Guide to Choosing Your Garage Door Materials

If you’re trying to decide on a new garage door for your home, finding the right material goes a long way towards getting a door that fits what you want. There are several choices of materials to consider, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. We wrote this quick guide on four of the more common materials you can choose from for your garage door.

garage doors

Steel

Garage doors made of steel are all about function. They tend not to as interesting other materials can, and they don’t allow for much customization. The main risk for them is rust, but inspecting it occasionally is enough to help you spot and deal with any signs of rust that come up. Here are the advantages:

  • They are incredibly strong and resistant to dents and other superficial damage
  • They are low maintenance and do not require frequent cleaning or painting
  • They tend to be cheaper than other materials

For best quality, make sure you pick the correct thickness of galvanized steel. Thinner sheets mean they are more prone to dents and other damage, and while they might be cheaper to buy you’re getting exactly what you pay for.

Wood

Wood garage doors represent the other side of the coin compared to steel. They allow for much greater customization and styles for garage doors but will be more expensive and require more maintenance to make sure they last. However, the return on investment is that they have better curb appeal and you may get some of the cost back if you ever sell. Here are the other benefits:

  • Very strong and durable especially when the wood is treated, finished and maintained
  • Natural aesthetic is much more appealing and better curb appeal
  • Lots of different woods to use allows you to pick a design, fiber and color you like best

Make sure you research the various types of wood available to use for garage doors so you know the advantages and disadvantages of each. That way you can pick the right type for what you want.

Fiberglass

Garage doors made of fiberglass tend to be a bit of a middle ground between steel and wood while taking the best aspects of both materials. Here are some of the advantages:

  • It is usually less expensive than pure wood
  • It allows for lots of customization like wood
  • It can be mixed with steel to be more durable and require less maintenance than wood
  • It is a very light material even mixed with steel

The downside is that fiberglass doesn’t last as long, as it tends to start turning yellow and will break after long enough time. It also doesn’t provide as much insulation as other materials, and is also more brittle in colder climates making it a better material for not ideal for areas that have harsh winters.

Aluminum

Aluminum is best for larger sized garage doors, but has some drawbacks. It is one of the most expensive materials, and is more prone to scratches and dents than other artificial materials. However, it does have some benefits:

  • Newer types are made with insulation cores to help you save on your energy bill
  • It is very lightweight making it easier to open and it doesn’t strain as much when being used
  • New types with laminated panels make them more dent and scratch resistant
  • They are one of the lower-maintenance materials

So if you have a bigger sized door, having a lighter material with better insulation means it won’t be a pain to open and won’t cost you as much on your energy bill. They can come with a variety of choices for colors and finishes too, and often include glass windows.

If you’re unsure about what material would work best for what you want, you can contact us for a free consultation and we’ll give you a quote.

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4 Reasons You Should Never Forget About Your Garage Door Insulation

When you’re thinking about buying a new garage door for your home, insulation might not be high on your list of priorities to consider. However, your choice of insulation for the door is just as important as the material, design, and opening mechanism. The general reason is that the insulation will have an impact on your garage and your home. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t forget to consider your door’s insulation.

Avoid Infestation

Because of the usual makeup and climate of a garage, it is a very desirable location for various bugs and other pests to make their home. They’re easier to access and there is usually a lot of stuff for them to hide in, behind, and under.

What is the point and functionality of insulation? It seals the garage door to prevent anything, even air, from leaking in and out of the garage. If it can keep air out, it can certainly keep out even the smallest of bugs to help you avoid dealing with any infestations and the potential damage that they can cause.

Prevent Moisture Damage

The other things that a well-sealed insulated garage door can keep out are dirt, water and moisture. Think of what it is you use your garage for and the types of things you might store in it, then think of what water, dirt and moisture can do to all of those things if it gets into your garage:

  • Water and moisture damage
  • Equipment clogged and damaged by dirt and debris
  • Mold, mildew, or other organisms and bacteria

The better your insulation and weather sealing, the better protection your garage and the contents stored within it have from all of these potential damage and health risks.

Strengthen Your Door

Another benefit that insulation has is that it provides greater strength and reinforcement. Simply put, a door with a single layer of wood or steel material is not as strong as two layers of material with insulation in the middle. Here’s how it works:

  • It makes the skin of the garage door less likely to be dented
  • It makes the garage door more rigid, reinforced, thick and durable
  • It makes the door lighter than just making the door out of one layer as thick as it is reinforced with insulation

All of these benefits help you avoid maintenance time and costs for both your garage door and what is kept behind it.

Reduce Your Energy Bill

The fourth benefit of a well-insulated garage door is saving you money on your energy bill. This is because garages are usually the worst-insulated part of your home, and therefore the biggest source of wasted energy. Garages tend not to be as well insulated in general, and the doors in particular have this problem in addition to lack of good sealing when closed.

Cold air and outside heat that enters into your garage also enters into the room next to it if your garage is not properly insulated. Therefore, your furnace or air conditioning will have to work harder to regulate your home’s internal temperature. Whereas, a properly insulated door will help keep your energy bill down, since you don’t need to use as much energy to heat or cool your home.

If you are considering install a new garage door or adding insulation to your existing door, contact Doorcare’s garage door experts for a free quote.

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3 Custom Garage Door Design Ideas for 2017

If you want to do something different with your home’s design, one way is to replace your traditional garage door with a custom one. There are lots of styles, colours, materials, and structures you can choose from, but here are three of our favourites for 2017.

Custom-Carriage-Doors

Custom Carriage Doors

A custom carriage garage door can be a great combination of style and functionality. You can choose from a range of woods with their different qualities and colour, and they are usually shipped with a natural finish. They are made with three layers: wood on the inside and outside, with a layer of insulation in between. These types of doors have some great benefits:

  • Visual appeal — the wooden materials are extremely stylish and you can use whatever stain you want to get the right finish
  • Energy efficiency — the insulation within the door itself helps prevent outside air from getting inside improving the energy efficiency of your home’s HVAC system
  • Durability — well-made custom carriage doors can be incredibly durable and long lasting
  • Property value — With all of the above benefits you will also boost the property value of your home

Custom wood carriage doors are one of the most popular types of custom garage doors. With the different choices of wood and stain finish you can make sure that it matches the style of the rest of your home.

Fiberglass Garage Doors

Fiberglass is a great material to use for a custom garage door, and it is becoming a more popular material to work with. Compared to wood or metal, fiberglass provides better insulation for even greater energy efficiency. They are more durable, and because of their durability, they have more flexibility for customizations, such as ornate but heavy metal handles. Here are further customizations:

  • Patterns — despite being fiberglass, you can still get it with various wood-grain designs for better visual appeal
  • Panels — choose various sizes and patterns of panels that match the rest of your home’s design
  • Colour — select from a large number of colours and tones
  • Window Panes — for additional style and lighting you can pick multiple window pane designs

The downfall for fiberglass, when compared to other wood materials, is that it doesn’t quite have as much visual appeal. Even if you can make it look like wood most people will still notice the difference.

Side-Hinged Garage Doors

Another type of custom garage doors are ones that are side-opening, rather than vertical overhead doors. Rather than have the door with wheels and tracks that open straight up and down, you have hinges on the side and pull or push the door open and closed. They might not be as common as overhead garage doors, but they do have some advantages:

  • Maintenance — with fewer moving or mechanical parts there is less than can go wrong and problems with the hinges are easier to fix
  • Access — easily enter and leave the garage if you aren’t parking your car because you don’t have to wait for the door to open and close
  • Styles — other custom style options like glass windows or ornate handles will make the doors look more stylish

You can have a side-hinged garage door made from any material and design, whether it’s made of wood, fiberglass, or metal. This will help you to boost your home’s curb appeal, since they look much nicer than overheard doors.

Like many people, you may have buying questions about various garage doors. If you’d like to speak to a professional, then you can also contact your local neighborhood garage door experts.

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Complete Guide to Choosing Overhead Commercial Garage Doors

Choosing a type of commercial garage door might not seem like that important of a decision, but depending on the nature of your business and needs it can wind up being an expensive mistake in top of an inconvenience. Here’s a guide to help you decide what the best type of commercial door is for your business.

Overhead-Commercial-Garage-Doors

Insulation

If it is important for your business to have the best in insulation you should consider commercial doors with the highest R-Levels of insulation for every part of the year. The benefits of such doors include the following:

  • Energy efficiency — you spend less on keeping the inside of your building properly heated or cooled
  • Wind load resistance — prevents destructive wind pressure on your doors to ensure greater durability
  • Air infiltration — prevents air from entering or escaping your building if proper air regulation and circulation is necessary

This kind of overhead commercial door could be very useful for businesses that need to keep their building’s temperature and air circulation strongly regulated. Restaurant or grocery store receiving bays commonly use them, as well as storage facilities or any other type of building that uses refrigeration.

Visuals & Aesthetics

Meanwhile, some businesses might require doors for more visual or aesthetic reasons. In such cases, either the door itself needs to be visually appealing or it needs to help display whatever is behind it. Aluminum glass doors are the common choice for such businesses, as they incorporate more appealing designs that are mostly glass to allow for more light and visual access inside. Businesses that commonly use such doors include:

  • Retail stores (like car dealerships) — allow for easy visual access of products
  • Fire stations — allow for better natural lighting inside the fire truck bays
  • Restaurants — allow visual access inside the seating area

Various professional service buildings might also choose to use such doors purely for the pleasing appearance of the doors themselves.

Durability

Some businesses might rate the lifespan and reliability of their overhead garage doors as the most important feature when making their choice. Sectional doors made with galvanized steel are the most common types of doors for such businesses, and offer customization through the panels, door track, and other hardware to match any size requirements.

Industrial buildings with a lot of heavy duty traffic through the doors, especially those in areas with inclement weather, are the businesses that get the best use out of these more durable commercial doors.

Speed & Lightness

For a business that values the speed and flexibility of their commercial overhead doors, there are some options that are lighter and more versatile. Shutter doors or security grilles are commonly used by businesses that have a high amount of traffic through their doorway and need the doors themselves more for security than anything else. Here are some types of businesses that usually use such doors:

  • Retail stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Hospitals

In most cases, the doors are only used when the business is not open and can be easily opened and closed by one person when needed.

Looking for a garage door expert in your area? Doorcare is your preferred commercial door provider. Get your FREE quote now.

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Signs Your Garage Door Needs Repair

Performing a monthly or annual inspection of your garage door and opener system is a smart way to spot a potentially critical and costly problem early so you can have it repaired as soon as possible. You can inspect your garage door and opener by opening and closing the door and paying close attention to what you see and hear. Garage door and opener systems can be expensive and dangerous, and trying to tinker with the chain, cables, and tracks without experience can lead to serious injury or even death.  

garage-door-repair-vancouver-bc

Sights

When you see the garage door still or moving, make sure you look at each part and component for any signs of wear and tear. For some parts you might have to look more closely, but visible signs like these are arguably the most worrisome and the ones you should have repaired right away. Here are common visible signs to look for:

  • Sagging — make sure no part of the door sags inward or else there might be a reinforcement problem
  • Cracks — make sure no components have any visible cracks
  • Rust — make sure no components show any rust or wear

Make sure you look at the door panels, the tracks and the rollers, the chain or cable, the mounting mechanisms and the electric opener if you use one. Also check to make sure that the door opens and closes smoothly.

Sounds

Another way to discover a sign of potential issues with your door is simply by standing and listening while the door is opened and closed. If you have an electric opener you can just use that, but if it is manually opened and closed get someone to do it for you so you can focus on listening. Here are common issues you might hear:

  • Rattling — if you hear rattling then there’s a loose component somewhere
  • Screeching — the tracks or rollers might be broken or dried out
  • Grinding — if you hear grinding the motor or movement components might be misaligned or breaking down

Move to different areas so you are closer to the different components of the door’s sections and mechanisms, that way you can more easily hear any problems with each part. Try it a few times to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Energy Bill

A more subtle way you might notice signs that something with your garage door needs repairs is by checking your energy bill. Garages tend to allow the most heat or cooling, and therefore energy, to escape from your home out of any other part of your house. So if there are problems with your garage door that exacerbates this problem, you’ll probably see a spike in your energy bill. Here are things to check for:

  • Door panels — check for cracks or holes in the door itself
  • Sealing — make sure the sealing around the door isn’t cracked or missing
  • Closing — make sure the door fully closes and doesn’t leave a gap for air to get in and out

These issues can be very subtle and ones you might not notice on normal inspection. Make sure you look very closely or have a garage door professional inspect it for you. Repairing any of these issues not only ensures a longer life for your garage door but should also help you directly save money on your energy bill. Fill out this form to get a free quote now.

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How To Maintain an Automatic Garage Door Opener

Every homeowner knows that every part of the house requires proper and routine maintenance, and with an automatic garage door opener, this is especially true. The garage door components themselves can be expensive, and with the goods you keep in your garage—such as your cars—the last thing you want is for a big accident to cost you a lot of money to repair and replace. Here’s a quick guide on proper routine maintenance for your automatic garage door opener.

garage-door-opener

Make Sure Nothing Is Loose

First, make sure all the nuts, bolts and screws holding it all together are tightened as the constant use and vibrations over the months and years will loosen some of them. If you want to get an idea of what areas might be loose, open and close your garage door and listen for any signs of rattling. Here are the main parts to look out for:

  • Hinges—for each section of the garage door that holds them together
  • Brackets—any brackets holding the chain, cable, or other components together or to the walls, floor or ceiling
  • Anchoring plates—the parts that keep the tracks in place
  • Mountings—such as for the safety reversal sensor that triggers the auto-reverse

Those are the parts more likely to come loose and are more important to stay tightened. If you let various components come loose, it’s more likely that something will break off or accumulate greater wear and tear. You can also check all the handles and more minor components while you’re at it.

Inspect the Rollers & Tracks

The next important components to inspect are the rollers and tracks. They should be inspected twice a year and replaced every five to seven years, depending on how often you open and close the garage door. To test them, disconnect the door from the motor and try opening or closing the door manually. It should feel smooth, but if it catches or feels too tough you should check the following:

  • Wear and tear—look for bends, chips, cracks or rust on the tracks and rollers
  • Lubrication—make sure the tracks and rollers are properly lubricated
  • Chain or cables—check the links or strands for signs of wear especially near the bottom roller

For the chains or cables, they are very high tension so it is strongly advised that you only inspect and do not try and touch or fix them yourself. You could get seriously injured or killed, so call a professional for any repairs and maintenance.

Check The Automatic Motor

The last part of the door you should look at is the motor and its components. There are a lot more moving parts with this, but there is still some quick and basic maintenance that you should perform at least semi-regularly:

  • Batteries—check the charge of the batteries in the motor and any buttons, remotes, or safety sensor
  • Safety-reverse—test that the auto-reverse works as it should so you know it won’t accidentally close on your car or family
  • Limit screws—adjust the screws on the motor if the door fails to fully open
  • Motor components—while the motor is running listen for sounds of grinding, whining, or metal-on-metal

The motor components might be the most tricky to fix if there is an issue, but you might be able to do some basic maintenance such as lubrication or cleaning away debris. For more complicated problems, contact a professional to look at it to avoid causing further damage if you are inexperienced.

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