Garage doors come in different designs, materials, and colors, and it is up to you to decide the one you want to go with, depending on preference. Unlike design and color, the garage door material needs to be selected carefully as this influences the durability and longevity of your garage doors.
This post will discuss crucial details about common garage door materials, their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the best.
Common garage door materials
Wood is the most eco-friendly option for the garage door as it is a renewable source of energy. It gives a stylish appearance, and you can customize it into different designs and finishes for it to be unique. Wooden garage doors are prone to warping, rotting, and fading; thus, they require frequent maintenance. They are best for mild climatic regions as drastic temperature changes and contact with moisture from humidity and rain can make them warp. Common wood types used for this purpose include redwood, fir, and cedar.
• High cost
• Require regular maintenance
• Offer natural insulation
• Available in many designs
• Easily refinished to fit the home design
• Can accommodate non-level floors
• It can warp, rot or fade
• It needs regular maintenance
• Too heavy to operate manually
Steel is the most common material used for garage doors due to its durability, design flexibility, and high value. Steel is a perfect replacement for wooden doors as it is very lightweight, easy to maintain, and can be used in any climate. The steel garage doors don’t offer insulation, but this can be modified if need be, using a foam core.
Steel is susceptible to rust, especially at the lower part, which comes into contact with excess salt when de-icing in winter. You can avoid this by cleaning your garage at least twice per year. Steel garage doors are made of two-layer galvanized steel then painted with a tough topcoat to increase durability.
• It is relatively cheap
• Less maintenance required
• It is lightweight
• High durability
• Available in many designs
• Can rust if poorly maintained
• Possibility of dents occurring
• It is not a natural insulator
Fiberglass closely mimics the defined grain texture of refined wood and thus can be used as a replacement for wood. Unlike wood, fiberglass doesn’t warp, crack or shrink when exposed to moisture, therefore perfect for warm and humid climates. This material is semi-transparent, thus allowing natural light into the garage, reducing electricity consumption. In this regard, it is economical and requires low maintenance, making it a perfect replacement for wood. It is not suitable for coastal areas with strong winds as the wind can damage them.
• Requires low maintenance
• Allows sufficient amount of natural light into the garage
• It is moisture-resistant and does not warp or corrode
• It turns yellow with time
• It is brittle and easily broken by the wind
• Requires complete replacement when damaged
Aluminum doors offer everything you can’t get from the wood garage doors. It is affordable, lightweight, and not affected by moisture and temperature changes; thus, it does not warp. However, since this material is lighter than steel, it dents more quickly and can be affected by strong winds, hail, and children.
It absorbs heat very quickly, making it too hot to touch and make the garage too warm, especially during summer. This can damage your items, and your electricity bills may rise as you battle this with air conditioners. Laminated panels can be used to reduce dents.
• Requires less maintenance
• It is resistant to warping and corrosion
• It can be customized to different designs
• It does not offer complete water-proofing
• Less durable, unlike steel
Glass is a perfect door material when the garage is on the backside, and there isn’t much concern about privacy. This material is used for aesthetic purposes and instances when you need to increase the garage’s space. You also get an opportunity to get access to natural sunlight as you enjoy the beautiful scenery from the house.
• Have a natural resistance to rust and corrosion
• Allows maximum light into the garage
• Low durability compared to steel and aluminum
• Has privacy issues depending on the glass type
Factors to consider when selecting the type of material for your garage
Wooden garage doors are more expensive than steel and aluminum doors, and thus, you need to have a bigger budget for wood garage doors than other materials.
Wood doors require regular maintenance, so if you want a garage door with minimum maintenance, buy a steel or glass one.
If you want a garage door that would last for long, buy one made of steel, but if durability is not an issue, you can buy an aluminum garage door and enjoy the other benefits it offers
All the materials offer different styles, and you can choose the one you like to match your house design.
Climate dictates the type of material you will choose for your garage door. If you are in a moist, warm environment, wood is not the best; you need steel or aluminum.
Hopefully, you now understand the standard garage doors’ materials, including their benefits and limitations. As seen above, each of them is unique and used under different circumstances, but they all serve the same purpose- offering protection and security. Consider cost, durability, climate, and maintenance when selecting your garage door material.