Choosing the Best Garage Door Material for Your Home
Garage doors come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. Home and business owners sometimes don’t put too much thought into the different materials that doors are made of. But when you choose to install new garage doors, a little extra thought goes a long way in ensuring the door meets your expectations.
Comparing the Different Types of Garage Panels
Garage doors can be found in the following kinds of material: wood, aluminum, vinyl, steel, glass or acrylic, fiberglass, and composite.
Steel doors are one of the most popular types, offering great durability, insulation, aesthetics, and minimal maintenance. Steel comes in varying thickness and styles, allowing many customization options. Cheap steel does come with dent and rust concerns, so be sure to purchase a thicker and higher quality type.
Aluminum comes with many of the same benefits as steel at a cheaper cost but with a couple drawbacks. Aluminum can be thin and flimsy, which means it’s easy to damage and has poor insulation. If denting is a concern for you, elect to go with laminated aluminum doors, which offer better dent resistance.
Wood can be a gorgeous addition to just about any home but it comes with its own host of negatives. Natural wood doors are visually appealing and arguably one of the best-looking doors you can buy. However, they require frequent maintenance and may not last as long as other doors. They usually have decent insulation, but sometimes you may need to add an insulative backing to the interior of the door. Expect to pay a premium for wood doors as they cost much more than other types.
Vinyl garage doors are incredibly hardy and offer superb dent resistance. They require little to no maintenance and are great “kid-proof” doors. In addition, they do not rust. The downsides are they lack insulative qualities and come in a limited variety of styles. Furthermore, the PVC material they’re made of is not considered environmental friendly.
Composite Wood is a type of faux wood material that is great for homeowners who want the look of wood without the maintenance involved. It has good insulation and durability but doesn’t quite match the charming look of real wood.
Glass / Acrylic doors are an interesting take on modern design. They allow ample light to penetrate through which is great for those wanting natural lighting. Generally, they lack insulation but newer varieties with thicker glass and glazed coatings can offer superb insulation. With glass, shattering can be a real concern. You can opt for hurricane-resistant glass but expect to pay a significant premium.
Fiberglass doors are similar to aluminum in that they are lightweight and require little maintenance. They have good durability and their saltwater resistance makes them an ideal choice for those living in coastal areas. The cons include poor insulation and yellowing with age. Fiberglass is also prone to becoming brittle in cold environments.
Garage Door Weight and Openers
Don’t forget to consider how heavy your garage door will be. A hefty glass door will require an automatic opener with a significantly stronger horsepower than a lightweight vinyl door would. Another thing to consider is if you run into the situation of a broken garage door spring. If this happens, you more than likely won’t be able to manually open the heavier doors.
Choosing a Garage Panel Based on Climate
Your local climate is an important factor in deciding the type of material that’s right for you. Those in frigid environments should forgo fiberglass. If you’re in a hurricane prone spot like Florida then elect to go with hurricane resistant doors like heavy steel, paying special attention to the garage door’s wind rating. Home and business owners in sunny Roseville, Sacramento would do well with any of the door materials listed.
Choosing the right garage panel for your specific needs can be confusing. Talk with your local garage door repair company about available options. A quality panel that is well-maintained can last a decade or longer, so choose well!