The exterior doors of your home must be able to stand up to the elements of wind, rain, snow, ice and hail. Your exterior doors must also be strong enough to keep intruders out and protect your family and personal belongings inside while standing up to constant use. Exterior doors come in a wide variety of materials and styles, but the strongest exterior doors will last the longest and provide the best measure of security for your home.
Wood has been the first choice of home builders for generations, and it is an option that can offer exceptional strength. Some wood doors are made with inexpensive wood veneers and a hollow core, but solid wood doors made from sturdy wood like oak or walnut can last for decades with proper care and maintenance. Wood is a natural product that adds elegance and allows you to keep with the style of a traditional home. In some cases, wood can be susceptible to water damage, wood rot and potential warping that may compromise the seal and interfere with normal functioning. Properly sealing and protecting a solid wood door can enhance its strength and durability for years to come.
As the name implies, fiberglass is a material made out of very fine glass fibers that are bonded together with resin and can be molded into any shape. AsktheBuilder.com indicates that fiberglass exterior doors are resistant to cracking, chipping, denting and warping. Unlike wood doors, fiberglass doors typically do not need to be stained or painted to maintain them over the years. Fiberglass offers strength and durability, and the composite material stands up well to the elements of wind, rain and temperature fluctuations. Fiberglass doors can be made to simulate a wood grain that looks similar to the real thing, and fiberglass door manufacturers offer a variety of colors and patterns to choose from.
Steel is a popular choice for exterior doors in both residential homes and commercial buildings, because steel is inherently strong. IverHCarlson.com cautions that mass produced steel doors do come in a number of different thickness levels that can affect the strength. Higher gauge steel typically translates to a thinner, more lightweight steel that is prone to bending, flexing and denting easily. Solid steel doors offer superior strength and durability over steel doors made with two panels bonded together, and most steel doors are treated to resist rusting and paint chips. Steel doors can also offer fire protection, and proper installation can render the door nearly impenetrable.
- Photo Credit front door image by Derek Abbott from Fotolia.com
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