Hurricane-rated garage doors are not all the same. But they are all designed to resist elements, like the winds, the pressure, the rain, the wind-borne debris too. With hurricanes comes a lot of water and naturally, the force of the wind is tremendous – although not always the same. There’s a reason why garage doors are designed to meet different wind loads.
The winds during category 5 hurricanes run at about 157 mph – often higher. But even during category 1 hurricanes and when the winds run at about 74-95 mph, the force is inconceivable. The frames of buildings, tree branches, roof shingles, gutters, and anything else that snaps are suddenly flying and become a threat. An impact-rated garage door can protect.
Windborne debris can seriously damage garage doors
Wind-borne debris can seriously damage garage doors. First of all, the surface of garage doors is large and so they become easy targets. Then, wind debris becomes projectiles that can cause severe damage – damage that wouldn’t occur if the winds were not fierce. It makes sense to say that the higher the winds, the more forceful the impact.
The higher the hurricane category, the higher the possibility of damage. That’s because the winds are much more forceful and so the overall damage in adjacent buildings and the surroundings is devastating. All these snapped items, the broken roof gutters, the damaged shingles, all sorts of construction materials, or even trees will move with the winds and fall onto anything that stands in their way. As the hurricane winds swirl, wind debris finds its way against all parts, garage doors included. It goes without saying that the condition of the garage door and the resistance of the garage door both matter at times like that.
Real damage goes beyond the garage door
Wind debris can severely damage the garage door. Even in the lower categories, all these flying items will cause dents – at the very least. The force of the wind – hence, the hurricane category and the exposure of the house, will also define the extent of the damage! The greater the force, the worse the damage. In some cases, there might be only some deformation. In some other cases, the flying debris may penetrate the garage door panel.
An impact-rated garage door can make a difference
Impact-rated garage doors are tested for their resistance to impact. In order to be approved as impact-resistant garage doors, they must be tested that they can stop flying items. That they can resist the impact of projectile items. Their trial is done with a 2X4 board shot against the garage door three times. If the garage door doesn’t have holes bigger than 3” in diameter, it is rated as impact resistant.
The impact rating is separate from the wind rating. The wind ratings are done to meet the requirements of winds running at certain speeds. The impact ratings are to show that the garage door can take a large missile impact without significant damage.
Although it is the wind resistance of the garage door that will minimize the risks of severe damage – hence, home damage, serious problems due to missile impact will also happen if the flying debris penetrates the door. Holes, cracks, and gaps will let rainwater in, risking the possibility of a flood. And then, the combo of impact damage and high winds is bad. The garage door may easier be blown off, leaving room for the winds to come in and destroy the home.
With impact-rated garage doors in good shape, the risks are minimized. There might be some dents but the damage will not be worrisome. And that’s something when there’s a storm or a hurricane, and one of the biggest threats – apart from the wind pressure, is the wind-borne debris.