Hurricane season has begun and forecasters are predicting above average activity this year.
To help minimize potential storm damage to your home, it’s important to have a garage door that can withstand flying debris and excessive wind speeds.
How do you know if your garage door meets local building code requirements for wind load?
Look for the label on the inside of the door.
Garage doors are required to have a permanent label showing the manufacturer, model/series number, positive and negative design pressure rating, and applicable test standard.
These labels are particularly helpful if you are buying an existing home and may even help lower the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Here’s why:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified the loss of garage doors as one of the major factors contributing to hurricane storm damage in homes.
The sheer size of a garage door makes it susceptible to high winds. If the door fails or is ripped out of the track, air rushes inside and pressurizes the garage, which can blow the roof off the house and collapse the walls.
Wind-rated garage doors help protect your house.
A reinforced garage door is the best way to prevent high winds from entering your home.
The air pressure inside the garage after the door was ripped out of the opening caused the roof to blow out.
Clopay WindCode® garage doors have built-in reinforcement. No additional posts or pins are required. Owners simply have to lock the door to secure it.
Clopay WindCode garage doors have t-struts for reinforcement on the inside of the door.
A local Clopay dealer is familiar with local building regulations and can also inspect your current door to see if it’s up to code.
If your house has weathered a previous hurricane, it’s important to have your garage door checked to make sure none of the moving parts were damaged or weakened.
No need to sacrifice style for safety
If you are shopping for a hurricane-rated garage door, whether building a new house or just looking to improve its curb appeal, there are a number of new styles and materials to consider.
Inside Clopay’s test chamber, where a 9 lb. 2” x 4” is shot out of a canon at impact-resistant windows. Impact-rated windows can withstand 350 foot-pounds of impact energy.
First, a reinforced garage door doesn’t have to look like a wall of steel. With impact resistant windows, you can add both a decorative touch to the door and natural light in the garage.
The exact style you’re able to install will depend on where you live and your local building code requirements. For instance in Florida, the WindCode® rating will decrease as you move farther inland from the shoreline.
Clopay has the largest number of residential garage door models with Florida product approvals and Miami Dade County notices of acceptance.
Clopay Canyon Ridge (5-Layer) carriage house garage doors with built-in WindCode reinforcement. The doors look like real wood but are actually composite.
If you live along the coast, faux wood garage doors are a popular option as they mimic the look of natural wood but are moisture-resistant and won’t warp, rot or crack in the elements.
From a carriage house design to Clopay’s Modern Steel door — which is approved for use in Miami Dade County in South Florida — the options are abundant when it comes to selecting a stylish reinforced garage door.
Clopay Modern Steel garage door with windows down one side.
Save money on insurance premiums with impact-rated garage doors
Homeowners who want to go one step further than a wind-rated garage door should consider one with an impact rating. An impact rating means the garage door will still operate even after it’s been hit by debris or even impaled by a two-by-four.
Such strength and durability in a garage door safeguards the entire house to an extent that often warrants a discount on your homeowners insurance premium. If you install an impact-rated door, ask your insurance company about possible savings on your policy.
Even if a reinforced garage door isn’t required in your area, it might bring you peace of mind to have the added protection for you house. High winds and storms are unpredictable and can appear out of nowhere, anywhere. If buying a new garage door is on your to-do list, think about the advantages of a reinforced door.
Keep your garage door working during a power outage
If you are replacing your garage door, it may also be time to upgrade to a battery back-up garage door opener, so you can get in and out of the garage even if the power goes out.
Garage door openers are manufactured and sold separately from the garage door itself.
Clopay recommends LiftMaster brand and there are several models to choose from.
It’s also good to know how to manually open your garage door, just in case.