If you are thinking about replacing your automatic door for your garage because of a breakdown or because you want a newer model, but you don't know much about garage doors, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

How Can One Determine the Thermal Efficiency of a Garage Door? -- When you are shopping for a new automatic garage door and you want to know how well your door is insulated, look for the R-Value of the door. An R-Value is the amount of resistance that a material has to the flow of heat, and the greater the R-Value, the greater the level of insulation. R-Values are usually printed on automatic garage doors or on the manual, but if you can't find it, ask the manufacturer or retailer for the figure.

What Kind of Insulation Material Is Installed In Garage Doors? -- Most garage doors are insulated with polyurethane, but some off-brand doors still feature polystyrene. Polyurethane is a high-end material that offers better insulation than polystyrene, which is commonly known as styrofoam. One measure of the quality of an automatic garage door is the type of insulation material used, and the presence of styrofoam is a strong indication that the garage door isn't made up to standards. Polyurethane is a plastic material that is made hard or flexible depending on its application. It is used as insulation for refrigerators, buildings, furniture, auto parts and even the soles of shoes.

Does Buying a Steel Garage Door Offer Any Benefits? -- Steel garage doors are tough, durable and have a higher tensile strength than wood or vinyl. Tensile strength measures the ability of a surface or material to withstand pressure or weight before it breaks apart. Steel automatic garage doors are naturally fire-resistant and they can last a longer time than wood or vinyl, especially if you opt for a galvanised steel garage door, which is hot-dipped in molten zinc that has natural anti-corrosive properties. And unlike wood garage doors, steel doors won't harbour termites or other destructive cellulose-seeking insects, and if you are in love with the idea of a wood garage door, you can buy a steel door that has a faux timber finish.

Does One Need a Wind Load Garage Door? -- Wind load garage doors are required in some areas in which high winds are a constant problem. These types of doors are built with additional material such as posts and reinforcing struts that can stand up to high winds. Your garage door contractor will be able to tell you if you need a wind load garage door, but remember that wind load garage doors are typically more expensive than standard-built doors.