The Ultimate Guide to Hurricane Doors
When it comes to preparing for hurricane season, there are a number of components to consider when selecting a door to protect your application; whether that be residential, commercial, or even industrial. From building codes, wind pressure requirements, and the product features themselves, there's a lot to keep up with, which is why we've developed the ultimate guide to hurricane doors.
Hurricane season is a lingering 6 month period from June through November, and according the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2020 is expected to have above normal activity.
What is a Hurricane Door?
Hurricane Doors are wind-load rated heavy duty doors, designed to protect buildings against environmental hazards; such as, tropical storms, hurricanes, high speed wind damage, air borne debris, pressure changes, and more! That's a lot of responsibility for just one door, especially when doors are the largest break in your building's structural base. Post disaster investigations conducted by FEMA showed that once your building's envelope is breached, severe weather will almost always cause additional damage to the remainder of the structure.
What Makes a Hurricane Door Wind-load Rated?
A hurricane door is designed with wind locks, weather seals, heavy duty guide assemblies, and other components to increase the structural integrity of the door. With this additional support, hurricane doors are equipped to resist bowing, buckling, and misalignment when faced with extreme pressures and impacts. Notice how I didn't mention anything about the door's curtain? Here's why:
Doors are responsible for two types of loads, a dead load and a live load. The heavier the dead load, the less live load a door can support. You want to make sure the live load isn't jeopardized, as it's vitally important for a door during a hurricane that's faced with a lot of fluctuating pressures.
- Dead Load: The constant weight of the door itself.
- Live Load: The fluctuating pressures infringed upon a door, such as wind pressures and impacts during a storm.
What Codes and Requirements Do I Need to Know?
While wind rated doors are most prominent in coastal regions, these products are in fact required by code. Make sure to check out local building codes before getting started on your next project. Below, we've listed the most common codes and resources to familiarize yourself with.
How Do I Know What The Wind Pressure Requirements Are For My Door?
It's important when selecting a wind-load rated door for your project that you're selecting one with the right design pressures to meet your specified requirements. These are the pressures the individual door is able to withstand. To aid this process, DASMA has created a wind-load calculator to help gauge the wind pressure requirements you'll need for your project. Just keep in mind, these calculated values are for preliminary design purposes only. Final responsibility lies with a registered design professional (Janus International is not responsible for PSF values that differ with design professionals).
What Are The Benefits for Investing in a Hurricane Door?
Investing in a wind-load rated door comes with a variety of benefits.
- They protect the structural integrity of you building in the midst of severe weather.
- They can serve the difference of your building being un-phased or a pile of debris post disaster.
- Additionally, hurricane doors increase the security of your building year round; making your building less vulnerable to trespassing and burglary because of their increased structural integrity.
Want to learn more benefits? Check out our Blog, "3 Reasons to Invest in Wind Rated Commercial Steel Doors".