Understanding Garage Door Wind Loads and Ratings
Garage doors placed on homes in coastal and other storm–prone areas should be rated to withstand high wind loads. These hurricane–rated garage doors help protect the space and increase the lifespan of the door. Understanding wind loads and how they relate to garage doors can help you choose the right door for your home.
The Danger of High Winds
High winds during storms present two dangers. The first is flying debris. These objects act as projectiles that can damage doors and knock them off their tracks. The second is wind load, which isn’t exactly the same as wind speed. Wind speed is (not surprisingly) the speed at which the wind is moving. Wind load is the pressure the wind puts on a structure—in this case, a garage door.
When the pressure becomes too great for a garage door, the door can buckle and fall off the tracks. In the worst-case scenario, the door can fully detach from the tracks and even become irreparably damaged in the process. If you live in an area with severe storms, it’s in your best interest to have a garage door that is rated to withstand heavy wind loads.
Understanding Wind Load
When high winds hit the side of the structure that the garage door is placed on, the wind creates a significant amount of pressure on the door. The pressure placed on the garage door is the wind load, which is calculated using many factors:
- Wind speed
- Wind direction
- The height of the structure
- The surface area of the door
- The slope of the roof
- The objects placed around the houses (particularly on the side of it)
- The building’s internal pressure
These many factors combine to determine the amount of pressure (wind load) on the door.
What is Wind Rating
The amount of pressure the door can withstand is its wind rating. Wind ratings are determined by local building codes and stringent testing that determines if a door is suited for certain storms, wind speeds, etc. Two of the best and most stringent tests for hurricane-rated doors are the Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance and the Florida Building Code product approval. These tests measure a garage door’s high–velocity wind load capability and impact rating.
If you need a hurricane–rated door for your home, look for doors that meet these standards.
Impact Windows Are Also Recommended
While the door itself may be able to resist buckling, you’ll also want windows that will not be easily shattered under the immense pressure of the wind or from flying debris. These impact windows are made of highly resistant glass that is rated by the same building codes as hurricane–rated garage doors.
Need a strong garage door for your home? CAMBEK has your solution! Our doors meet the Miami-Dade standards for hurricane ratings. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our custom options.