Four Things To Consider When Choosing Your Garage Door Material

When it's time to replace your garage doors, there are many factors to consider. Possibly the most important one, however, is the door's material. Garage doors are made from steel, wood, fiberglass, aluminum or a combination of materials. The best type for your home will depend on your answers to the following four questions.

Are There Kids Around?

For many people, children are a joy. There's no denying, however, kids can cause quite a bit of damage to a home. The garage door in particular may be subjected to hits from baseballs, basketballs, skateboards, vehicles, and other assorted paraphernalia. If you don't want your garage door looking like the crater-filled surface of the moon after a year or two, then you'll want to choose a material that can stand up to this type of abuse.

The best choice here would be either wood or a wood composite. Metals such as steel and aluminum are vulnerable to denting. If you have your heart set on a steel door, get one with the lowest gauge available. The thicker the steel, the more resistance it'll have to errant fly balls.

What is the Garage Used For?

If you're going to be using the garage for anything other than storing vehicles, tools or excess household items, then you'll want to consider which material offers the best insulation. You'll also want to consider this issue if the wall connecting the garage to the home is not well insulated, as heat and air conditioning is likely escaping out of the home and through the garage.

Wood is the best at preventing external temperatures from creeping into the home. However, insulated steel is the best at conserving energy and preventing it from oozing out of the home.

Do You Live Near Salt Water?

If you live within one mile of the ocean or other body of salt water, then you'll want to take special care when choosing your garage door. Although living near the ocean can be a beautiful and calming experience, the salt in the water creates a corrosive environment that destroys garage doors.

Steel and wood doors are particularly susceptible to damage from salt water. Wood in particularly may fall prey to rot and mold due to the higher than normal levels of humidity in the air. On the other hand, garage doors made from fiberglass are very resistant to the corrosive nature of salt water. Aluminum is not 100 percent resistant, but the decay rate is very slow as long as the aluminum is not in contact with any other type of metal. If an aluminum garage door is made with other metals and placed in a saltwater environment, it will degrade much faster.

Are You Selling Soon?

A garage door can have a major impact on the curb appeal of your home, representing up to 30 percent of its appearance. Homebuyers are often deluged with choices and will make split decisions on sometimes arbitrary factors just to narrow the field. If your garage door makes your home look old and worn out, potential buyers may turn up their noses.

By far, wood is the most visually appealing material, especially when it is stained in a natural color. It often adds warmth and elegance to a home that may entice traditionalists to come inside and take a look around. At the same time, steel is the possibly the most customizable. It can be painted in a variety of colors to match the home's exterior, and you can even get steel panels that simulate the look of wood.

Choosing a garage door material can be challenging, but taking the time to pick the right one for your needs can pay off for years to come. For more information about the different types of garage doors available or assistance with picking one out, contact a garage door company like Shank Door.