Date: September 14, 2018
With warm, sunny weather, cool breezes, and the relaxing sound of ocean waves just a short distance away, it’s no wonder people choose to live on the coast. Paradise has its drawbacks though! As you look into investing in your home’s curb appeal with an updated, custom garage door, you may be surprised to find that your coastal location can impact the materials and designs you choose. Extend the lifespan of your brand new door with our garage door maintenance tips for coastal climates!
Can a Coastal Climate Affect Garage Doors?
Yes! The truth is that climate conditions accelerate normal degradation of a door’s finish. While factors such as direct sunlight, humidity, and air quality can impact door performance in any environment, garage doors that are installed in coastal climates face even more challenges.
Extreme Hot Weather
Intense, direct sunlight tends to fade garage door colors quickly. This is especially true for doors that are finished in a darker color. Depending on the material you choose, you may be forced to refinish your garage door more frequently than you’d like to.
Extreme heat can also affect your garage door’s sensors and mechanisms. To ensure all of your door’s electronic components work properly in the area you live in, it’s vital to consult with a professional in the field.
Extreme Moisture & Salty Air
Wooden garage doors absorb excess moisture in humid climates, causing expansion and contraction issues. If it has warped, your garage door will not work as properly as it originally did. Your security, insulation, and overall garage door curb appeal may be compromised.
Environments with extreme moisture also tend to harbor salty air. The salt creates corrosion and rust on door tracks and hardware. It can also take a toll on steel garage doors.
Choosing the Best Material for Garage Doors in Coastal Areas
Most coastal areas are prone to extreme moisture, strong winds, and grueling temperatures. Because of that, be sure to carefully consider all the door material options available to you. While wood is offered as a garage door material, it will require more care and maintenance than other material selections when used in coastal climates. Our garage door experts suggest vinyl, wood composite, and urethane composite as the best materials for garage doors in coastal areas.
Since vinyl is composed of solid plastic, there’s no need to worry about moisture absorption or salt corrosion. Its durable construction won’t splinter, twist, or warp. Plus, for added convenience, limited maintenance is required over time.
When it comes to finishes, raw, PVC vinyl naturally has a white, semi-matte finish. This means that additional paint isn’t required. However, if a different color or additional protection is desired, the vinyl can be painted with an acrylic paint. Our garage door experts suggest selecting light colors with an LRV of 60 or higher for the best results. Dark paint colors aren’t recommended.
Wood composite is an extremely-durable engineered product. It’s made with a combination of wood fibers, non-wood materials, and a strong bonding resin. While it has a wooden appearance, it outperforms traditional wood materials in exterior applications. It’s moisture-, fungal-, decay-, insect-, and rot-resistant, making it a long-lasting garage door material choice in any environment. Like vinyl, it also requires very little maintenance over time.
Wood composite can be painted any color. However, our garage door experts advise that dark colors tend to fade faster than lighter colors when used on this material.
While this material is extremely durable and has a wooden appearance like wood composite, it isn’t composed of any wood fibers. Instead, it’s made with molded millwork products, making it crack-, peel-, rot-, and insect-resistant. Like the other options, urethane composite requires low maintenance. Its main benefit is its ability to withstand high temperatures from the combination of direct sun exposure and dark color finishes (paint with an LRV of 60 or less).
This material can be painted with regular paint or a faux stain paint. The faux stain paint undergoes a multi-step process. The final product mimics the look of a true woodgrain finish.
Additional Coastal Garage Door Maintenance Tips
Beyond successfully choosing the best material for your garage doors, use our recommended maintenance tips to extend the life of your doors! By effectively maintaining your new, custom garage doors, you can ensure your investment will last.
- Inspect Annually — At least once a year, your overhead door and hardware should be inspected. Print out our garage door maintenance checklist and hang it in your garage as a reminder of what you need to check for.
- Clean Frequently — Cleaning will maximize your door’s lifespan. Our garage door experts recommend adding spring and fall cleanings to your calendar.
- Refinish as Needed — Correct any damage to your door such as fading, cracking, peeling, or blistering by refinishing it with paint or stain.