When selecting a door for installation or replacement, it is essential to know what garage doors are made of in order to make the right choice.
Different materials have their pros and cons, as well as refurbishment and maintenance tips.
What Garage Doors Are Made Of
Garage door materials are available in wood, steel, aluminium, alu-zinc, vinyl, and glass.
Wooden Garage Doors
Wooden garage doors provide a rustic yet natural look.
Standard wooden garage doors are affordable. However, custom-made designs can be costly.
Wooden garage doors can be made from hemlock, cedar, fir, and redwood.
Wooden Garage Doors Pros & Cons
- Aesthetics – wooden garage doors are popular because of their excellent look and authenticity.
- Durable – they don’t dent easily like steel or aluminium doors.
- Customizable – these doors can be made and designed to your liking.
- High Maintenance – wooden garage doors require more attention to ensure they retain their look.
- Insulation – while wood is naturally insulating compared to other materials such as steel, wooden garage doors are less energy efficient. The newer wooden door models have insulation options that require a wood overlay.
- Costly – since wood is designed to suit your needs, it can be more expensive than steel doors.
- Permeable – water tends to damage wood garage doors very quickly. They cause rot.
How to Refurbish Wooden Garage Doors
Refurbishing wooden garage doors can improve their appearance and aesthetics.
Establish the Problem Area – first, it is vital to establish what needs to be done to fix cracks, repainting, or scaling the door’s texture.
Gather the Tools Required – Refurbishing wooden garage doors require several tools such as; grit sandpaper, electric sander, masking tapes, paintbrush, primer, and paint.
Prepare the Door for Refinish – It is essential to prepare the wooden garage door for refinishing, and this can be achieved through; sanding and repairing, timber treatment, and masking tasks.
The Paint Job – Painting or staining a wooden garage door requires the painter to first wipe the door with a clean, lint-free cloth before painting. The brush should be run evenly and smoothly to give an even finish.
How to Maintain Wooden Garage Doors
Even though wood requires proper finishing to protect it from harmful elements, extra care can significantly prolong its durability.
The door should be cleaned regularly to avoid dirt or moisture build-up, causing damage such as bending or warping.
Cleaning should be done using a mild, lint-free rag, mild soap, and water. Regular cleaning of a wooden garage door will prevent issues such as stain and improve the door's appearance.
Steel Garage Doors
Steel garage doors are stronger and more durable than other materials.
Most garage or homeowners prefer steel doors because of their insulation properties.
Steel Garage Doors Pros & Cons
- Strong and Durable – steel garage doors are strong and durable as steel does not warp, dismantle, or crack regardless of the weather conditions.
- Easy to Maintain – steel is low maintenance as it does not require furnishing or painting over the long-term.
- Value for money – besides being appealing, steel garage doors give value for money as they are typically cheaper than other options such as wood. Modern galvanized steel doors rarely rust or rot regardless of the weather.
- Poor Insulation – when it comes to energy efficiency, steel garage doors need an added layer of polyurethane to provide essential insulation benefits.
- Not Durable – since steel is vulnerable to impact damage, its durability depends on the panel’s thickness.
- Prone to Rust – steel doors are affected by rust over time.
How To Refurbish Steel Garage Doors
- Regular Oiling – ensure you use synthetic motor oil to oil your doors’ track, joints, and lift system.
- Wash it frequently – clean your door to prevent dust and rust. Avoid using harsh industrial cleaners that will corrode the door.
- Sand your door – remove rusts that may have affected your door and use sandpaper. Wash it after sanding it.
- Apply Paint Finish – after cleaning and sanding your door, apply a finish to restore its beautiful look.
How To Maintain Steel Garage Doors
- Tighten the steel garage door hardware.
- Regularly inspect and replace dysfunctional rollers.
- Check the pulleys and cables
- Lubricate any moving parts
- Test the door balance
- Test the auto-reverse option
Aluminium Garage Doors
Aluminium garage doors are fast becoming popular because they are unique among common metals.
Aluminium is a strong metal and provides durability even though it is lighter than steel and other materials.
Aluminium Garage Doors Pros & Cons
- Aluminium garage doors are versatile
- As a metal, aluminium is light and flexible
- Aluminium is not prone to corrosion
- The doors are odourless, impermeable, and recyclable
- They require unique processes to be welded, which may be time-consuming.
- Aluminium garage doors are more expensive than steel garage doors.
How To Refurbish Aluminium Garage Doors
- Prep and wait for a couple of days of good weather before painting the door
- Use an oil-based primer
- Use acrylic exterior paint as a topcoat.
TIP: Always read and follow all instructions on the materials used.
How to Maintain Aluminium Garage Doors
- Other than refurbishing and maintaining an aluminium garage door, it is also important to clean it regularly.
- Cleaning aluminium requires standard household soap or gentle detergent with water to create a cleaning solution.
- It is crucial to first hose the garage door before cleaning. Once the door’s surface is damp, dip a non-fluffy rag in the solution and scrub the door from top to bottom.
Alu-Zinc Garage Doors
Aluzinc garage doors are made of Aluzinc material, a steel substrate coated with either aluminium or zinc alloy.
The coating uses 55% aluminium, 43,4% , zinc and 1,6% silicon.
The unique coating is often applied directly to the steel surface using a consistently hot-dip galvanizing process.
Alu-Zinc Garage Doors Pros & Cons
- Alu-zinc garage doors are lightweight compared to other materials such as wood.
- They are affordable
- They are easy to clean.
- Alu-zinc garage doors are prone to rust and oxidization
- They require constant maintenance.
- They are not ideal for humid weather.
How to Refurbish Alu-Zinc Garage Doors
- Alu-zinc garage doors are prone to rust and oxidation. To remedy this, clean it properly.
- Using mild detergents to help garage door protect the cars and stored items inside the garage from harsh elements.
- Mix water with white vinegar.
- Spritz or spray vinegar and water mixture on the door surface before scrubbing the areas with rough material such as steel wool, while spraying more vinegar as needed until all the rust is removed.
How to Maintain Alu-Zinc Garage Doors
- Using warm water with detergent, scrub the surface with a rag or nylon scrub brush.
- Hose the door and rinse out the detergent.
- Dry the door or wipe with a dry non-fluffy rag to speed up the drying process.
- Use a hand sander to roughen the entire surface to avoid oxidation.
- Use a primer that contains zinc chromate to coat and paint the door. Two or more coats can help to stop oxidation and maintain the sheen on the doors.
Vinyl Garage Doors
For a polished and stylish look, vinyl garage doors are a good choice.
These doors come with unique features, which add a custom look to a garage.
Vinyl garage doors also offer security.
Vinyl Garage Doors Pros & Cons
- Compared to other options, vinyl is a more affordable option.
- Modern vinyl comes with some customizable options.
- Vinyl is less demanding in terms of maintenance as it is visually appealing even with minimal effort.
- Vinyl garage doors are more durable as vinyl is a strong material.
- Vinyl garage doors are weather-resistant, making them ideal for any type of weather.
- The vinyl material is easy to clean due to its durability.
- Unlike a wooden door, it is hard to change the colour of a vinyl garage door.
- Some vinyl garage doors come with inbuilt insulation. However, those without insulation can make it extremely difficult to maintain the ideal temperature in the garage.
How to Refurbish Vinyl Garage Doors
- Vinyl, just like any other plastic should only be painted or stain modified with approved paint.
- The approved paint is the only one that can adhere adequately to vinyl and requires at least three coats minimum.
- For the perfect finish, the coats require at least four hours between the desired paint finish.
How to Maintain Vinyl Garage Doors
- Maintaining vinyl garage doors is not as demanding as in the case of other material. Mixing household soap or a mild detergent with water can yield a solution for cleaning the vinyl garage door.
- First, wet the surface of the garage door using a hose
- Once the surface is damp enough, a piece of non-fluffy cloth maybe ran over from top to bottom, before rinsing off the door.
Fibreglass Garage Doors
Fibreglass garage doors are made of high-end material and are therefore naturally more priced than steel doors, although still less expensive than wood.
Fibreglass Garage Doors Pros & Cons
- Unlike other materials, fibreglass garage doors do not corrode, rot or warp easily.
- They are an excellent choice for homeowners in a variety of climates
- Fibreglass garage doors are ideal for homeowners looking for more lighting in their garage space as they are semi-transparent.
- They are eco-friendly as they do not consume too much energy.
- Compared to other materials such as wood or steel, fibreglass is brittle and therefore, the doors are prone to breakage and damage.
- Fibreglass may yellow with age, which can dent its appearance, especially when exposed to too much sun.
- High winds are also a risk to these doors and they may pose a security threat as they are easy to break into.
How to Refurbish Fibreglass Garage Doors
- Check the door and establish any other problems such as cracks on the surface
- Clean the using mild detergent
- Mask the door surface
- Sand the door
- Use a primer to coat the surface
- Paint the door
How to Maintain Fibreglass Garage Doors
Warm water and vinegar are ideal solutions for cleaning fibreglass garage doors, as it provides an excellent cleaning method without corroding the surface or wearing away the coating.
More so, it is advisable to use a soft sponge or soft non-fluffy cloth that is mild to the door.
What to Consider When Selecting Your Garage Door Material Type?
Durability – always go for a garage door material that is durable and gives money worth.
Maintenance – it is vital to choose garage door material that is low-maintenance. Wood, for instance, is a high-maintenance material, while steel and vinyl are low maintenance materials.
Cost – some garage door materials are pricier than others and it is crucial to consider the appropriate price without compromising quality.
Versatility – in this case, it is important to choose a garage door material type that can withstand adverse weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are wood garage doors more expensive?
Wood garage doors are pricier compared to other materials such as steel.
Are Aluminum Garage Doors Good?
Aluminium garage doors are good because they are lighter and less expensive.
Which Is Better Steel or Vinyl Garage Doors?
Vinyl garage doors are sturdier and highly resistant to damage compared to those made of steel. They also do not easily scratch and scuff.
What Gauge Steel Is Best for Garage Door?
24-gauge steel is a top-quality garage door as it uses thicker steel and is robust both on the outside and the inside.
Choosing the right material for your garage door can be a daunting task.
However, by weighing the pros and cons of different garage doors in the market today, it is easier to determine the kind of garage door that is practical and ideal for you.