When deciding on a building material for your home’s garage door, there are many options. You might consider the location of your home, the direction it is facing, insulation, visual appeal, and many other factors.
To help you decide, check out this list of benefits and drawbacks of different garage door building materials.
Wood Garage Doors
Wood garage doors are often made using large, custom panels. The handcrafted, aesthetically pleasing nature of these doors makes them a top choice for homeowners. Wood works well to camouflage minor knicks and dents, and should a panel become rotten or begin growing mold, it can be switched out instead of replacing the entire door.
Wood is perhaps the most energy-efficient material for garage doors, as it has naturally insulated properties. It can help regulate the temperature inside your home as well as act as a sound barrier for outdoor noise.
The cons of wood are mainly due to its vulnerability to pests and weather. Costal or excessively damp areas of the country may not choose wood as a garage door building material. They also shrink and expand as the weather shifts. One of the more expensive options, wood is a heavy building material that needs plenty of support and a quality installation.
Aluminum Garage Doors
Aluminum garage doors are common in many areas of the country. They create a modern, simple-looking door with all the durability of other materials. Aluminum is also lightweight and energy-efficient, as the material is a natural insulator. Maintenance is typically low, as the lightweight quality puts less strain on the door’s track and springs.
On the downside of aluminum, these doors come with perhaps the shortest range of customization options. They also can be sensitive to denting, as the metal is not as strong as steel or as easy to camouflage as wood. Dents can also compromise glass windows, leaving them more vulnerable to shattering.
Steel Garage Doors
The typical steel garage door contains two layers of galvanized steel. They are popular among homeowners because they are durable and long-lasting. Steel garage doors can handle just about any climate or weather condition. They also have a fairly affordable upfront cost compared to other building materials.
On the other side, the disadvantages of steel garage doors include poor energy efficiency and issues with exposure. Steel is a poor insulator on its own and requires additional materials to maintain temperature. Steel is also susceptible to noticeable dents and dings through everyday wear and tear. Over time, a steel garage door will likely rust if not continually inspected and protected from the elements.
Composite Material Garage Doors
Composite materials are becoming one of the most popular garage door options for residential homes. Composite wood or faux wood is made from a combination of materials–often wood and plastic. These are often the most affordable options, combining the durability of imitation materials with the beauty of real wood. Composite materials are resistant to mold and rotting and are also lightweight, easing installation and the strain on the door’s mechanical system.
Homeowners are sometimes drawn away from choosing composite materials because they are not as aesthetically pleasing as other options. Although they may not rust, mold, or rot, they can be susceptible to chipping paint and cracks over time.
With any garage door material, it’s a good idea to conduct regular maintenance to keep your garage door in good, working order. Life happens: storms hit, teenagers with fresh licenses don’t look behind as they back up, children crash into doors with their bikes. If your garage door needs repairs or replacements, we hope this guide helps you make your decision. Check out the residential garage door options available from American Door Works.