Garage Door 101
One of the most overlooked “appliances” in your home is the garage door. You press a button. It goes up. It goes down. Sounds simple, Right?
Not really. Like every other mechanical device, you own. Your cars, your kitchen and laundry appliances and your heating and cooling systems. Your garage door and its operating system needs to be properly adjusted and regularly maintained in order to keep it in superb operating condition.
You can perform some simple safety and maintenance tasks yourself. Other tasks, such as spring repair/replacement, track and roller repair/replacement and door installation are jobs best left to trained service technicians.
Just as it is common practice to have your home’s heating and cooling systems checked annually, it’s also a good idea to have your door checked annually by a qualified service professional to ensure that it continues to work properly and effectively.
Never take a garage door system for granted; always use extreme caution when working on it or near it. Make sure that children understand that the garage door and the garage door opener are not toys. Never let children play with the door or its operating system.
Like entry doors, garage doors can be made of steel, aluminum, wood, wood composites, fiberglass, vinyl or glass. No matter what the actual material is, the wood look is most popular
- Steel Doors The best steel garage doors are made of two layers of galvanized steel, the surface of which is either primed and painted with a tough topcoat finish or clad with a composite material. Steel doors can be painted to match your home and are available with or without insulation. The downside of steel doors is that they can be dented and are subject to corrosion, especially in coastal areas.
- Wood Doors Wood garage doors are built with layers, or plies, to prevent warping. Woods include cedar, redwood, fir and meranti (luan). Wood doors may be factory-stained or painted, or finished on-site.
- Wood Composite Doors Composite garage doors typically have a wood frame covered with sheets of fiberboard. Better models offer higher-density fiberboard skins and include realistic details, such as overlays and grooves to simulate a real wood door. Cores are filled with polystyrene insulation.
- Aluminum Frame Doors Garage doors fitted with aluminum panels eliminate the problem of rust but are easier to dent. They are available in contemporary brushed finishes, as well as in many colors. (Translucent glass panels may be used in place of aluminum panels; these admit daylight without compromising privacy or security.)
- Fiberglass Doors Garage doors made from fiberglass are less subject to denting or cracking. They do not rust but can break upon impact. Two layers of fiberglass are typically bonded to a steel frame and filled with polyurethane insulation. Steel end caps help improve rigidity.
- Vinyl DoorsVinyl garage doors are promoted as being ‘kid-proof’, because they are difficult to dent or break. Typically built upon steel frames, these too are filled with polyurethane insulation. Vinyl doors look similar to fiberglass doors but are available in fewer colors. They are very durable and require little maintenance aside from an occasional hosing.