Garage doors are prime targets for high winds. Understanding the power behind the force of the wind leads to stronger structures. In turn, that leads to safer wind load rated doors on your Janesville WI and area garages.
The door on your garage, even a single-car model, is a big, solid sheet. It is definitely not aerodynamic. Wind hits it hard. Local weather forecasters issue “high wind” advisories regularly. They accompany winter snow storms and summer thunderstorms. It seems gusty winds are never far off. When the wind is rattling your garage door you want to feel it’s safe and secure, right?
How fast the wind is moving air is a major factor, but when it comes to wind damage it isn’t just about wind speed. The concept of loading explains how the force of the wind impacts the big, flat door on your garage. Size, shape and what it’s made from are all taken into account.
Wind Load Rated Doors – Not For Everyone
In most cases you don’t need a specially-engineered wind-resistant door on your home’s garage. Your standard door is designed to withstand strong gusts of wind. However, if you’re considering a change investigating the options for wind protection makes sense. There’s more to the power of the wind than just its speed.
The speed of the wind hitting the door is a major concern. But there are factors in play that you might not think of, including:
- Surrounding land features – does your home sit on top of a hill where the wind blows regularly? Or is it protected by nearby hills or woodlands?
- Direction – a garage facing directly toward the prevailing winds needs more protection than one facing away. Local storm winds usually come from the southwest or northwest. So doors facing northeast are safer from wind damage in most cases.
- Size matters – a double door is a much better target for high winds than a single door. But don’t think one-car garages are immune.
- Air pressure – inside a tornado the air pressure changes drastically in seconds. Normal pressure in and around the garage can affect door damage.
- Roof size, shape – if a garage door fails there’s extra stress on the structures above it.
In most cases you don’t need a specially-engineered wind-resistant door on your home’s garage. Your standard door is designed to withstand strong gusts of wind. However, if you’re considering a change investigating the options for wind protection makes sense.
Sometimes, strong storm winds bend individual door panels. Bent enough, they will break – or break frames, tracks, guide wheels and opening systems. A bent door is difficult to open; if it opens at all. Trying to open a bent door with your electric opener makes the problem worse. You may be damaging the opener’s drive lines and motor. A broken door won’t open or close at all. A force strong enough to break the door is capable of serious damage to its frame and surrounding structure, too.
Avoiding Wind Damage
In areas where wind damage is a regular threat – from hurricanes or in “Tornado Ally” – bent and broken garage doors account for thousands of repair dollars each year. Locally there are places where wind damage is likely, too. Installing a load-rated door capable of handling high winds brings you peace of mind. And it reduces the chance of big repair or replacement bills. That’s a combination worth the investment, right?
No garage door is truly hurricane-proof but some are rated to withstand winds up to 130mph. You probably don’t need to worry about that in the Janesville area, but winds half as strong do a lot of damage, too. And, they are more common than you think.
The damaging winds of thunderstorms and blizzards bring with them additional threats. Snow and rain. A few inches of ice or water inside your garage thanks to a broken door leads to major damage.
The first step is avoid this kind of damage is to make sure you have a properly installed wind-resistant door. It doesn’t have to be hurricane-proof but make sure it is “impact-resistant.” It will stand up to wind and the debris it tosses around. The big difference between hurricane-proof and impact-resistant is the framework. Doors built for hurricanes include twist-resistant frames. They’re much stronger.
There are also bracing systems that can be added to existing doors to increase wind resistance.
Pros And Cons Of Wind Load Rated Doors
Every door manufacturer features systems to maximize resistance to the impact of high winds throughout its lineup. Modern technology leads to stronger, better doors. If you’ve ever had a door damaged, or know someone who has, you know high wind is serious. When you’re ready to upgrade to a safer door or looking to make a change, don’t overlook the advantages of a wind-rated replacement door. For a personal review of the pros and cons, call or email Country Door Systems at 608-752-9537.
Our skilled, experienced professionals are ready to install the latest wind load rated doors to provide exceptional performance even in the strongest winds anywhere in Janesville WI.