Comparing Fiberglass and Steel Garage Doors

Every material has its pros and cons

Fiberglass and steel garage doors offer their own distinct benefitsShopping for a new garage door is a complicated process, but it’s worth the effort to make an informed decision. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to compare steel and fiberglass models. Both materials offer numerous benefits and drawbacks for homeowners.


Before comparing them, it’s helpful to realize that these doors actually contain several different materials. Most steel units consist of insulation, galvanized metal, and synthetic coatings. More costly doors tend to have thicker metal.

Many fiberglass models also contain insulation, but they usually don’t have outer coatings. Metal frames hold two layers of this material together. Different brands use aluminum or steel; units with aluminum frames weigh somewhat less.


A fiberglass garage door provides several advantages with regard to price, weight, and durability. You’ll probably pay less for it than you’d spend on a comparable steel unit. This material also resists denting and rarely develops cracks.

Unlike some metal doors, fiberglass never rusts or corrodes. It’s particularly resistant to the salty air in seaside locales. These qualities not only make a door last longer but help to preserve its appearance.

This material also weighs considerably less than most metals. It makes a door easier for you to open and close by hand. The difference in weight rises if you compare it with heavy two-layer steel. This is one reason why some sports cars have fiberglass bodies.

Nonetheless, there are also a few disadvantages to keep in mind. A strong impact can cause fiberglass to shatter, and this happens more easily in cold weather. As the National Association of Realtors points out, panels may gradually fade or turn yellow.


Although they’re somewhat prone to denting and corrosion, most steel doors are quite durable. High-end models feature thick metal that can absorb strong impacts, and doors with vinyl coatings seldom rust. Metal often retains colors longer than fiberglass.

Another advantage of steel is that burglars and vandals find it difficult to break. It can stand up to harsh winter weather as well. The ruggedness of this material allows companies to provide longer warranties. If you choose a steel garage door, the factory may guarantee certain parts for up to 10 years.

This material also insulates better than most alternatives. It may reduce heating and cooling expenses, especially if you live above your garage. However, metal lacks the translucence of fiberglass. If you spend many hours in a garage with steel doors, you may need more windows or lights.


The right choice largely depends on your location and budget. A steel door on a garage in Portland, OR, will probably last longer and need fewer repairs. On the other hand, a fiberglass unit may work best if you live on Cape Lookout. It’s also an appealing choice when you don’t have a lot of money to spend on garage doors.

Either way, the Overhead Door Company of Portland can supply and install well-made doors at competitive prices. Please fill out our contact form to get started.

Home Security: How to Protect Your Garage From Thieves

Tips and tricks for keeping your home safe

If you’re like most people, your car is just one of the many valuables that you store in the garage. Other pricey items, such as lawn mowers, tillers, and snow blowers, are sitting just behind the garage door. How can you be sure that everything stays safe from opportunistic burglars?

Never Leave the Door Open

What your mother always told you about the refrigerator applies to the garage as well. No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, never walk away from the garage while the door is open. Even if nobody waltzes in and steals something, you’re sending a clear message that your garage isn’t always secure. If you have a hard time remembering to close your garage door, invest in a timer that automatically closes it for you after a specified amount of time.

Keep Track of the Remote

No one ever had their home broken into because they misplaced the TV remote, but the clicker for your garage door is another story. Never store the garage remote where it can easily be stolen. Instead, consider locking it somewhere safe when it’s not in use and disabling the opener mechanism on the door itself when you’re going to be away from home for an extended period.

Shut Out Temptation

Consider covering the windows of your garage or frosting them over to conceal what’s stored inside. Not being able to see your valuables may not deter every potential burglar, but it should serve to discourage those who are looking for an easy target.

Lock It Down

Make sure your garage door has a reliable locking mechanism and use it whenever no one needs to get into the garage. Invest in sturdy cable locks to secure your valuables and make them harder to walk away with. The more inconvenient you can make it for thieves to clear out the garage, the better.

Be on the Alert

Installing a door sensor that sets off an alarm creates a ruckus if someone takes a shot at breaking into your garage. This should be enough to put them off the idea of burglary. You can also install a silent alarm that only alerts you if the garage door gets opened when it shouldn’t.

One of the best ways to ensure garage door security is to invest in the sturdiest door possible. At Overhead Door Company of Portland, we offer a full range of doors from standard steel to stunning wood. We’re committed to bringing quality service to homes in the Portland area. Contact us today to discover the options available for your home.

Why Does My Garage Door Shake, Squeak, or Click?

Diagnosing the most common garage door problems

Few things are more frustrating than a malfunctioning garage door. Doors that rattle, grind, shake, or fall are not only annoying but can also be dangerous. Before garage door problems drive you crazy, try these troubleshooting tips.

Out of Balance, out of Whack

Noise or rattling when opening and closing can be a sign of an improperly balanced garage door. You can test door stability by pulling the emergency cord to raise the door, then closing the door by hand. Raise it halfway and let go. If it falls, chances are you’re dealing with instability. Springs that are stretched to different lengths or faulty motors may be the root of the problem.

Wear and Tear

A noisy garage door may also be the fault of worn springs or hinges. Check all the springs for wear and rust, then oil the hinges. If the door still makes noise, it’s likely that the springs need replacing. Loud grinding sounds could be a sign of trouble with gears and sprockets rather than hinges.

Dirt on the Tracks

Sometimes the underlying cause of squeaking or grinding can be as simple as dirt in the tracks. Take a look the next time you hear a nasty sound and see if there is any debris gumming up the works. Clean out whatever you find and test the door again to determine if the problem is fixed.

Bent out of Shape

Both the rollers and tracks on the garage door of your home can become bent or otherwise damaged. This interferes with the operation of the door and is made evident by shaking or unpleasant noises. Bent tracks can cause damage to your garage door over time, so if you suspect that the track is the problem, have it assessed by a professional.

Cable Woes

Worn and broken cables or cables that come off their tracks can be one of the most dangerous garage door problems. Without cables to hold it steady, the door may fall too quickly when closing or close when it shouldn’t, posing a hazard to anyone going in and out. Never let this kind of problem go unchecked. Cable damage should be fixed immediately.

Sometimes troubleshooting and DIY fixes aren’t enough to correct garage door problems. In that case, it might be time to consider replacing the door. Contact us at the Overhead Door Company of Portland to find out what your options are. From thermal insulated doors to decorative wood designs, our specialists can walk you through the process of choosing just the right model.

Will Your Automatic Gates Open in a Power Outage?

Don’t let automatic gates disrupt your life

Do your company's automatic gates work the way they should?Lengthy power outages occur in the Portland area from time to time. Equipment failures, car accidents, and fierce weather can trigger them. For example, a massive winter storm brought snow and ice to the city in late 2008. The Oregonian reported widespread damage, road closures, and electrical outages across the region. Such storms may cause major problems for home and business owners with automatic gates. Without the right equipment, you could have difficulty entering or leaving your parking area.

A Solution

Many access gates prove difficult to open manually. In fact, some units weigh over 1,000 pounds. The good news is that sophisticated residential and commercial gate openers have electrical backup systems. They charge powerful batteries and use this energy to operate automatic gates when the normal electric supply is interrupted. This prevents a blackout from completely disrupting your life or business activities. It also ensures that police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel can reach your property. This is important because many injuries happen when people use alternate lighting or heating equipment after the power goes out.

Energy Options

Most backup systems charge their batteries with power from the electrical grid. This configuration works well in many situations. Nevertheless, a battery could run out of energy before Portland General Electric restores power. This might occur if an outage persists for several days or you open and close the gate repeatedly. One solution is to connect the opener to a gas or diesel generator. Gates will remain operable as long as you have sufficient fuel.

Another option is to power the battery charger with renewable energy. You can set up a small wind turbine or photovoltaic panel and connect it to the gate opener. This may require a significant investment, but it reduces your electric bill and is friendly to the environment.


If you want to obtain a reliable opener with a battery backup system, look no further than the Overhead Door Company of Portland. We sell and install several high-quality models that operate swinging and sliding gates. Some units feature special wireless communication or entrapment-prevention technologies. Our company also installs durable access gates on residential, industrial, and commercial properties. For over eight decades, the people of Oregon have trusted us to supply top-notch equipment at affordable prices. Visit our website to learn more about our products and services, or contact us today.