Because of this, we often have conversations with customers about the differences between uninsulated and insulated garage doors and share our experiences with them regarding this important topic.
Most garage doors are 1, 2, or 3-layer construction. What does this mean? If the door is a single layer construction, it is manufactured with only an outer layer of steel, which is what everyone sees from the outside of the house or building. A 2-layer door has an additional layer of foam or vinyl backed insulation on the interior surface of the door. A 3-layer door is built with an additional interior layer of steel. With a 3-layer door, the insulation is sandwiched between an interior later of steel and an exterior layer of steel.
Single and 2-layer garage doors can be a good option for applications where the door does not get a lot of use and a lighter, less robust door is fine. This is especially true if the door is going to be opened and closed manually (i.e., without an opener).
By contrast, if the door will get a good amount of regular use and an opener is going to be used with it, as is the case with most residential homes, a 3-layer door is the way to go. What we see frequently with uninsulated doors with openers is that over time these doors fail in the center where the garage door opener arm attaches to the door. The pulling and pushing by the opener and arm over time frequently causes the structural part of an uninsulated door to fail. We have seen the top and even the second from top sections crease in the middle and even crack and break.
This type of structural problem eventually leads to a catastrophic failure of the door and can be dangerous. There are two options if this happens. The homeowner can either purchase new replacement sections or replace the entire garage door.
To avoid these types of issues, we normally recommend purchasing an insulated 3-layer garage door. In addition to being a much stronger, more robustly built door, an insulated garage door helps with heat and cold transfer and noise deadening. And because we sell and install so many of the 3-layer insulated doors, we are able to offer a price on those that is right around the same cost as an uninsulated door.
In the end, we believe that a 3-layer insulated garage door provides superior structural integrity, heat and cold protection, and noise deadening capabilities. At a similar price point to an uninsulated door, an insulated door is a better value all around.
We carry a large selection of garage doors, so if you have any questions or need to explore a project, contact us today! We are here to help.