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.

Strange News From the World of Garage Doors

The curious connection between spiders, Han Solo, and garage doors

When most people think of garage doors, there’s nothing unusual that comes to mind. These doors are very beneficial because they keep the items within a homeowner’s garage safe, and everyone knows that obtaining a timely garage door repair is the best way to ensure proper functionality. However, some recent news stories have highlighted the fact that garage doors can sometimes be involved in highly unexpected incidents that go far beyond their important but basic task.

The Biggest Spiderweb in Britain?

October is the perfect time for creepy news, and it seems like one spider in the U.K. was determined to take advantage of this timing in order to make a bold statement. Homeowner Russell Harding walked outside a few weeks ago and was completely shocked by the seemingly sudden appearance of a spiderweb that’s approximately 6 feet wide and tall. This monstrous creation was being guarded by a humongous spider that was sitting calmly in the middle. One of the things that’s so fascinating about this story is the fact that the spider built his new home on Harding’s garage door, and the arachnid also blocked the door’s handle as if it knew that doing so could potentially protect its massive web.

A Garage Door Led to an Injury on the Set of the New Star Wars Movie

Han Solo survived multiple encounters with Darth Vader relatively unscathed, but a garage door became his undoing in June 2014 when actor Harrison Ford broke his ankle while filming Episode VII near London at Pinewood Studios. This injury forced the production of the movie to temporarily come to a halt while Ford was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Filming started again a short time later, but Ford had to undergo a surgical procedure and several weeks of physical therapy in order to be prepared to portray Han Solo again. Several rumors have been leaked from the set regarding the exact nature of Ford’s injury, and it seems very likely that a garage door was being utilized as part of the Millennium Falcon. If this is true, it sounds like the former smuggler and member of the Rebel Alliance might have some deferred garage door maintenance that needs to be attended to by a professional repair company.

Although most homeowners are unlikely to encounter massive spider webs and injuries caused by a garage door that’s filling in for part of a spaceship, it’s still important to get any damage repaired immediately. If you need a garage door repair in the Portland, OR, area, we’re here to help. Call us or fill out the contact form on our website to receive assistance from our team of highly trained professionals.

What to Do When Your Garage Door Opens by Itself

Tackling the problem of phantom garage door operation

Improve your garage door security

Getting up in the morning to find that your garage door has mysteriously opened on its own is a disconcerting experience. Known as “phantom operation,” this rare occurrence poses a potential security hazard for your home and should be dealt with immediately.

Potential Causes of Garage Door Problems

Since garage doors operate on electric circuits, the most common cause of phantom operation is an electrical malfunction. Electrical surges during storms may damage the transmitter, or there could be a short in the circuit board. Wall buttons, wiring, and remote openers can also develop a short.

Defective garage opener remotes or those with dying batteries may send out random signals, causing the door to open when it shouldn’t. Leaving your remote in a drawer stuffed with junk can also be a problem because it may get activated by accident. Rarely is phantom operation the cause of someone else’s remote opening your door. There are millions of code combinations, so the chances of unintentionally activating another door are slim.

Another rare but possible cause is equipment in the house or at a nearby site operating on the same frequency as your garage door. Since determining whether this is happening can be difficult, it’s a good idea to eliminate other possibilities before trying to find the offending equipment.

Troubleshooting Phantom Operation

If a power surge is the cause of your garage door’s mysterious behavior, you’ll need to call in the pros. However, if you suspect something else, you can try addressing the problem yourself first. The easiest thing to do is change the batteries in the opener. Test the remote to ensure it’s working properly and wait to see if your garage door stays closed when it should. If not, select a new opener code and test everything again. Store the opener in a place where the buttons can’t accidentally be pressed to avoid random activation of the garage door.

In a situation where you can’t pinpoint the cause of the phantom operation, be sure to disconnect the circuits that operate your garage door whenever you’re out of the house. This will prevent the door from opening until you get home, minimizing the security risk of this troubling situation.

At the Overhead Door Company of Portland, we know how annoying garage door problems can be. If you’ve done everything you know how to do and your garage is still opening up by itself, give us a call. Our specialists will assess the problem and get it fixed quickly to prevent further annoyance. Request a quote or schedule repairs today and let us restore sanity to your Portland, OR, home.

Comparing Fiberglass and Steel Garage Doors

Choosing the best garage doors for your home

Steel garage doors are durable and inexpensiveHow do you define your home? For many Portland homeowners, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. While having a firm interior decorating hand is certainly important for folks who want their homes to stand out, it’s important not to neglect your home’s exterior. That’s why the distinction between fiberglass and steel garage doors is so important. You might be surprised by some of the differences!

What’s a Steel Garage Door?

As the name implies, steel garage doors are made from high-quality steel that’s designed to handle any demands placed on it. Steel garage doors tend to be heavier than their fiberglass counterparts and can be painted or finished to enhance their appearance. If appearance isn’t a major concern, steel doors can also be left in a “natural” state and still look great.

Steel doors are quite durable and tend to be less expensive than other options. Many of our products come with lifetime warranties, and we’re committed to offering long-term guarantees on all of our steel doors. In addition to their legendary durability, some of our steel doors boast high-tech insulation that reduces energy usage and boosts comfort in all seasons. Those with polyurethane and vinyl or steel backing feature impressive R-values of six or more.

What’s a Fiberglass Garage Door?

Fiberglass doors are lightweight, attractive, affordable, and durable products that offer many of the same advantages as steel. They tend to resist corrosion and other types of wear better than steel and don’t come with an unfinished look. In fact, some fiberglass doors are made to mimic wood doors. They may also offer better insulation and come with fewer maintenance requirements than other door types. However, it’s important to understand their higher upfront cost.

Which Is Right for Your Home?

Both types of doors have a bevy of benefits for Portland-area homeowners, but your choice will come down to considerations that may be unique to your circumstances:

• Homeowners who prefer lighter doors may go with fiberglass
• Homeowners on a budget may prefer steel doors
• Homeowners looking for an attractive, wood-inspired finish may prefer fiberglass
• Steel may be best for commercial settings

Find Fiberglass and Steel Garage Doors at Competitive Prices in Portland, OR

No matter what type of garage door you’re searching for, you’ve come to the right place. We offer an impressive lineup of products and solutions for just about every garage. If you’d like to explore your options for overhead doors, we’d be happy to chat with you for as long as it takes. To learn more about what we can do for you, call us or fill out our online contact form.

Your Garage Shouldn’t Double as a Freezer

Use garage door insulation to improve your energy efficiencyYour garage might be a great place to store a spare freezer, but it shouldn’t actually be cold enough to serve as one. If a bag of peas will stay frozen inside your parked car for a week in winter, you might want to consider boosting your energy efficiency with an insulated garage door. Besides keeping your car warmer on harsh winter mornings and cooler on hot summer afternoons, garage door insulation provides a number of other great benefits.

Save Money on Energy Costs

Low winter temperatures can be harsh to your skin, your senses, and your budget. According to the EPA, an insulated garage door on an attached garage can help regulate the temperature in adjacent rooms, thereby increasing the energy efficiency of your entire home. When combined with the thermal protection from insulation inside your home’s walls, an insulated garage door complete with proper garage door seals helps prevent heat and cold transfer and reduces the demand on your HVAC system. Garage door insulation is especially helpful if you decide to heat or cool your garage.

Waste Time in Comfort Year-Round

If you’re like most people, your garage is far more than a place to park your car. It’s one of the largest spaces in your home, so you might as well make the most of it. It’s great extra storage space, but if you want to have some fun, make it a workshop, a recreation room, or just a place to waste time doing nothing. An insulated garage door will make your hideaway a more comfortable environment year-round, so you won’t have frozen fingers while you’re building your own ukulele, and you won’t drip sweat into the clay when you’re sculpting a bust of your favorite superhero. If you like working with power tools, there’s an added bonus: An insulated garage door also helps block sound. You’ll hear less traffic noise when you’re seeking privacy, and your family will hear less from your chainsaw while you’re creating your masterpiece.

Avoid Garage Freezer Burn With Help From Overhead Door

The Overhead Door Company of Portland, OR, has been providing garage door maintenance and installation services for homes and businesses since 1929, and we understand how the climate can affect both your comfort level and your budget. Our insulated garage doors feature Thermacore technology and our patented sandwich construction to provide the highest R-value levels and thermal efficiency. At Overhead Door, we’re here to save you time and money, and we stand behind our work for the life of your insulated garage door. Contact us today to see how we can make your garage less like the tundra and more like an extension of your home.

Is Your Garage Door a Standout or a Sore Thumb?

How to know if your garage door adds to your home’s aesthetic value

Your garage door should make your parking and storage space more accessible and more attractive. Unfortunately, too many homeowners are stuck with garage doors that stick out like sore thumbs. Replacing a garage door that sticks out for all the wrong reasons is a great way to boost your home’s aesthetic value and make a beautiful impression on your neighborhood.

Does Your Garage Door Stand Out or Stick Out?

Maybe you’ve never spent much time thinking about what your garage door looks like. Its real purpose is to protect your possessions and provide you with easy access to your garage, so it might not seem important to pick a door that offers aesthetic value. However, it’s important to remember that the outside appearance of your home can have a big impact on its curb appeal and overall value. If you’re ready to make over your home’s exterior, the garage door is a great place to start.

Before you decide to replace an old garage door, take the time to determine whether its style, materials, and coloring is in line with that of your home. As you drive by your house from the street, does the garage door look natural or does it stand out from the rest of the home? Is your garage door made from materials that simply don’t complement your home’s architecture? If it seems that your garage door sticks out from the rest of your house, it’s likely a good idea to search for a replacement.

Choosing the Right Garage Door for Your Home

As you shop, remember that it’s essential to pick a garage door that complements your home’s overall style. The following garage door styles are among the most popular:

Victorian/Colonial: These doors are generally made from solid wood panels and feature decorative hardware meant to mimic the look of an old stable or coach house.

Arts and Crafts: These doors are constructed from multiple panels with raised sections and simple windows meant to make the most of natural light.

Ranch Style: These plain doors tend to be constructed of horizontal slats and feature simple hardware meant to complement the style of almost any home.

Contemporary/Modern: This style encompasses many different types of doors made from materials and hardware designed to make a statement. Stained woods and prominent windows are often featured in these types of doors.

Of course, it’s also important to pick a garage door that’s made from materials that are suitable for our climate. Today’s manufacturers offer durable, weatherproof door options that are also aesthetically striking. Stop by the Overhead Door Company of Portland today to explore your options and find a standout garage door for your home.

Is Your Garage Door Ready For Climate Change?

Extreme weather takes advantage of weak garage doors

Are your garage doors ready for the shifting seasons?

Climate change has had a major impact on Oregon’s weather and could produce even greater effects in the future. The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that Portland will experience hot, dry summer conditions and unusually wet winters. This harsh weather has the potential to put many homes at risk. If your garage doors aren’t durable enough, climate change could easily harm your house, garage, or vehicle.

Hot Weather

Greenhouse gases have the power to raise temperatures throughout the year. Unfortunately, excessive heat can cause wooden doors to warp or crack. The city of Portland warns that summer electricity prices could increase as residents use more air conditioners and as droughts hobble hydroelectric plants. You can minimize cooling costs by installing adequate garage door insulation.


As the climate changes, heavy rainstorms could become more common in the winter. A report from the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute predicts that coastal floods will increase. Proper garage door maintenance can reduce a building’s vulnerability to moisture. If you have a wooden door, you’ll need to paint or varnish it more often to prevent decay.


The EPA also warns that changing conditions could bolster pest populations in Oregon. It’s vital to stop insects and rodents from using your garage door as an entryway, especially if the garage connects to your living quarters. Some pests will stay outside if the door has weather stripping and a good seal at the bottom. Metal units offer better protection from wood-boring insects.


During recent years, summer droughts and heat waves triggered a number of wildfires in and around Portland. Invasive pests could make the situation worse by damaging trees. It’s important to seal any gaps around your garage’s entrances, since they could allow sparks to blow indoors. You can also decrease your home’s vulnerability to fire by purchasing sturdy steel doors.


The same winds that aid wildfires could harm your garage door by striking it with projectiles. Powerful gusts may also knock the door off its track and put your vehicle or lawn equipment at risk. To avoid this kind of damage, install wind-resistant doors with no windows. These heavy-duty units stand up to almost any severe weather and protect the entire building from strong storms.

If you’re concerned about a door’s ability to withstand harsh conditions or shield you from extreme temperatures, Overhead Door Company of Portland can help. Our staff provides professional garage door maintenance and installation services in western Oregon. We offer highly durable products at competitive prices. For more information or to schedule service, visit our website today.