Windload

Why Purchase a Garage Door That Meets Local Wind Codes

BY ROBERT BROOME, OWNER

Garage doors play a key role in protecting your garage against weather conditions, these doors need to be strong enough to withstand whatever fury storms can bring. If a garage door can’t hold up against strong winds, windows can be blown out and the roof can blow off of the structure—which in turn would allow rain, sleet, snow, and flying debris into the garage.

If your garage is attached to your home—and the door of the garage can’t stand up to the wind—significant damage can be caused to your home. Your garage door is a significant line of defense when it comes to protecting your home from high wind damage.

Angie’s List notes how the Federal Emergency Management Agency calls the “absence of a wind-rated garage door” a “leading cause of storm damage in homes. Not only can water and wind cause considerable angst and mess, but it is also a financial concern.”

In April 2020, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) shared how a strong garage door is critical when protecting your home. In fact, the CEO of the organization said the following: “When a garage door fails, it can begin a cascade of damage with the roof and surrounding walls unable to handle the force of the wind inside the garage. Structural damage to a home means a family is displaced and their life is disrupted. Homeowners can reduce that risk with a wind-rated garage door.”

Evolution of Garage Doors

From the earliest days of garages, these structures had doors to protect vehicles from bad weather. Initially, these doors looked like those used on barns. They were double doors, hinged to the garage and opening outwardly and these doors often needed to be repaired. Inventive people therefore started to experiment with using sliding tracks for garage doors or hinged doors that folded sideways like an accordion.

By the 1920s, garage doors existed that could be folded up towards the ceiling and then could lay parallel to its ceiling, a forerunner of today’s standard setup. As garages became increasingly more important in the lives of car owners, people began wanting them to be located close to their homes, sometimes being attached to them.

Doors during this era of garages were being constructed from wide varieties of materials to make them strong enough to withstand bad weather. The problem here: many of these doors were super heavy. As this challenge began to be solved, this served as the beginning of today’s quality garage doors that are of a reasonable weight while also being able to protect the building from strong winds.

Another question, naturally enough, arose. How could a consumer tell how much wind protection they needed in their door?

Wind-Rated Garage Doors

Nowadays, cities and towns have local building codes that specify the right wind rating for the geography, these codes require wind-rated garage doors that are anticipated to be strong enough for the types of storms that occur in that specific locale.

This means that choosing a new garage door is not just about picking a style you like within your budget from a selection of options constructed for energy efficiency. Yes, those are important factors—but so is having a garage door in place that meets local codes and wind-rating requirements. This is what will help you to avoid damage if a strong storm or hurricane whips through town, and it can also save you money.

Why Wind Rating Matters

Your new garage door’s wind rating is important for three reasons:

  • It must meet your local area’s requirements or it won’t pass inspection.
  • It could sustain damage during storms and cost you money to repair or replace.
  • Your home insurance policy may give you a discount on your premium if you have a quality wind-rated garage door.
gaarge-door-struts

Meeting Local Codes

Before you shop for a new garage door, make sure that you have the correct information on hand to make a real apples-to-apples comparison among garage doors. Incorrect information can cause you a lot of headache in the future and could make a sweet deal go sour in a hurry. When looking at local building codes for your area, confirm the required wind load (or wind rating) for a garage door. You will also need to check with your local permit office, as it is the responsibility of the buyer to pull any applicable permits that may be needed.

Buying a door with the correct wind rating for a brand new building project is a must. In these applications, there will be building inspectors on site, and they will check the rating on your new garage door. Some areas do not require inspections for garage door replacements but having one with the right wind rating can save you a lot of problems when a storm hits.

Saving Money

Think about it. If you invest in a garage door with the wrong wind rating and have to buy a second garage door that meets local requirements, you’ll unnecessarily pay for another door. If you check these requirements before you purchase one, though, you’ll avoid this hassle. If you get a new garage door with the wrong wind rating and a hurricane or strong wind moves through the region, your door could sustain damage. You’d then need to pay for repairs, and you may end up having to replace the door, either immediately after the storm or later on.

Then consider the return on investment (ROI) in a quality new door. According to HomeAdvisor.com, a garage door replacement comes with the highest ROI among the home improvements you can make. In fact, because the ROI is at 97.5 percent, if you sell your home, this new door almost pays for itself.

Determining Wind Rating

Building codes specify that a garage door must be able to stand up to pressure from wind gust at a sustained mile per hour.

Every area has different standards.

To help, we recommend using the ATC Windspeed Website to find the required windspeed in your area. Because many counties across America have several required wind ratings, it’s best to refer to the latitude and longitude to find the correct wind rating for your garage door.

You can easily find the latitude and longitude and your windspeed using your address.

How to Find Your Wind Rating

To find your windrating, go to the ATC Windspeed Website, then enter your address and click ‘Search.’
search for wind rating
If you live in Charlotte, NC, you’d be shown a windspeed of 90 (3-sec peak gust in mph). In this case, you would select 90 mph or more in the wind rating when choosing among new garage doors. Plus, at Presto, we make it super simple. Just let us know where you live and we’ll help you to choose a door you love with the wind protection you need.
wind hazards by location

List of Counties and Windloads in North Carolina

 
COUNTY MPH
Counties Not Listed 90
Anson 100
Alleghany Special Mountain Region *
Ashe Special Mountain Region *
Avery Special Mountain Region *
Beaufort 110
Bertie 110
Bladen 110
Brunswick *1 120/130
Buncombe Special Mountain Region *
Camdem 110
Carteret 130
Chowan 110
Columbus 120
Craven 120
Cumberland 100
Currituck 120
Dare 130
Duplin 110
Edgecombe 100
Franklin 100
Gates 100
Graham Special Mountain Region *
Greene 110
Halifax 100
Harnet 100
Haywood Special Mountain Region *
Hertford 100
Hoke 100
Hyde *2 120/130
Jackson Special Mountain Region *
Johnston 100
Jones 120
Lee 100
Lenior 110
Madison Special Mountain Region *
Martin 100
Mitchell Special Mountain Region *
Moore 100
Nash 100
New Hanover *3 120/130
Northampton 100
Onslow 120/130 East of ICW
Pamlico *5 120/130
Pasquotank 110
Pender *4 110/120/130
Perquimans 110
Pitt 110
Richmond 100
Robeson 110
Sampson 110
Scotland 100
Swain Special Mountain Region *
Tyrell 120
Wake 100
Washington 110
Watauga Special Mountain Region *
Wayne 110
Wilson 110
Yancey Special Mountain Region *
* Special Mountain Regions
2,700 ft. or Lower 90 MPH
2,700 to 3,000 ft. 100 MPH
3,000 to 3,500 ft. 110 MPH
3,500 to 4,500 ft. 120 MPH
4,500 ft. and Above 130 MPH

Garage Doors from Presto Garage & Gutter

Types of new garage doors available include:

The interior wind load reinforcement systems in our new garage doors mean they can withstand up to Category 3 hurricane wind speeds of 130 mph.

To help you choose exactly the right door, we provide our exclusive Presto Design Consultation™. This is a free, no-pressure conversation with one of our expert Presto Design Consultants where you can choose an attractive door that dovetails perfectly with your unique needs, habits, and budget.

new garage door visualizer consultation Through our Garage Door Visualizer, you can see what your appropriately wind-rated garage door will look like. You can compare it to large numbers of other new garage doors, so that you order the perfect garage door for your home.

Benefits of choosing Presto Garage & Gutter include our:

  • One-of-a-kind design services
  • Instant, transparent pricing, down to the penny
  • Firm quotes with no hard closes
  • Top notch garage door installation services from in-house employees
  • No-nonsense warranties
  • Proven processes and relentless reliability

Our entire process, from start to finish, will be a refreshingly low stress experience, while providing you with the perfect garage door (and garage door installation)!

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