5 Often-Overlooked Steel Garage Door Essentials You Need to Know

When considering a new garage door, you might be inclined to consider aesthetics and value over other important aspects. For example, did you know that insulation is an important feature to consider, especially if your garage is directly under a room in your house? Are you aware of what type of paint to use when painting your steel garage door, or how to clean a dirty steel garage door? Do you know what periodic maintenance may be necessary and how to secure your garage door against a potential break-in?

Instead of feeling confused about the requirements of a steel garage door, keep the following particulars in mind:

1. Don't Overlook the Importance of Insulation

Many homeowners use their garage for working and other tasks, making insulation an important factor. Even if you do not use your garage for anything more than parking your vehicle, you might need to consider its insulating properties. Insulation is especially important for an attached garage, as hot or cold air may transfer to rooms directly above it. For this reason, check the garage door's R-value rating.

The R-value rating indicates the insulation value and energy efficiency of the garage door. In simple terms, garage doors with higher R-value ratings will insulate better. For instance, an R-value of R-12 may reduce the heat flow by 93%. This is generally in the mid-range of energy efficiency, and probably best for doors of thinner material or smaller garages.

2. Consider a Few Basics When Painting Your Steel Garage Door

Are you considering painting your steel garage door? This is a doable task, although you should keep a few pointers in mind. It's best to remove wax and rust by gently sanding the steel before you paint. Next, choose a good quality latex paint for your steel garage door.

Latex paint is made to last and withstand the elements. If you were to paint your garage door with an oil-based paint, you may notice chipping and peeling over time, especially when exposed to moisture. Although using latex paint is a good choice, you might want to check your manufacturer's warranty before you paint your garage door. In some cases, re-painting a steel garage door may void the warranty.

3. Clean Your Steel Garage Door Properly

If your steel garage door has been pre-finished, it should be relatively easy to clean. Simply remove dirt and grime with warm water and a mild soap detergent. Be sure to rinse the soap residue thoroughly. After cleaning the door, apply a priming and finish coating for protection against peeling.

4. Inspect Your Steel Garage Door Regularly and Make Necessary Repairs

For safety reasons, your garage door should be inspected visually for signs of damage. Check all springs and pulleys, as well as the garage door hinges. Hinges should be lubricated periodically to keep the operation running smoothly. Loose parts should be replaced or repaired at once; a qualified technician may be best for the job, as tension springs may cause serious injury if not handled properly.

5. Be Sure Your Garage Door is Secure Against Intruders

While a reinforced steel garage door provides strength, you'll want to do everything possible to secure it against intruders. If you prefer a garage door with windows, consider frosted windows, as this will make it difficult for outsiders to see in. Also, insist on tempered glass windows for your steel garage door, as it will be difficult to break. As an alternative, you might simply hang curtains over the windows.

The garage door should also have a deadbolt lock installed for security. If the door does not come with a deadbolt lock, you may purchase one separately. Choose a lock that will work with either automatic or manually controlled garage doors.