Types of Garage Doors

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Garage Door Types

A new garage door can add instant curb appeal to a home’s exterior. Most homes come standard with a basic garage door, so an upgraded door can give the home an instant facelift. Best of all, there are endless opportunities to customize garage doors no matter the preferences of the homeowner.


Garage doors are the main entrance to many homes so it’s important to pick the perfect door, ensuring a good fit for the style of the home as well as its frequency of use. A new garage door is a great return on investment and it will be sure to delight the homeowners for years to come. The specific type of garage door chosen will depend on a number of factors to include visual appeal, price and the purpose of the door, however, the best way to make a well-rounded decision regarding a garage door is to have a good understanding of how garage doors work, the types of materials they are made of and the different styles of doors that are on the market. Read onward to learn more about garage door basics to make the best decision regarding a new garage door upgrade.

Design The Exterior of Your Home!

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How Does A Garage Door Work?

The mechanics behind garage doors are fairly standard across manufacturers as the basic components are the same. First, most garage doors are installed as panels stacked together that will eventually cover the garage opening once the door is secured into place. These panels are then connected by a series of hinges that allow folding of the panels. Once connected, these panels are secured by way of tracks mounted to the ceiling, a system of springs that allow for balance and roller drums with cables connected to them that allow the door to go up and down. While this is a very simplified explanation regarding the intricacies of garage door mechanics, these represent the basic operating features of all garage doors. Also, while most garage doors should be installed by a professional, having a general understanding of how they work is a great starting point for a DIY project. If you ever in doubt about the garage door, consult with a local professional specializing in garage door repair for additional guidance, knowledge and expertise. A garage door repair expert will be able to ensure that the garage door is installed properly and that it will provide years of service and security to your home. Here are more tips from one of best garage door experts in MD and VA

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Insulation of Garage Doors

Insulation of garage doors is dependent upon geographical region with colder climates requiring the greatest insulation and warmer climates requiring less insulation. Insulation is made of polyurethane foam, a light material that hardens after it is injected into the door during the manufacturing process. Garage doors come in a variety of insulation densities. It is important to keep garage interior temperatures at a comfortable level since many living spaces, such as bedrooms, are usually built directly above or beside the garage. High levels of insulation help with extreme temperatures by regulating them, preventing the garage from becoming either too hot or too cold. R-Values are the measurements taken that determine the level of insulation of the garage door. Larger R-values translate into higher insulation levels and indicate how well the insulation will block thermal flow. If there is at least one living space above or beside a garage door, insulated doors with a higher R-value are highly recommended as they will prevent the room from becoming either too hot or too cold based on outside temperatures. In other words, insulation provides thermal efficiency. What’s more is that insulated doors do very well for families that have basketball goals in their driveway as they can withstand the impact of an in-coming ball. They are also generally quieter and can absorb noise much better than doors with little to no insulation.

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Best Materials for Garage Doors

Garage doors are made from a wide variety of materials. They also come in a wide variety of panel options, colors and window treatments. The following are the most common types of materials for garage doors:


1. Steel – By far, steel garage doors have been an all-time favorite of homeowners for years. Steel garage doors are known for their durability as well as their affordability. They are built to last and require the least maintenance out of all the material options. They come in a variety of style options (can be paneled or non-paneled), can be painted in any color and can be insulated or non-insulated. They also come with a protective finish that can be painted in any color the homeowner chooses. The one downside to steel doors is that they can be more prone to rust and dents more so than other types of materials.


2. Vinyl – Vinyl garage doors are a lower maintenance alternative. Vinyl garage doors are fairly new on the market in comparison to other materials but they are very flexible. Vinyl is a type of plastic that is completely rust proof. Vinyl garage doors do not crack or fade with time so if they are painted the quality of the color virtually remains the same. Vinyl doors also resist dents and scratches, making them a serious contender on the garage door market. This material is an excellent choice for an easy-going lifestyle. Vinyl resists the elements very well and is a great option for coastal living where sand and wind would cause damage to other types of garage doors. Mainly, vinyl is designed to last and resist corrosion. The one downside to vinyl garage doors is the cost. These doors can be on the higher end of the cost spectrum, however, they offer a great return on investment since they are so easy to maintain.


3. Fiberglass – Fiberglass garage doors require very little maintenance. Fiberglass is a very versatile material with many customers not being able to differentiate it from steel. Fiberglass can also be refinished to look like wood. Fiberglass is a very light material that is easy to install and easy to lift up and down manually. This material allows for very quiet operation without the typical rattle of many older doors. One downside to fiberglass is that since it is the most lightweight of all the materials it is not the best insulator, so it may not be the best material for colder climates.



5. Wood – Real wood doors are charmers that instantly increase the resale value of a home. These doors provide instant curb appeal, personality and even a rustic feel to the home as they are very environmentally friendly. Wood garage doors are hand-crafted and are often custom made to order. While wood garage doors require the most maintenance out of all material types (they require refinishing, may rot or crack and are the most expensive to maintain), they still provide real value to the home and are worth the upkeep.


(Any of these materials can come in paneled or non-paneled versions and also versions with or without windows).

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Maintenance of Garage Doors

A garage door is a moving part so regular maintenance is required to avoid expensive fixes. Regarding basic care, a garage door should be cleaned once every few months to avoid the build-up of dirt and grime that can cause issues later on with springs, brackets and cables. Refer to the owner’s manual for specific cleaning tips for the model. Also, a garage door should be visually inspected at least once per month to spot any noticeable signs of rust, cracking, wear and tear. Also remember to call a local installation company for garage door repair at least once per year for a professional opinion. Also, if ever in doubt refer to the owner’s manual that came with the door for readily available troubleshooting advice. Warranties from manufacturers can range from one year to a lifetime and can come in handy if there are ever any major issues with the door. Remember, a faulty door is a potential safety hazard. This is true for all inhabitants of the home including adults, children, pets and visitors. Again, garage doors are machinery and should be treated with caution. If unsure of how to fix something it is always advisable to consult with a professional who can pinpoint and repair items safely and efficiently.


The following is a list of the top five items homeowners can look for when determining whether or not their garage doors need servicing:


1. Are there any visible screws or springs that have fallen off the door? As time progresses, screws may loosen from the garage door. If this ever happens, make note and contact a professional soon thereafter to prevent malfunctions.


2. Are there any loose brackets on the door, especially at the bottom where the most wear and tear is observed? Loose brackets can be problematic as they receive the most tension from a frequently used garage door. Loose brackets can cause injury if the door is in motion and the bracket comes completely off.


3. Is there audible noise such as squeaking or chattering that did not exist before? Garage doors that squeak or make extra loud noises may need to be lubricated. Typically, the rollers are the culprit.


4. Does the door stall or get completely stuck at times instead of freely flowing either up or down? Contact a service professional if the garage door no longer works as it should.


5. Does the reverse door mechanism work when prompted? If the reverse mechanism does not work this could signal malfunction for the forward mechanism as well. It would be a headache and safety issue for the door to be stuck in suspension without the ability to close it.


If any of these issues arise, contact a local garage door specialist to determine the root cause of the issue and to fix it as quickly as possible. Remember, just as garage doors require maintenance, so do garage door openers. Garage door openers are convenient features that keep the homeowner connected and in control of their garage door. While garage door openers are very durable they also require maintenance to ensure optimal performance. The following applies to garage door openers: inspect them periodically for any visual damage or issues but also have them serviced at least once per year to make sure the opener is in its best condition.
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A New Garage Door

While purchasing a new garage door is a commitment, a new garage door can transform the home for a totally new look. There are so many style and design options available but the dilemma of which door to choose from can be lessened by having a basic understanding of how garage doors work. Also, possessing an understanding of the various types of materials available can lead to the most appropriate decision. The amount of maintenance, whether the door will rust or dent over time and whether or not it is fully or only partially insulated are all factors that drive the new garage door decision. All of these factors also weigh heavily on the overall quality of the door. A good sign of quality is a higher R-value (meaning it is well insulated), if it is air-tight and if it is visually appealing to not only the owners of the home but to the entire neighborhood as well. No matter the type of door being installed, it is important to always keep safety in mind. If there are ever any issues with the door including visibly loose or falling springs or a faulty garage door opener, contact a garage door professional immediately. Fixing small problems early on can prevent property damage or injury in the future.