Fiberglass Garage Doors
When people think about garage door materials, fiberglass is usually at the bottom of the list of possible options. However, in some cases, fiberglass is a great choice for garage doors. Although fiberglass is relatively new in the garage door market, it offers some advantages unmatched by other types of building materials.
Fiberglass is made in one of two ways. One way is to weave cloth with glass fibers and soak the mixture in resin. The other way is to mix resin and glass fibers. The glass fibers gives the material its strength while the resin, a form of plastic, acts as the glue that holds everything together.
The same versatility and flexibility offered by other types of garage door materials like steel and wood can be had with fiberglass. You can use it to imitate real steel. In some cases, the panels are attached to aluminum or steel frames which add to the illusion of being real metal, and fiberglass is sometimes used as a protective skin for steel doors. If you enjoy the look of wood, you can get fiberglass doors that look like the real thing but without the expense and pain of maintaining wood garage doors.
You can purchase fiberglass garage doors in single, double, or triple layers. Single layer doors don’t have insulation while double layer doors contain insulation on the interior portion of the door. Triple layer doors have insulation between two layers of fiberglass and may also have a layer of vinyl, steel, or aluminum to increase the door’s durability and rigidity. Double and triple layer fiberglass doors are energy efficient and help maintain the temperature inside the garage. This type of door is good for garages that are used as workshops or recreation rooms.
The main benefit of fiberglass garage doors is the material is maintenance free. Unlike steel or aluminum, it is rust and dent resistant and stands up well against the salty air in coastal and beachfront areas. It is also very lightweight and puts less strain on the door opener and associated hardware. Garage doors made from this material are easy to open manually, which is great if you use your garage on a daily basis. Since fiberglass is translucent, it can provide the garage with some natural light, though this is only possible with single layer fiberglass garage doors. Other fiberglass door types or painting the door will block out the light.
Some disadvantages of fiberglass garage doors include the overall flimsiness of the material. They don’t offer the same level of security as metal or wood door as they can be broken. Additionally, these doors tend to become brittle and fade over time, especially in areas prone to cold weather. Your choices are limited as well. Since fiberglass is not currently a popular material, only a few manufacturers make garage doors out of it. This includes Arm-R-Lite, Alto, Overhead Door, and Wayne Dalton.
For those that live in mild to warm climates, fiberglass is worth considering especially if you live in a coastal area. Talk to a knowledgeable building contractor or garage door sales rep that can help you choose the best fiberglass garage door for your needs.