessary precautions to be prepared before the storm hits. For wind and rain, it’s smart to protect keypads and their mounts with a sealant or protective coating. Most keypads are waterproof, but if you deal with heavy rain often, consider putting a silicone seal around the keypad. Flex-Seal, a rubberized sealant spray that seeps into cracks and dries into a watertight coating, works excellent for keypads that experience more water. 

Additionally, most access control keypads have built-in lightning protection to prevent power surges. However, if you’re worried about lightning strikes, be sure to ask a qualified technician about any additional surge protection that you can implement on the power source feeding your keypad.  

PTI understs how the reliability of your keypads is critical to keeping your business running smoothly – regardless of the weather in your region. PTI’s Apex keypads have dual powder coating, stainless steel components, and built-in lightning protection to ensure that your investment lasts for years to come. When adequately grounded and sealed by a certified installer, Apex keypads will last for years to come.

 

Snow

Just like in the extreme heat, wintery climates are the perfect example of how mobile gate access can go a long way towards alleviating tenant’s issues with access control keypads. With EasyCode, all a tenant has to do is turn on the app, tap a few buttons, and the gate will open up for them – all without havingroll down their windows. Once inside, the gate will close behind their vehicles, minimizing the risk of tailgaters getting in without permission. With EasyCode, there’s no getting out of the car at the gate, no more combination codes to remember, no keyfobs with dead batteries, and no need to worry about your keypad freezing. 

Even without a tenant-facing mobile app solution, PTI’s Apex keypads are an ideal option for any self-storage facilities that experience brutal winter storms. Touch screen keypads will not correctly function if covered in a thick layer of ice, and keypads that feature rubber buttons usually struggle to stand up to the cold. The Apex keypad, however, was built for the outdoors and is made of aluminum and stainless steel to protect the housing unit from the harsh elements of winter. With a double layer of UV coating and watertight construction, there’s no need to worry about Apex keypads chipping, fading, peeling, or having any issues relating to snow, ice, or water. 

 

Invest In A High-Quality System

The access control keypads you choose for your self-storage facility will have a lasting impact on your day-to-day operations as well as the bottom line of your business. In the simplest of terms, your security system keypads have to work well every day, hold up in extreme temperatures and last for years (or even decades) to come to provide your customers with the best-in-class experience they expect. 

Cutting corners with smaller or less powerful security system keypads may save you money upfront but can cost you in poor customer experience, service calls, parts replacement, deterioration, and lightning damage in the long run. When investing in an access control keypad, make sure to do your research on the durability and the upkeep required to ensure that your security system remains operational – even in the toughest of weather conditions.