Every garage is meant to be a safe haven for cars, boats, gardening and sports equipment and other home valuables that are stored in it. At least, it should be. But weather conditions within the garage, which are subjected to more extreme temperature and humidity changes than anywhere else within a home, can wreak havoc on personal items that are stored there. And during severe storms, its often the garage that is flooded first.
This is even more exacerbated if a garage is located in a tropical climate or near water, where the humidity in the air is higher. Living near the ocean is particularly detrimental to certain items because it is also laden with salt, which can be corrosive to certain metals.
Weather elements such as hot humid environments, salt and temperature fluctuations all take a serious toll on garage cabinetry. When choosing storage cabinets for your garage, consideration should be given to selecting those cabinets which will provide the highest level of protection against these elements and longest life expectancy.
Garage cabinets are built from a variety of different raw materials, including wood, powder coated steel, aluminum and stainless steel, all of which respond differently to natural elements and thus, affect the life expectancy of the product. By comparing the features and benefits of the various materials that are available, buyers can find the right garage cabinets to meet their needs.
EXAMINING WOOD CABINETS VS METAL
While wood has the advantage of being built in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and styles, and looks great when installed properly, there are many superior advantages that metal has over wood-based cabinets.
For starters, wood-based cabinets cannot match metal when it comes to the extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity experienced within a garage. Wood expands and contracts as temperature and humidity levels change, which is a reason why warping is a common problem amongst wooden cabinetry. Over time, this expansion and contraction can wreak havoc on cabinets to cause problems in a short span of time. Metals are unaffected by temperature or humidity.
Wood is also less durable than metal cabinets. There is a reason why no mechanics or professional garages utilize wood-based cabinets for their tool storage. Wood based cabinets simply do not hold up in this kind of environment, which is why every automotive service center is equipped with metal tool boxes and cabinets. Metal is virtually indestructible in being able to take a beating and providing the longest service life while keeping the contents of what is stored inside safe and protected.
EXAMINING METAL RAW MATERIAL CHOICES FOR GARAGE CABINETS
ALUMINUM VS POWDER COATED VS STAINLESS STEEL
Aluminum began being used primarily in mobile trailer where having light-weight cabinets is important to reducing towing weights. It is also used in airplanes. As a low-cost raw material that is readily available, aluminum cabinets are much cheaper than steel on average, often by a substantial margin. Aluminum is also easy to clean (although it can tarnish in appearance).
The natural disadvantages of aluminum in being a relatively soft metal means that cabinet surfaces are highly susceptible to dents and scratches. Compared to stainless and steel, the aluminum sheetmetal that is being used in cabinetmaking has the lowest strength characteristics among the three metals. Aluminum also bends more easily when a load is applied, such as loading up a cabinet drawer or a shelf with weight. It is for these reason why aluminum is not the best option as a raw material in metal cabinetry.
When comparing steel versus stainless steel, both raw materials offer superior strength characteristics and are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Powder coated steel cabinets have the advantage of being lower in cost compared to stainless.
Although stainless steel may have the highest cost among all raw materials used in cabinetmaking, no other material compares to its excellent combination of long life, strength and proven corrosion resistance (stainless will not rust, corrode or be affected be affected by contact with automobile fluids, chemicals, cleaners and other items commonly stored in the garage).
Because stainless steel provides the highest level of protection against the elements humidity, salt and temperature fluctuations, and providing the highest return on investment in outlasting all other building materials, they have become the raw material of choice for architects, designers and other trade professionals as the superior choice for use in storage cabinets, particularly those exposed to the elements, such as garages, outdoor kitchens, boathouses, and other similar areas.
CREDITS: The picture at the top was taken of a boathouse in Lake Oswego, Oregon by MCM Construction, Inc. featuring Designer Series Cabinet by VAULT. Here is information about the cabinets their firm:
About MCM Construction, Inc. – It is a special pleasure to own waterfront property, but existing docks take a lot of abuse over the years. When failures start to appear, MCM’s experienced field staff can deliver the solutions. MCM also delivers custom boathouses to complement existing home styles. The balance of artful design and highly-skilled construction blend to ensure a successful project outcome. We can showcase any boat in style, while preserving your investment with long-term protection against the elements. http://www.mcmbuild.com/