How Much Wind Can A Garage Door Withstand (Explained)


How Much Wind Can A Garage Door Withstand

Have you ever wondered how much wind a garage door can withstand? Look no more. We´ve got you covered.

Garage doors provide protection and storage for your home and garage. Regular garage doors are designed to protect against rain, thieves, and minimal wind. Unfortunately, they’re not designed to handle high amounts of elemental factors, such as extreme winds caused by hurricanes or tornadoes.

No matter where you live, it’s important to know exactly how much wind your garage door can withstand, but it is even more important if you live in an area prone to tornadoes or hurricanes.

Knowing your garage door’s wind load can help keep you, your home, and your items safe.

So, how much wind can a garage door withstand? On average a standard garage door can withstand about 20 mph of wind. Regular garage doors are very unlikely to withstand wind over 100 mph. Certain garage doors are designed to be wind-resistant, allowing protection against winds up to 200 mph.

Wind-resistant garage doors can be built to withstand more than 50 pounds per square inch of positive or negative pressure. However, this pressure is often the case for large hurricanes.

 We will give a general overview based on garage types, as well as explain the Wind Code rating and give tips for protecting your garage and garage door in the case of high winds. Let’s get started.

Why It Is Important To Know Garage Door Wind Load

Knowing your garage door wind load may not seem like a big deal, but it is incredibly important. Your garage door serves as a necessary barrier between elements, people, and items and your home and valuables. Without the garage door, you can easily put your valuables, life, and family members at risk.

Not only do garage doors act as a physical barrier against burglars and weather, though. It also helps to save you money by regulating the interior temperature. Especially if you have an insulated garage door, it helps to keep the hot or cold air out.

With this in mind, it’s important to know your garage door wind load so that you can select the best door for your area.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, you will want a garage door with a higher wind load. This will allow the garage door to act as a stronger barrier during high winds.

For people who do not live in such adverse conditions, it’s still nice to know your wind load. The weather can be a bit unpredictable.

Knowing exactly how much your garage door can withstand can help keep you and your family safe in the case that the wind should become stronger than normal.

Read also: How Tall Is An RV Garage Door? 12 Facts To Consider (Explained)

Examples Of Wind Damage Caused To Garages

Wind can cause a lot of damage to garages. If the wind is caused by a hurricane or tornado, it can cause pressure, forcing the garage doors to detach from the tracks.

The pressure can even cause garage doors to collapse. That’s not the only type of wind damage garages can experience, though.

Whenever the wind is incredibly powerful, it can blow around debris, such as siding, signs, branches, and more.

Whenever these large items are thrown about by the wind, they can easily hit a garage, causing dents and other outward damage to the door.

If your garage door has windows on it, those windows can be damaged too. The wind and pressure can bust out the windows, or items can hit the windows, causing them to shatter.

Garage Door Bent? | Wind Damage Reinforcement >> Check out the video below:

How Much Wind Can Garage Doors Withstand?

With that in mind, how much wind can garage doors withstand? The answer to this question depends entirely on the garage door we are talking about.

Certain garage doors are designed to be wind-resistant, allowing protection against winds up to 200 mph. Regular garage doors are nowhere near as strong.  

You can easily find out exactly how much wind your garage door can withstand by looking at the PSF, or pounds per square foot, rating.

Almost all modern garage doors will offer a PSF rating. If you cannot find this rating, it means that the garage door does not meet modern standards and requirements for safety.

psf-rating-garage-door
Example PSF Rating

Impact Doors

Garage doors that are specifically made to withstand high winds will typically be called impact doors or have a WindCode rating.

WindCode garage doors are capable of withstanding a lot more wind than other garage door types.

There are a variety of WindCode doors you can choose from, allowing you to select the door that offers the right amount of protection for your needs.

Regular Door

For people who do not live in areas prone to high winds, it is unlikely to need WindCode doors. Regular garage doors are nowhere near as resistant to high winds.

In fact, regular garage doors are very unlikely to withstand wind over 100 mph.

It is standard for all garage doors to withstand about 20 mph of wind. This means that even the most basic garage doors should be able to handle this wind load.

WindCode Rating Explained

If you are concerned about your garage door’s wind resistance, you likely live in an area with high winds.

If that’s the case for you, you likely want a garage door with a WindCode rating, as we explained above.

In the chart, you can easily see how much wind individual WindCode rated garage doors handle, but it may not make a lot of sense without explanation.

Exposures

The first thing you need to understand is the exposure rating. Most people will have either exposure B or C. Exposure B is whenever your house is located in urban, suburban, or wooded areas.

These areas have many obstructions. It is assumed that most garage doors fall under exposure B unless cited as otherwise.

In contrast, exposure C is open terrain. There may be some scattered obstructions, but the area is generally open. All garage doors in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in Florida classify as exposure C.

Exposure D is less common, but it is a serious issue for Florida and other similar states. An exposure D location is one that is within 600 feet of an oceanfront or another body of water that is at least 5000 feet across.

Minimum And Maximum

In addition to exposure, it’s important to understand the range of wind speed. Doors need to have a maximum and minimum speed they can withstand.

Maximum speed makes a lot of sense. It is the speed that is directly hitting your garage door.

The minimum speed can be a bit trickier. The minimum speed or pressure is typically denoted as being negative. It describes the scenario when the wind is pulling away from your garage door.

When this happens, that pressure can suck the garage door out. This minimum speed tells you how powerful the wind can suck past the garage door without it making any damage.

WindCode Calculator

If you are unsure how much wind your garage door should be able to handle, especially if you live in an at-risk region, you can use the Cloplay Residential WindCode Calculator.

This calculator takes multiple factors into consideration to tell you exactly how strong your door should be.

Read also: How Much Wind Can a Pop Up Camper Take? Is It Dangerous?

Things To Do If You Live In Areas Prone To High Wind

If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, your area is prone to the high wind as well, as you likely know.

Garage doors located in these sorts of areas need to be made in such a way so as to withstand the wind and any impacts.

Impact Resistant

At the very least, make sure that your garage door is impact-resistant. This will prevent any rips or holes from being torn through the garage door in the case that the wind should dislodge signs, branches, or other heavy items.

Check City Building Codes

Another basic thing you need to do is check your city building codes. Certain areas have wind resistance requirements.

This is especially true for areas that are prone to hurricanes. In some hurricane-prone areas, garage doors need to be able to withstand 150 mph or more.

The states of California, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Utah all have specific requirements about garage door wind resistance. Contact your city officials to find out how much your garage door must be able to withstand.

Install A Hurricane or Impact Resistant Garage Door

If you learn that you are required to have a heavy-duty garage or are simply worried that your garage is not strong enough, you should install a hurricane or impact-resistant door.

These garage doors will be designed to withstand high amounts of wind and impact. For people who live in high wind areas, these garage doors can make a huge difference in safety and protection.

Garage Door Wind Brace: Bracing Kit

Finally, the last thing you should do is install some sort of bracing kit for your garage door. This is a super handy tip that most people don’t realize.

Even if you have the most powerful garage door on the market, it still may not be strong enough to withstand a serious hurricane. Install a bracing kit to give your garage the best chance possible of remaining intact.

How To Install Garage Door Storm Braces – Wind brace >> Check out the video below:

Tips For Normal Weather

For people who do not live in areas prone to high winds, it still can be a good idea to check up on your garage door’s wind load and go the extra mile to ensure it is strong enough in an off-hand scenario.

For example, even areas that are not prone to tornadoes or hurricanes can still have bad storms on occasion.

Invest In A Heavy-Duty Door

One of the most basic things you can do to protect your garage door is to select a heavy-duty garage door.

Even though you don’t necessarily need a WindCode door, you should certainly select a two-layer or three-layer door.

Three-layer doors will offer a lot of protection against storms and high winds. It will also provide insulation, allowing the garage to save you money on energy bills. That’s a win-win if you ask us!

Select A Steel Door

For those who live in more temperate environments, you will often have the choice between wood, aluminum, glass, or steel garage door.

If you want a garage door to be as durable as possible, we definitely recommend opting for the steel option.

Although wood and aluminum are both durable, they can be damaged during high winds, especially aluminum.

Steel offers much more durability, making it the optimal choice where wind and other harsh conditions are concerned.

Surge Protection

This last tip isn’t necessarily related to wins directly, but it is something that you should consider, nonetheless.

If you live in temperate environments, high winds will likely be a result of storms. In addition to the wind, heavy storms can bring lightning and other issues.

Because of this fact, it’s a good idea to invest in surge protection. Surge protection will ensure that your garage door opener is not destroyed because of an electrical surge.

Just adding surge protection can make a big difference in the durability and longevity of your garage door.

Wind Rated Garage Doors FAQs

Let’s close out this page about Hurricane garage doors with answers to some of your most frequently-asked questions about them!

Do I need a garage door with a high wind load rating?

How much wind resistance your garage door needs should depend on where you live. If you live in an area not prone to heavy wind, your garage door will not need to withstand as much pressure.

On the other hand, people who live in hurricane or tornado riddled areas will definitely want a more powerful option.

Certain states and cities across the United States have adopted the International Building Code, which requires the homeowners to build homes designed to withstand minimum wind loads for their area.

The areas that have done this are most likely to be impacted by heavy winds.

If you live in the state of California, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, or Utah, your city may require your garage door to withstand a minimum wind speed.

Check with your city officials to learn the minimum requirements for your garage door.

How can I find my WindCode rating?

A WindCode rating is determined by looking at the wind speed, structural type, and exposure classification.

If you are unsure what your garage door’s WindCode rating is, you can simply use the Cloplay WindCode Calculator.

Simply fill out the calculator as explained. This Calculator will approximate your WindCode rating.

Be sure to talk to city officials to confirm that the calculator estimated correctly for your location and garage door size.

What does a high WindCode rating mean?

WindCode ratings range from below W-1 to above W-9. Your exact WindCode will depend on where you live and your structure.

The higher the WindCode rating, the more resistant the garage door is too high speeds and flying items or impact.

Why do I need to care about wind load and wind resistance?

Since you don’t live inside your garage directly, it might seem like a waste of time to care about the garage door’s wind load and resistance.

The reality could not be further from the truth, though. It’s highly important to care about your garage door’s wind load and resistance to ensure your safety, security, and finances.

The most important reason why you should care about wind load and resistance is for security and safety purposes. Garage doors are one of the first barriers in the way of a heavy storm or wind.

It prevents any wind from entering your home, helping to protect you and your loved ones inside.

If you select a garage door that does not have a high wind load capacity, the garage door could easily become a weak point in your home’s exterior.

As a result, the rest of the home can be susceptible to wind pressure, causing significant structural damage and safety risks to your loved ones.

Additionally, caring about wind load can actually be more economical. Oftentimes, opting for a garage door resistant to wind results in lower insurance premiums.

This can help save you some money over time, even though the garage door may be a bit more expensive upfront.

What material is best for garage doors?

Today, steel is the best material for garage doors. Steel is attractive and highly durable. It is most likely to withstand heavy wind and other elemental factors.

Even though it may not be as attractive as wood, it certainly is the best option because of its enhanced durability.

Final Thoughts

Garage doors can withstand a wide range of wind speeds. Almost all garage doors can handle at least 20 mph, but this wind load would be way too low for garage doors located in areas prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, and other sources of heavy wind.

That is where high-impact garage doors come into play. Certain garage doors are designed to handle much more wind than the traditional option.

These garage doors can handle as much as 200 mph wind, making them highly important for garages located in Florida, California, and Texas.

If you are unsure how much wind your garage door should take, it’s a great idea to contact city officials. Your local government will tell you your area’s minimum wind speed, giving you a good idea of how strong your garage door needs to be.

Doing something as small as selecting a steel and insulated model can make a big difference.

References

https://www.garaga.com

https://www.palmbeachdoors.com/guide-wind-resistant-garage-doors

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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