December 4, 2015

What a Cheap Garage Door is Really Costing You

Shorter Life Span

Garage doors consist of a variety of parts that enable the owner to easily lift and close the barrier that protects the space. Moving parts include bearings, rails, springs, rollers, hinges and cables. The garage door itself may be made of a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, wood and fiberglass/PVC overlay.

Cheap garage door systems are inexpensive because they use parts that are substandard compared to other garage door solutions. They’re more likely to crack, bend, become loose or even fall apart all together, requiring an investment of additional time and money to repair.

The material of the barrier itself is another crucial factor in determining the value and longevity of your garage door. More expensive options, such as wood, fiberglass/PVC and stainless steel, last longer and are more resistant than cheap doors made of thin aluminum. Thin doors are easier to damage through dents, scratches and daily wear and tear. This cumulative type of damage adds up very quickly, compromising the strength and the aesthetic appeal of the garage door at a much greater rate.

What a Cheap Garage Door is Really Costing You

According to a study published by Utah State University, the typical garage door opener lasts up to ten years. The average lifespan of the door has a much greater range, with a life expectancy that ranges from 20 to 50 years, depending on the material, the environment and how often you perform basic maintenance. If you find yourself having to repair or replace either the opener or the garage door before the average lifespan, you’re losing money by buying and installing a cheap solution.

Security Issues

One of the most important hidden costs of using a cheap door are the security flaws inherent in many inexpensive garage solutions. Cheap garage doors don’t require a lot of time to compromise. A YouTube video that went viral showcased a huge problem with security, as an expert demonstrated how intruders require only six seconds to break into a poorly constructed garage door system.

Using a wood block to pry open up enough space to fit a wire hanger, an expert was able to quickly trigger the emergency release in a few seconds, opening the garage without causing too much of a ruckus. In the video, the security flaw exposed is the cheap seal around the top‑center of the door frame. A properly constructed garage door should disallow anything from sneaking up and under the space between the seal and the door.

Also, solid wood or steel doors are less likely to be compromised through bending or flexing, compared to doors of cheaper material.

If your garage door opener uses a cheap remote control to activate the lift, those who wish to break in may record the open signal sent by the remote and replay it with a device while you’re away. Any good remote control should automatically change the signal necessary to open and close the door every time you press the button.

Energy Costs

If you have an inexpensive garage door that doesn’t seal properly or consists of thin, uninsulated materials, the amount of energy that you lose due to heat entering and escaping the garage definitely adds up over time. Air conditioning and heating costs increase anytime you allow air to flow freely in and out of the garage, which causes the entire HVAC system to work harder to maintain climate control within your environment.

Solid garage door installations should seal the space from the external environment while insulation of the door increases the R‑value of the material, regardless of if it’s wood, steel, aluminum or fiberglass/PVC.

Health Issues

In addition to security issues, cheap garage doors present serious health hazards, especially for those who have a family that consists of young kids who play around the garage area. As previously mentioned, cheap doors are much more likely to be constructed using materials and parts that are prone to degrade at a quicker pace.

This vastly increases the probability of the door suffering a catastrophic failure, causing it to plummet quickly to the ground, resulting in serious injury to anyone caught underneath.

Another serious potential health risk involves openers that don’t automatically reverse when sensing an object underneath. The National Center for Biotechnology Information released details of a study of 50 different garage door systems, showing that 88% automatically reversed when pressing against a block of wood. However, those numbers reduced the 60% when a child‑like mannequin was used.

There’s nothing wrong with attempting to save a bit of money on home reno projects, but when the potential consequences far outweigh the savings, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution. Manufacturers such as Garaga offer a wide range of quality solutions tailored to the budgets of all kinds of homeowners. Contact us today to learn more about how you can derive the best value from different garage door solutions.

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