Coastal homeowners are familiar with how damaging a hurricane can be to their homes. The combination of wind and water can be destructive. In the last two decades, building codes and requirements have been strengthened to ensure that homes and other buildings are ready to face hurricane winds. What does this mean for homeowners, and how do homeowners protect their homes from these devastating hurricane winds?
A great place to start is with the garage door.
Why the garage door?
Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) experts say “the loss of a garage door during a hurricane can lead to an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in the blowout of a house’s roof and supporting walls.” A reinforced garage door that can handle higher wind load requirements reduces the risk of structural damage to a home.
What are wind load requirements?
When an area has a wind load requirement, building materials like garage doors must meet and be tested to uphold structural integrity up to a certain wind speed. Wind load requirements vary by area, and homeowners should check their local building codes for their wind load requirement.
Dr. Steve Lyons, Hurricane Expert at The Weather Channel, says, “Wind pressure is often the most devastating culprit in a hurricane. A Category 3 hurricane with winds of 130MPH exerts pressures equivalent to the weight of a typical family car on a two-car garage door.” Having a reinforced garage door that meets wind load requirements reduces damage that your garage door and your house would take from hurricane winds. Below is a video of Dr. Lyons conducting a wind tunnel test to show the effect of high wind speeds.
How are hurricane rated garage doors reinforced and tested?
Wind load approved doors use a variety of reinforcement materials, including Struts and R-Trusses which are engineered to meet specific building code requirements. When installed according to our instructions and local building codes, Amarr hurricane rated garage doors withstand rapid cyclic pressure and static load forces for different wind speed ratings (with some models up to 245MPH that can also resist large missile impact at 50 feet per second). Impact glass is also available for many wind load approved garage doors. Impact glass may shatter in incredibly high speed winds, but remains intact despite the force, providing more safety for your home.
With Amarr garage doors, you don’t have to compromise curb appeal for hurricane preparedness. Almost all Amarr residential garage doors are available with a wind load reinforcement system. Check your local building codes to see what Amarr garage door models meet or exceed your area’s requirements. Take the next step in preparing your home for a hurricane by making sure the largest opening in your home is reinforced. Contact an Amarr dealer near you.