Your garage door, even a single-car version, is a big, solid sheet. Understanding wind load creates safer structures. High winds hit garage doors hard. When gusty winds rattle your Madison WI garage door you want to feel it’s safe and secure, right?
The concept of loading explains how the force of the wind impacts a big, flat door. Size, shape and what the door is made from are all taken into account. Wind speed is a major factor, but when it comes to wind damage it isn’t all about speed.
Critical Wind Load Factors
While you cannot overlook the speed of wind hitting the door, there are other factors at work. Some are obvious while others are not as easy to evaluate. Consider:
- Topography – the land features surrounding your home may add or decrease the wind’s impact. A garage on top of a hill where the wind blows is at more risk than one protected by nearby hills or trees.
- Direction – a garage facing directly toward prevailing winds needs more protection than one facing away.
- Size matters – It stands to reason a double door is a much better target for high winds than a single door. But one-car garages are not immune.
- The atmosphere – Surrounding air pressure changes the load on you garage door. Inside a tornado the air pressure changes drastically in seconds.
- Architecture – the size and shape of your roof makes a difference. If a garage door fails there’s extra stress on the structures above it.
For most homes in southern Wisconsin a specially-engineered wind-resistant door isn’t necessary. Standard doors are designed to withstand strong gusts of wind. Depending upon these critical factors in your neighborhood, consider investigating the options for wind protection.
Avoiding Garage Door Storm Damage
Bent and broken garage doors account for thousands of repairs across the country every year. While most are in regions where hurricanes and tornados are the rule, it can happen anywhere at any time.
Damaging winds of thunderstorms and blizzards are compounded by heavy snow and rain. It doesn’t take much ice or water inside a garage to result in major damage. Your garage door needs to keep the elements and intruders out, right?
A load-rated door capable of withstanding high winds adds peace of mind while reducing the chance of a big repair or replacement bill.
A properly installed wind-resistant door is an excellent first step in protecting your property. It doesn’t have to be “hurricane-proof” but make sure it is “impact-resistant.” No garage door is completely hurricane-proof but some are rated to withstand winds up to 130 mph. That’s more wind speed than you’re likely to encounter in Madison, but winds half as strong do a lot of damage.
An impact-resistant door stands up to wind and wind-blown debris. Deep down, the difference between hurricane-proof and impact-resistant is framework. Doors built for hurricanes include heavy, twist-resistant frames.
Wind Load Tech Adds Security
Strong storm winds slam into garage doors. It takes just one gust to generate exceptional power – and do a lot of costly damage. Storm winds bend and twist doors. Bent enough a garage door panel breaks. The twisting, bending action also puts door frames, tracks, guide wheels and opening systems at risk. Trying to open a door with a bent panel puts dangerous strains on garage door openers, too. Bent doors can damage the opener’s drive lines and motor. A wind with enough force to bend door panels is capable of serious structure damage to surrounding frames – which weaken the roof and ceiling, too.
The real bottom line: a bent, broken door won’t open. You are effectively locked in or out.
Door manufacturers feature systems to maximize resistance to high winds throughout their lineup. Modern technology leads to stronger, more reliable doors. When you want to upgrade to a safer door or need to replace an old, damaged one don’t overlook the advantages of a new wind-rated door. There are many options available when it comes to doors and accessories. Northland Door Systems repairs and installs the best of the most popular brands. When you’re considering a new door call or email Northland Door Systems at 608-251-3627. We’ll introduce you to a wide range of doors and accessories in our unique garage door showroom in Sauk City. We have a lineup of wind load rated garage doors to protect your property anywhere in the Madison WI area.