Is your garage door in a solid piece, or is it in sections? You know what I mean. A solid piece door is rigid throughout the entire height and width of the garage door. When you hit the button on the automatic garage door opener, the entire door swings up in one piece, and when you put it down, it acts the exact same way.

A sectional garage door does not have to flip way out to open or close. Hinged in three or four sections, it seems to remain straight up and down when it raises and lowers in its garage door track, hugging the contours of the curve.

Not many years ago, solid piece flip-up doors were the industry standard and the sectioned type of automatic garage door was mostly seen in commercial facilities. But now, most new houses are built with sectional doors.

So, the question is, which type of door do you have and should you upgrade?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Flip-Up Doors

The main advantage to a flip-up door is an aesthetic one, and a matter of opinion at that. This style of door comes in one piece, and a solid one piece wood door can be very attractive, utilizing design elements that can’t be achieved in a sectional. The flip up garage door is seen as a bit of a retro look and if you are going for that architectural style then this may be for you. The flip up also uses tension springs on both sides, not one (or two) large torsion springs. Some may see this as an advantage as tension springs are cheaper to replace.

The disadvantages are many. First, because of weight, a flip-up door is pretty much limited to wood. A steel door would be far too heavy for one piece, and an aluminum door would be far too fragile. Even made of wood, this type of door can be extremely heavy, as anyone who has had to lift one by hand can attest. Wood also can succumb to the elements easier than other materials, and holes and dry rot are common.

The fulcrum of the rise and fall of a solid door can also be a problem. One piece means that the door requires horizontal space equal to about half the height of the door to raise and lower. In other words, the door has to swing out about three feet to raise and lower. This can cause the door to clip objects that are near, such as vehicles, or even possibly pets and family members.

The last disadvantage I’ll mention is that the physics of raising and lowering a single, heavy unit over and over again can cause stress in a flip-up not found in a sectional door. While the weight is distributed relatively evenly on a sectioned door, in a flip-up door, the stress increases at the center. This causes this type of door to fall apart much easier. Basically, it eventually cracks under its own weight.

Should I Upgrade to a Sectional Door?

Of course, it’s up to you, but the answer is probably yes. Does your door need to be replaced now? If it does, replace it with a more energy-efficient sectional garage door. If not, you can probably wait until it does need replacing to proceed with your upgrade.

Author's Bio: 

San Jose Garage Door Repair provides professional garage door repair and opener service for San Jose, California. Feel free to contact us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for friendly, courteous, affordable garage door repair San Jose. We look forward to serving you and earning your business.