A good garage door can be hard to find, especially when there are so many choices available. Style choices aren't the only factor when it comes to choosing a new garage door. The material it will be made of is also an important consideration, as your material of choice can affect how your garage door looks and how long it'll last. Wood, steel and aluminum are the most commonly used materials for creating garage doors. The following offers a clear picture of each material's advantages and drawbacks.
- Pros: Durable, visually inviting, can be sourced locally
- Cons: Heavy, vulnerable to moisture, requires frequent maintenance
Wood has historically been the traditional choice of garage door material. Even today, buyers looking to maintain a warm and rustic aesthetic for their home usually turn to wood garage doors. These doors not only offer a charming appearance, but they're also relatively sturdy and resistant to the usual bumps and bruises of everyday activities.
Wood garage doors do have their downsides, however. These garage doors tend to be heavier than their steel and aluminum counterparts, with some wood garage doors weighing 350 to 360 pounds or more. Heavy wood garage doors also require stronger and more robust springs, tracks and other hardware, plus you may have to upgrade to a stronger garage door opener that can better handle the weight. Wood garage doors also require constant refinishing and other maintenance, especially if they're used in areas where high humidity is common.
- Pros: Inexpensive, needs less maintenance, long warranties
- Cons: Can be scratched and dented, vulnerable to rust
Steel garage doors are a popular choice for homeowners who want a great-looking door without the maintenance issues suffered by wood doors. Steel garage doors come in a wide variety of designs that mimic the appearance of wood, making them an excellent stand-in for their wood counterparts. These garage doors are also inexpensive when compared to similar wood and aluminum doors, making them a great value for homeowners remodeling on a tight budget. Most steel garage doors also offer lifetime warranties on various components, including the hardware and insulation.
Unfortunately, most steel garage doors are highly vulnerable to rust, especially when scratches and dents remove the factory paint and reveal the steel underneath. Placing a fiberglass overlay can help prevent dents and scratches, but the material requires periodic repainting to maintain its pristine appearance.
- Pros: Lightweight, low maintenance, resists corrosion
- Cons: Easily dented, difficult to repair
Aluminum is another option for homeowners in search of a new garage door. Unlike steel, aluminum resists rust and most forms of corrosion, making it extremely durable and long-lasting in this regard. Aluminum's light weight also makes it an ideal material for making light garage doors. A typical aluminum door's lightweight construction places significantly less strain on garage door openers and other related hardware, resulting in components that last longer under regular use. Aluminum's sustainability as an extremely recyclable metal that can be used over and over also makes it the environmentally friendly choice when it comes to garage doors.
Unfortunately, there are a few caveats to keep in mind when choosing an aluminum garage door. Aluminum garage doors are especially vulnerable to dents and deformation, unlike their steel counterparts. Repairing damage caused to an aluminum garage door is no picnic, either -- in many cases, contractors must employ some of the same techniques used in the auto body repair industry to correct dents and other damage. Using dent-resistant laminated panels can help reduce the chance of damaging the aluminum skin, but these panels also face the same limitations as those found on steel garage doors.
For more information, contact a company like Aladdin Doors of Raleigh.