Hurricane garage doors are constructed for one main reason. To resist and protect during a hurricane. And while not all of them are the same, they must all meet the local building codes. And they do have features, which distinguish them from the average residential garage doors.
Which are the main features of hurricane garage doors?
- The garage door tracks and the brackets are extremely durable, made of low-steel gauge – meaning they are extra strong.
- Their panels are constructed solid to be strong and are impact rated for high resistance against the winds.
- Extra strong garage door springs, rollers – all components and the hardware.
- Horizontal struts made of steel designed to increase resistance and provide additional support.
There are ‘add-on’ and ‘storm ready’ reinforced garage doors, too.
- ‘Add-on’ garage doors must be reinforced by the homeowners when they get notified about an upcoming storm. Long posts are placed behind the door to reinforce its resistance and are removed when the threat is gone.
- ‘Storm ready’ systems are already reinforced. The system is engaged as soon as the garage door is locked.
Which reinforced garage door system is best for you?
Overall, the ‘storm ready’ system is better, especially if we are talking about a garage door not often used. It’s a must if this is the garage door of a rental or the family’s vacation home since it will remain resistant all the time is locked. It makes sense to say that such systems are more expensive than their ‘add-on’ counterparts but also spare you the hassle of rushing to reinforce the garage door every time a storm is coming. How about if you are away from home at that time? How about if you are truly away, in vacation? Wouldn’t it be good to know your home is safe?
Wind codes per location
To choose the right wind load garage door, you need to know the wind load requirements at your location. That’s one more special feature of hurricane garage doors, they are rated based on the wind load. The wind speed is calculated in miles per hour. For example, coastal and seaward areas in Texas, where the wind speed may exceed 130 MPH, garage doors must be resistant enough to withstand at least a 3-minute wind gust. Moving inland the wind speed decreases and so is the need for high resistance, but still garage doors must be made by impact resistant materials. The choice of the garage door is also done based on the wind pressure (calculating both positive and negative pressures).
What to do before you choose a reinforced impact rated garage door
The very first thing to do is check with your local authorities to see the local building requirements. It makes a difference if you live on the coast or inland.
Since the exposure to the winds is not always the same, you need to check some things with your home. One major element that will influence your decision on the garage door is whether this is a one- or two-story home. The higher it is, the more vulnerable. Also, it has to do with its structure, condition, exposure to the elements.
What you need to remember that the higher the W (wind load) category, the higher the garage door’s pressure rating – that’s usually from W1 to W8, and has to do with the home’s exposure.
If all that is a puzzle for you, don’t choose randomly. Better make a call to a local garage door company. They will tell you the local requirements too. And one more thing. It’s good to remember that a hurricane garage door with all the necessary features for your location is as good and as strong as the way it is installed and serviced. So, make sure the opener works and the garage door locks and the tracks are replaced when they are damaged. It’s not enough to get the right hurricane garage door features but also keep them in good shape too.