Simply put, steel garage doors are overhead garage doors that use steel as their primary material, rather than other materials common in such stores such as wood or vinyl. Steel garage doors have become the most common type of material used for overhead garage doors. Their popularity is due to the relatively low cost, low maintenance and durability.
Steel garage doors are used in a variety of applications. Both the commercial garage and residential garage will make use of the material. Commercial doors generally are not embellished with additional decoration. However, residential steel garage doors run the gambit from the ordinary to doors that include textures, windows and other enhancements.
Most steel garage doors on the market today have an outer layer of steel of varying degrees of thickness, backed by rigid foam. This gives the door some insulating properties that help keep both the elements and outside sounds from penetrating too much into the garage. Historically, garage doors have been objects that waste a tremendous amount of energy, but insulated garage doors are helping change that.
Insulation is only one of the features steel garage doors may have. Other popular features include a primer and polyester top coat. These materials help the door resist rust and other common issues associated with steel. This added step of protection may substantially lengthen the life of the overhead garage door and also help save on future maintenance costs.
Steel garage doors come in multiple levels of thickness. This is usually measured in a term called gauge. It is important to remember, when considering the gauge, that the thicker the door, the lower the gauge number will be. A top of the line garage door will be 24 gauge or less. Generally speaking, it is best to get the lowest numbered gauge you can afford, as this will help the door better withstand abuse over the years.
One of the primary benefits of steel garage doors is the fact many come with lifetime warranties. While these only apply to workmanship and not other things such as abuse or a car being accidentally backed into them, this can still be a great benefit. Other types of doors, especially those made of wood, will come with no such guarantees.
For those who like the look of wood but would rather have the durability of steel, there are options there as well. Most steel garage doors can be made to look like they have panels or textures very similar to wood. In some ways, this is the best of both worlds -- the look of wood with the durability and function of steel.