Fiberglass vs. steel entry doors?

I've googled all the info I can find but no one seems to have a definitive answer for my specific question.
We have a south facing front entry that gets blasted by the SoCal sun in the morning. Wood doors do not survive it. So we're looking at either fiberglass or steel.
Conventional wisdom seems to be that steel is stronger (more secure) and less likely to warp with weather but fiberglass looks better. I'm wondering which holds up against the beating sun better. My concern over fiberglass is sort of the same as my experience with boats -- you have to keep em waxed and covered or the fiberglass dies quickly.
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Purple Moose
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I think you have it sized up accurately PM. A fiberglass door can be very strong though not as strong as a good metal one. All doors need to be maintained. The fiberglass takes a gel stain to work on it.
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Can be any oil stain http://www.masonite.com/PRODUCT_GUIDE/PDF/Fiberglass_Staining.pdf
Can be painted: a.. All designs are offered with a paintable, incredibly smooth surface or Masonite's new stainable wood-grain texture - providing an authentic hardwood door appearance
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You paint the fiberglass so it needs no special treatment that a painted door would not have.
Steel doors cannot be painted dark colors if they face the sun. I don't know about fiberglass. My son painted his metal door a dark green and behind the storm door it would get hot enough to burn you. My white steel door does not have that problem
Have you checked the Masonite web page? They have some nice doors.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

faces north no sun. i also crack the glass open(storm door) a little at the top.
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We had a wooden door which was painted black and it cooked every summer since we leave our storm door installed year round.
Painting the door white has helped, but we still have a door which gets very warm and will have problems eventually due to the "greenhouse" effect. I'm planning on purchasing a storm door from Home Depot which has a hidden screen which rolls down as you lower the top sash of the storm window in the storm door. Several of our neighbors have had great luck with this storm door design.
I intend to leave the top sash down about 2-4" in the summer. I'm hoping that will vent the space between the doors reasonably well and prevent the extreme temperatures. The 4" screened gap on the storm door shouldn't be a great AC or heating loss when we leave the main wooden door open on brief occasions.
Gideon
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Well, one of our painted solid wood doors literally had the finish baked right off it in little over a year. The heat also shrank some of the crossmembers to the point where there were gaps you could see through. The door we have now (solid oak) I refinished at the end of last summer using a a high quality UV resistant outdoor stain and a UV outdoor poly top coat. It's already flaking off.
I do not want to be painting doors every year.
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Purple Moose
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Take the new door to a body shop and get an automotive paint on it. Cars sit in the sun and last a long time compared to house paint.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I have the same problem as the OP with my wood entrance door, and have been looking for a good replacement for a couple of years. Couldn't decide between fiberglas or steel, because of the constant sun maintenance problems. It needs painting every year too, but I ignore it more than I should.
This sounds like a great idea! Hope I can find someone to do it for me. Thanks! bj
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I'm just guessing here, but I'll bet that the auto paint will cook also. I think that the temperatures on a dark door covered by a storm door are much greater than those on an auto finish. Imagine the difference for your auto finish if your car were wrapped in a non- vented glass envelop a few inches from its surface every day while baking in the sun. Combine that with the fact that there would be a very big difference between the excellent factory finish on a car and an aftermarket car paint finish applied to the house door.
Also, the incremental difference for the steel door manufacturer to switch to auto grade paints would be very small compared to the current problems that they have with customer complaints about the "baked door" syndrome. If the auto paint provided much relieve, then I'd assume that the steel door manufacturers would spend the extra few dollars to use auto paint at the factory. I would also guess that the door manufacturers are already investing a lot of money in paint research.
Gideon
======= Edwin Pawlowski wrote in message ...

Take the new door to a body shop and get an automotive paint on it. Cars sit in the sun and last a long time compared to house paint.
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Oops - footnote to my original post.
I didn't consider 2 part epoxy auto finishes. This are probably more durable, but they still could have problems. It is difficult to obtain any finish which expands and contracts at the same rate as the underlying steel. This creates shear forces which will undermine the adhesion between the paint and the metal surface.
I'm just guessing here, but I'll bet that the auto paint will cook also. I think that the temperatures on a dark door covered by a storm door are much greater than those on an auto finish. Imagine the difference for your auto finish if your car were wrapped in a non- vented glass envelop a few inches from its surface every day while baking in the sun. Combine that with the fact that there would be a very big difference between the excellent factory finish on a car and an aftermarket car paint finish applied to the house door.
Also, the incremental difference for the steel door manufacturer to switch to auto grade paints would be very small compared to the current problems that they have with customer complaints about the "baked door" syndrome. If the auto paint provided much relieve, then I'd assume that the steel door manufacturers would spend the extra few dollars to use auto paint at the factory. I would also guess that the door manufacturers are already investing a lot of money in paint research.
Gideon
======= Edwin Pawlowski wrote in message ...

Take the new door to a body shop and get an automotive paint on it. Cars sit in the sun and last a long time compared to house paint.
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It seems to work on steel automobiles.

Your dashboard can easily hit 150+ and things inside are painted.

Perhaps, but what colors? Homeowners generally buy a door for style and if steel it is primed from the factory. How many colors should they offer and how many will your local distribution system stock? Opens a big world of inventory and expenses. It would be nice if they at least offered white and they you could trim in a different color if you'd like.
I do know of a couple of doors that have been painted by a body shop. They are still in perfect condition after 15 years, but they do not get much direct sun so it is not a fully fair comparison.
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wrote:

I would think that a bit of automotive engine paint would last like forever on a door, especially if you prime it first. .
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you can't get a factory finish in the color you want, call around to local body shops and see if any will be willing to paint and bake a finish on a new steel door for you. (ie, buy a prehung or a blank, machine as needed, and then take in to have painted.) Local body shop I use did that to the doors on their shop, and they look great. If door won't stand the heat of baking oven, powder-coating also provides a good hard finish.
aem sends....
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I was thinking along the same lines. Probably should get something that matches the (planned) new garage doors.

Interesting idea. Thanks.
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Purple Moose
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aluminum clad wood is a nice attractive solution used a lot here in NM where we have some fierce S sun too. There are lots of doors with colored anodized exteriors, and natural wood core/interiors. You may want to also consider adding aprtico or awning to reduce the hours of direct sun pounding.
d
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