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High Wind Events and Garage Doors: Frequently Asked Questions

High Wind Events and Garage Doors: Frequently Asked Questions

October 2, 2020

High wind events are weather situations where either wind gusts or sustained wind speed is at a point high enough to be a safety concern. Weather systems like hurricanes, tropical storms and tornados are all examples of high wind events. Some areas of the United States are more prone to high wind speed weather systems and have incorporated specific requirements to combat damage from them in their building codes. Below are the top 5 frequently asked questions regarding high wind events and how a garage door relates to them:

Garage Door FAQs for High Wind EventsGarage Door Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions for High Wind Events

  1. Does the direction my door face affect design wind pressure?

No. Neither the orientation nor compass direction the garage door is facing affects the design wind pressure rating. Wind patterns can come from any angle or direction during a high wind event. The door size and structure design such as additional or lack of reinforcing will affect the design pressure rating.

  1. Why do I see positive and negative wind load values?

High wind events will subject the garage door to both positive and negative pressures. Positive pressure tries to push the garage door into the building while negative pressure tries to pull the door out of the opening. This push and pull pressure on the garage door is dependent on the direction of the wind in relation to the garage door and can alternate between the two when the wind direction changes.

  1. Does glass have an effect on design wind pressures?

Glass does not affect design wind pressure ratings. Whether the garage door is made up of all glass, all panel or a combination of glass and panel it will not have any bearing on the windload rating for the garage door.

  1. What does impact rated mean?

Impact rating refers to garage doors and glazing that have been designed for and tested to withstand impact test pressures. While windload ratings will tell you if a door will withstand a specific wind pressure, impact will tell you how your door will perform against windborne debris. It is possible to have windload specified without a requirement for impact testing, but on projects in windborne debris regions you may see both requirements specified.

  1. Is it better to call out wind pressure or wind speed when specifying a garage door?

Wind pressure is the force exerted by the wind in pounds per square foot (psf). Wind speed is how fast the wind is going in miles per hour (mph). Wind pressure is calculated starting with wind speed as well as other factors. When testing a garage door for windload, results are given in wind pressure ratings. Specifying a pressure rating rather than a wind speed allows manufacturers and suppliers to confirm a product will meet the projects requirements better than wind speed alone.

If you have any questions regarding wind load garage doors or if you are interested in specifying ArmRLite for your project, please feel free to contact our sales department for help. P: 800-554-5816

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