Whether you live in an area which commonly sees extreme weather or you just experience the occasional strong storm, the durability of your garage door is vital. If your garage door is not wind resistant, you could wind up with more damage to your home than necessary. Your door’s wind rating is an important factor when deciding what garage door to purchase or deciding if it is time for an upgrade.
A significant amount of monetary damage to homes during hurricanes and high winds can occur because of garage door failures. A wind resistant door can save you on repairs, but it can also save you money before extreme weather hits. Sometimes, proper garage door wind loads can lower your insurance premiums. When you consider both the savings and the safety, it is well worth ensuring your garage door is ready for the wind.
Wind Code Ratings
Each garage door has a wind code rating. That rating indicates how much wind and wind-borne debris the door should be able to withstand before issues arise. There may or may not be guidelines about what rating your door is required to have, and those could come from regional or from building authorities. The wind code will indicate both the maximum wind speed the door can withstand and a metric called PSF (pounds per square foot).
Often, if you look along the inside of your garage door, you can find a label that specifies this wind rating information. If not, you may be able to find the information in a user manual or online. The label will likely tell you the maximum wind speed the door can handle, as well as both positive and negative PSF numbers. The PSF rating indicates how the door handles pressure as the wind pushes against it. The positive number refers to how much pressure your garage door can handle when the wind blows against it. The negative number refers to how well your garage door can handle wind pressure sucking the door out of the frame.
Then, your door will have the actual wind code rating – from W-1 to W-9. The higher the rating, the more wind resistant the door. That wind code is based on many factors including the door’s size, position, maximum wind speed, and PSF numbers. You will want to make sure that your wind code rating is high enough to cover the weather situations you will have in your region.
Possible Extreme Wind Damages
If your garage door encounters winds it cannot resist, it can either buckle inwards or get pulled outwards. Either way, it will cause a great deal of damage. It is possible that the damage will be repairable, but it is also quite possible that you will need a new door. Compounding the trouble, high winds are often accompanied by other extreme weather. You could, for example, find yourself with a lot of water inside your garage. Worse yet, a door that is pushed in or ripped out by wind does more than just expose your garage to the elements. Depending on the design of your home, severe garage door gamage can be a structural concern for the rest of the home in extreme weather.
What You Can Do
- Find out your garage door’s wind rating and make sure it is appropriate for your area. Many homeowners want a wind-rated door that can withstand at least 50 mph winds. If you live in an area with a lot of wind, you might want to select an even stronger door.
- Consider your budget. While safety is your first concern, higher wind ratings may come with a higher cost, so you might not want an unnecessarily strong door. Though higher ratings may lower insurance and be worth the additional door cost.
- Consider a bracing kit. If you want to improve your wind rating without buying a new door, one option is to have a bracing kit installed. It can improve your door panel’s ability to avoid buckling in strong winds.
- Call Overhead Door Company of Portland! Speak with us about option for either upgrading your existing door’s wind resistance or about options for installing a new garage door.
We will make sure that your home is as protected as it needs to be in the most cost effective way possible.