Hurricane season is in full swing, and recent scares like Dorian have many homeowners double-checking whether they have hurricane-proof garage doors. Longtime residents and newcomers alike are haunted by memories of catastrophic storms like Andrew, Irene, and Wilma. 

Fortunately, building codes have come a long way since Hurricane Andrew caused more than $27 billion in damage, up to 80 percent of which was due to garage door failures, according to one estimate. While it may seem natural to assume that any garage door will do, it’s imperative that those living in hurricane-prone areas make sure their garage doors are made to withstand hurricanes. 

Garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage. Experts say that because of their size, garage doors can be more easily forced out of their openings. When high winds cause a garage door to fail, hurricane-force winds can enter the home, causing an unstable buildup of pressure. This pressure causes windows to blow out and the roof to blow off.

Among the new building codes introduced after the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Andrew was the wind code. Nowadays, all installed garage doors in South Florida need to comply with hurricane-resistant regulations and standards. Garage doors perform a crucial job.

In the past, hurricane garage doors needed to be built in a way that necessitated homeowners reinstall beams and support after every hurricane or tropical storm. Now, wind-resistant garage doors have adequate support structures that withstand positive and negative pressures created by a hurricane or other strong weather events. 

These doors are also referred to as impact garage doors or hurricane resistant garage doors, and they are the best way to protect your home from catastrophic damage. Some impact doors can withstand winds of more than 200 miles per hour, which is greater than those of a category 5 hurricane.

Here are the tips that South Florida homeowners need when selecting impact-resistant garage doors. 

Buying a hurricane resistant garage door

Choose a door certified to meet your city’s wind load requirements

Garage doors are rated on a scale between W1 and W8, withstanding wind gusts ranging from 90 to 180 miles per hour. In Palm Beach County, doors are required to have a wind load requirement of 140 miles per hour. Local building code officials can provide update information; we can help with this information during a consultation as well. 

If you have recently moved into your home, always have a qualified technician determine whether your garage door is up to code.

Choose the style of your door: 

Ocean Impact garage doors are manufactured with heat and impact-resistant glass and heavy aluminum frames. We can help you select a door that matches your home’s architectural style and budget, and one that also meets local building codes.

Consider energy-saving potential: 

In most cases, any additional upfront cost of selecting an impact garage door is offset by energy savings (not to mention hurricane damage protection). Additionally, home insurance companies usually offer a discount for impact windows and doors. 

Don’t DIY: 

This is one job to leave to the professionals because they help ensure a safe and accurate installation, which means your impact garage door meets building codes and will protect your home against hurricane winds. Professional installation also keeps the manufacturer’s warranty intact in case you run into any problems in the future.

If you would like to learn more about impact garage doors or are in the market, contact us today for an estimate. At Ocean Impact, we pride ourselves on providing quality impact windows and doors and installing them with the utmost care.