With all the options available to you, choosing the best strong garage door for your home or business can be challenging. If you’re like most homeowners or business owners, you aren’t regularly shopping around for a new garage door. So, you probably don’t realize today’s modern models are not at all the same as they were 15 years ago. The durability of garage doors today are stronger, and they’re better insulated, more secure and require much less maintenance. There are also a larger range of choice in styles, colors and materials.
Along with being made with more durable materials, today’s garage doors are equipped with high-tech features, such as:
- Energy-Saving Glazing: You can also customize the transparency and tint of the glazing to control privacy and daylight.
- High-Performance Insulation: The best insulation will help keep the cool air in and warm air out or vice versa.
- Baked-On Exterior Finishes: These finishes will last for years.
- Finished Interior Surfaces: Finished surfaces protect your door against moisture.
Some doors not made of wood have realistic wood grain surfaces making it hard to tell the difference between these and genuine wood. But, not only do you want a door that’s durable and safe, but you also want style, too. When it comes down to buying a durable garage door, there’s a fine line between needs, wants and practicality. This garage door buyer guide should help.
Why Do You Need A Durable Garage Door?
Durable garage doors have many benefits to them. For some homeowners, a durable garage door can mean one that withstands the occasional dents and dings resulting from a child learning how to ride their bike in the driveway to a basketball game. For others, the strongest garage doors provide them with a sense of safety and security. For busy professionals, a strong commercial garage door’s strength may be measured in how it resists warping, rotting and corrosion when exposed to the elements each season.
Here are four other reasons why you need a durable garage door.
1. Proves Easy to Operate
Today’s quality garage door is easier to operate than the doors of yesterday. They now come with built-in smart technology that makes opening the garage door safer. These days, many people use their garage as their main entrance into their home. To make it function, you don’t even need to be next to the door when it opens and closes. You can operate your garage door from anywhere.
2. Offers Safety and Security
Durable garage doors help protect things from the elements, like your automobile and tools. They can also secure your bicycles, lawn equipment, and various other miscellaneous items that don’t ever seem to have an adequate storage place.
Not only does a durable garage door protect your belongings, but they can also help keep thieves out. A less-durable garage door can make a good entry point for thieves and cause injuries like pinched fingers — or worse if the door collapses. Therefore, it’s imperative you ensure your garage door is durable enough to enhance safety and security.
3. Lasts for Years
Garage doors today consist of better material. The materials used in most of the garage doors today can withstand weathering and wear and tear for many years. Even here in New Jersey and especially on the coast, where we can experience harsher weather, with proper annual tune-ups and garage door maintenance you can expect your garage door to last 12 to 20 years
4. Requires Minimal Maintenance
While there’s no denying a natural wood door provides a warm aesthetic beauty, it can require a lot of maintenance. In fact, a wood garage door exposed to year-round elements requires periodic refinishing and seasonal inspection to look and perform its best. The good news is you can still obtain the look of wood with innovative material technology today with minimal maintenance required. The durable composite material used today doesn’t warp, rot or crack. It mimics the look of wood, right down to the artfully, intricate molded grain textures and patterns.
An added benefit of a durable garage door is customization. You can also have your garage door customized with a specific design of your choice. Many manufacturers of garage doors will custom-build your door to your specifications. You can customize practically every detail of your door’s construction, from things like decorative accents, construction materials used and glass placement to the stain, paint and finish coating applied — all while maintaining durability.
Characteristics of a Durable Garage Door
Garage doors each have their own characteristics, including its materials, thickness, insulation and more.
Below are five types of materials a garage door can be made from to help you decide which style fits your lifestyle and budget better.
1. Wood and Wood Composite
A garage door made of wood is a beautiful, warm, customizable choice for accentuating the architecture of your home. But, their strength depends on the maintenance you commit to.
Wooden garage doors are built with plies or layers to prevent warping. Types of wood are redwood, cedar, meranti (luan) and fir. You can have wood doors painted, factory-stained or finished on-site.
If you choose wood doors for your home or business, you’ll need to sand and stain or repaint them every couple of years. If you neglect their maintenance, your garage doors could rot and warp leading to more significant issues. However, wood is a good choice if you’re worried about scratches and dents. When treated adequately, the wood’s natural grain is an excellent material for hiding everyday dings from children playing out in the driveway.
You can paint steel doors to match your home, and they can come with or without insulation. The best steel garage doors consist of two galvanized layers of steel. They also don’t require as much maintenance, but they are prone to denting and scratching.
You should also note that once you dent or scratch steel doors, rust is usually next. Because of this, if you do decide on steel doors, you should pick a style that has a decent outer coating on them. To reduce risk to the door, go with a minimum of 24 gauge steel or a door with a fiberglass overlay that resists dents and rust.
Since aluminum is very lightweight, it’s the best material for extra wide double garage doors. The newer models are heavier and sturdier than older aluminum door versions, and they come with dent-resistant laminated panels. Aluminum is a more expensive type if you go with doors with heavy-duty frames, but there are less expensive options with panels made from other materials. However, they’re easier to dent.
Fiberglass is malleable and can mimic any type of material. Choose one with the beauty and warmth of wood, or choose a transparent nature for letting in soft light. You may customize them affordably, and they’re perfect for coastal spots. But, fiberglass may yellow over time and eventually break — particularly in colder environments.
Also, fiberglass is a poor insulator and is extremely light. It may easily fade from exposure to weather. However, it does resist saltwater corrosion better than other types of door materials, making it an ideal choice if you live in a coastal area.
You may think of vinyl doors as “child-proof” garage doors since they’re difficult to break or dent. Their construction is similar to fiberglass, but they’re more durable and only need to be hosed down once in a while. They don’t come in many designs and colors, though.
Vinyl is the way to go if you’re seeking the most affordable solution. While vinyl isn’t very common, more homeowners are considering it as an affordable option for their home’s garage door.
R-value is used to determine how well a garage door insulates its enclosure, which ultimately designates its energy-efficiency. There’s a better R-value with thicker doors, and the higher the R-value, the greater its insulating ability.
Let’s take steel garage doors, for instance. The ideal type of steel door is one with a triple-layer steel back with a minimum of two inches of thickness.
Double-layer steel doors have improved strength because the insulation layer makes them thicker. This, in turn, makes them less prone to easy damage or dents. If you use your door frequently, minor accidents may, and will likely, occur every so often — such as when an object or flying ball hits the door. To protect your garage door against this type of impact, you need more than a thin steel layer for the door.
Because of the added strength of a double-layer strong garage door, issues like folds, cracks and bends along the panel don’t happen as often because the door is a lot more durable, thereby primed for handling years of operation. So, if you plan on using your garage door regularly — particularly if it’s attached to your home — you should make sure it’s at least a double-layer door.
You’ll find various insulation options, including fiberglass batt insulation, rigid foam, spray foam and cellulose insulation. Let’s take wood vs. steel garage doors as an example. You can have both wood and steel doors insulated for weather. A wood door has a few wood layers with polystyrene insulation between each layer, while a steel door has the benefits of design, economy, low maintenance and energy-efficiency.
Insulation may impact your door’s durability in a few ways. For example, insulation can make it:
- Stronger: An insulated garage door is made differently than a single-layer door, making it stronger. Because your garage door needs to stand up to children, equipment and cars, it makes sense to have this added durability.
- Energy-Efficient: You’ll find many insulated doors today with an aluminum or steel frame. Solid-core insulation fills the frame and is sandwiched between dual or single steel panels. This construction style leads to a lightweight, energy-efficient garage door that is less likely to become dented than the older doors without insulation.
- Less Likely to Dent: Older garage doors, by contrast, tended to be manufactured with thin steel sheets wrapped over the panel frames. These panels, without insulation, could easily be dented by objects stored in the garage, automobiles and even kids’ bikes or basketballs.
- Last Longer: Added durability increases the lifespan of your garage door, too. Garage doors are frequently damaged by poor weather because of their size. Scratches and dents from the wind blowing around loose objects are a common type of weather-related damage. Doors with insulation stand up better to flying objects than doors without insulation.
If you’re like a lot of other people, you probably hardly ever use your front door and prefer to use your garage as the main entrance to your home. Under those circumstances, it may benefit to know that many doors today on the market are insulated.
Springs, Track and Other Hardware
The hardware of your quality garage door — including the springs, track and other hardware — can also impact durability.
These days, doors have two types of springs: torsion and extension.
Most individuals know more about extension springs. Extension springs are those attached to either side of your door, stretching along the horizontal part of the door’s track when you close the door. Meanwhile, torsion springs are generally right above the top part of the door and mount to the header. They’re wound springs that don’t contract or expand when the doors move. A torsion spring is usually a stronger spring, mainly because it provides more safety to homeowners and balances the door better, providing smoother operation.
The springs of a garage door are an essential part of the door, which is why it’s dangerous when they wear out. If they do break, it can result in injury.
You should replace your track when it comes time to replace your door since each garage door brand has been designed specifically to work with a certain type of track. Additionally, replacing the track is an affordable way of ensuring your whole garage door system is as secure and safe as possible. When you replace the track, you also ensure the warranty on the door will apply if you encounter an issue.
Don’t be tempted to put your new door on the old track — it may not fit properly. For a long life and the best performance, you should customize your track so it works correctly with the door you choose.
Your durable garage door — particularly if it’s double — is the biggest moving part of your house. For you and your loved one’s — or coworkers’ — safety, it is crucial to have a strong garage door made to last a while. Therefore, you should purchase sturdy and strong hardware for your new residential or commercial garage door.
Three common styles of garage doors available today in the market are:
- The countryside and rustic charm of a carriage house style, craftsman or wood look style door
- An updated, modern look of a contemporary door
- The practical and classic look of a traditional raised door or colonial style door
It takes a lot of thought and consideration to choose the best garage door style for your home — you need to consider various other factors to make your chosen style work for you.
Select Your Durable Garage Door From Liberty Door and Awning
As a smart homeowner or business owner, you’ll want to do some research and speak with the professionals since you don’t want to make any costly mistakes down the road.
Installing the best garage door style for your home is an investment. However, when you do it correctly, it will increase your home’s value, your garage’s efficiency and the durability and strength of your door, while also allowing you to express your style.
If you need to replace your garage door, you’ll want to replace it with a strong and durable garage door. Let Liberty Door and Awning help you with your garage door needs. We have almost 50 years of experience of garage door installation and service. Since 1988, we’ve been a member of the Better Business Bureau of New Jersey, so we have earned a reputation for reliability and quality.
Contact us today to discuss your garage door needs.