If you are considering replacing your garage door, you have some options to consider. You can choose between a rolling steel door or a sectional door. Both work well in residential or commercial applications.
A rolling door is made from slatted metal that coils up into a roll right above the doorway. Sectional garage doors are constructed from larger sections that float up into the ceiling and hang overhead when open.
Rolling doors have significant advantages:
• They are constructed from heavy-duty material and have a long life
• They have very few moving parts. These parts are protected from the environment because they are encased in a shaft in the wall. This means that rolling doors require very little maintenance.
• Rolling doors are installed directly into the wall and roll up compactly above the door when open. They do not interfere with other building systems. HVAC units, ceiling fans and lights can be installed in the space directly above the entrance.
• If the garage door is impacted by a vehicle, it is quick and easy to repair. The affected slats are easy to remove and replace with spare material.
Disadvantages of rolling doors include:
• The materials used to make the door are very heavy
• These doors have a high initial cost
Sectional garage doors have a few advantages. These include:
• They are priced much lower than rolling doors
• Sectional doors are much lighter than rolling doors
There are, however, significant disadvantages associated with sectional doors:
• The light-weight materials that are used in the fabrication of sectional doors are not very durable. These doors do not have a long life.
• There are 30 to 40 moving parts on these doors. Because the guide-rails are exposed to the environment, these parts are likely to corrode and fail. Sectional doors do require more maintenance than rolling doors.
• There are some safety risks associated with these doors. If a cable snaps, the door can slam shut suddenly. Since the door hangs overhead suspended from the ceiling, it could fall if the supports fail. Further, when moving, the sections of the door create a pinching action. It is possible to hurt a finger if it gets pinched in the door.
• Because the door must be suspended from the ceiling, it interferes with other building systems. You cannot install HVAC units, ceiling fans or lights in the space directly above the entrance.
• The sections are often custom-made and need to be ordered from the factory. If a section is damaged by a vehicle, it may take a long time to replace it.
On the whole, rolling garage doors are a great option for a wide variety of reasons. They have a long life, require little maintenance, are easy to repair and allow you to effectively use your interior space. The high initial cost of the door is offset by the low cost of maintaining the door over its long life. So if you have a commercial application where the door is going to see a lot of use, it is definitely worth it to consider rolling steel doors.
If the initial cost is the dominating concern, sectional doors will get the job done. You can expect to replace them more frequently, and they will require more service calls. So if you are thinking of installing a garage door for your residence where it will not see a lot of high impact use, this may be a good option.