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Problems with Wooden Garage Doors

Wooden garage doors have been popular for years. In fact, wood was the first type of material used for carriage-house style doors back in the day. Thanks to their timeless beauty, wood garage doors are still in style.

wooden garage doors

Even as aluminum and fiberglass have slowly replaced wood, it remains fashionable. In fact, one major trend for this year is wood, which proves that its popularity is never-ending.

However, like with any household item, you need to weigh the pros and cons. While wooden garage doors may give a house a classy and traditional look, there are also problems that come with them that every homeowner should know.

They Are Expensive

Wooden doors are one of the more expensive choices. If you consider only the material and no labor cost, you’re already looking at spending more than you would with a different material.

As with any other wood item, it has to be completely custom made and crafted, so the costs are always high. Another factor that adds into the cost is the amount of maintenance they require which we’ll go into further later in this article.

Wood Doors Take Some Time

One of the benefits of wood garage doors is that they can come in many different styles from carriage-house style to doors with raised panels that show off fancy decorations.

However, the time it takes for a professional to design, build and then install these doors can be much longer than it would take to purchase other types of doors.

Special Equipment Is Often Needed

Wood is a heavy material, much more so than the more lightweight aluminum options out on the market. For this reason, special types of springs and openers are needed in order to support the weight of the wood.

For someone who wants to be able to manually open their garage doors, wood isn’t an ideal option. Given the specialized equipment required, repairs are more expensive since the hardware often has to be specially ordered.

Insulation Issues Can Be A Problem

There are many types of wood that can be used for garage doors, all of which have varying levels of insulation issues. Plywood is by far the cheapest and thinnest wood, and therefore requires some extra care for it to be a suitable garage door material.

Plywood will inevitably require insulation for it to protect a car from harsh weather. Mahogany is stronger than plywood, but is still vulnerable to decay and bad weather.

Red and white oak are more durable types and provide better natural protection from the cold, but they also cost more.

They Warp Or Swell In Certain Climates

For homeowners who live in areas where rain or snow is common during certain months, wood garage doors may be a problem. The wetness from rain or snow will slowly weaken the wood, which eventually will lead to rot.

Also, the salt in the air from snow can warp the wood. If you live in an area with bad weather, be especially vigilant that the wood isn’t beginning to soften, as this can be an early sign of a problem.

Another issue with bad weather is warping or bowing. When there are changes in the outside temperature and/or contact with moisture, the wood may swell up in certain areas.

This can lead to the garage door not fitting properly into its rails, which will impact how well the garage door goes up and down. If the rails were to snap because they are unable to hold the bowed door, this can pose a major safety risk to anyone nearby.

They Require Regular Maintenance

wood garage door

Think about any piece of wood furniture that’s in contact with the outside elements 365 days a year. That piece of furniture is going to require some regular maintenance in order to keep it functional and beautiful.

A wood garage door presents the same type of issues. Wood garage doors need regular maintenance in order to stay as beautiful as they were on the first day.

Be sure to lubricate the rails and opener, especially if you hear any screeching sounds. Keep the tracks clean of dirt, grass and other types of debris.

Poke around the door to check for rot so that you can tackle it right away by hiring a trained professional. To keep that beautiful finish fresh, you’ll need to re-apply a new coat of finish every so often.

They Decay

Wood is certainly beautiful, but it unfortunately runs the risk of rot and decay that other types of materials like steel don’t experience. Even outside of the dangers posed by wet weather, wood can begin to decay simply because of its limited durability.

You can look for rot by prodding parts of the door with a screwdriver. If your screwdriver can even slightly pierce any part of the wood, you’ll want to talk to a professional who has experience with wood garage doors.

Termites Love Wood

While many types of garage door materials are inorganic, wood is an organic material, which means it’s prone to termite issues. Termites are in constant search of food sources, and they feed off of natural materials.

In colder climates, they also look for warm areas. A wood garage door frame can be the perfect place for them to make a home because it provides food and warmth, which also will allow termites to multiply.

If you have a termite issue in your wood garage door, your best bet is to deal with it quickly. Termites will spread and eat away at the wood, which will eventually cause structural problems and can go from destroying just the frame to the door, too.

This, of course, also poses a security risk. Unfortunately, termites can also spread from the garage door to the contents within the garage. They’ll look to eat cardboard, papers, books, and any other organic material.

While it can be difficult to spot termite infestations, you can look for damaged wood or tiny holes that are on the surface of the wood.

Additionally, you can look for termite droppings that have the appearance of sawdust. You can also look for mud tunnels. Try to eliminate adding wood chips or mulch near the home’s foundation, and look out for puddles since moisture attracts some termites.

Stay Away From Wooden Garage Doors

Overall, a homeowner needs to think about the benefits and the risks in order to make an informed decision. Wood garage doors are beautiful, but they can experience serious issues in certain types of climates, and they require extra TLC in order to keep their original beauty.

If any issues are suspected, it’s always best to contact a professional who can help detect the issue and fix it in order to prevent any further problems with your wood garage doors.

If you have a wooden garage door that’s suffered some of these problems or are in need of a new garage door and aren’t choosing wood after reading this, then Feldco is here for you.

Our insulated, steel garage doors are extremely durable and energy efficient. They’ll never rot, warp, swell or crack when exposed to harsh weather. They’ll even withstand the stray baseball or basketball. We’ve served over 350,000 homeowners in the Midwest and would love to help you with your garage door replacement – get a free quote now.

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