Here in Nebraska, we’re no strangers to strong winds and severe storms.  Between that and the recent derecho in Iowa, we’re finding that many people in our area (and across the country) have this question front of mind: How will my garage door hold up against strong winds?

Most garage doors are built durable enough to withstand the elements; however, you can also increase your door’s wind load capabilities for an added peace of mind. Increasing the wind load involves the use of added reinforcements to make the door stronger and even more durable in the face of the elements.  Certain areas that are more prone to strong winds, such as Florida, have requirements and codes in place for the wind load of garage doors.  While we do not have these mandates in our area, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry.

When it comes to determining the ideal wind load of you garage door, there are a number of factors to consider.  According to Clopay, an industry leading manufacturer of wind loaded doors, figuring out your design pressure and WindCode rating is as simple as these 4 steps:

Step 1:  Determine the minimum wind speed in MPH doors must meet or exceed for your area.  You can check with your local building code official to find out the requirements for your specific area or look up your requirements online through ATC’s website:

Step 2: Determine the exposure type of your region.  This is typically described as Exposure B (urban or suburban setting or wooden terrain) or Exposure C (open terrain with scattered obstructions, flat open ground, grasslands or shorelines in hurricane-prone regions).

Step 3:  Determine the structural type of your home: one story or two story.

Step 4:  Using your wind speed (MPH), exposure type, and structural type, calculate your design pressure and WindCode “W” rating, which a garage door pro will be able to help you accomplish according to Clopay’s guide.

Different combinations of these factors result in varying levels of susceptibility to the effects of strong winds.   For example, consider this scenario…You have a 2-story house located on top of a hill in an area that’s known to be relatively windy.  Because of your home’s location, surroundings, and structure, it is more vulnerable to strong winds, so you’ll want to increase the wind load on your garage door to ensure it’s properly equipped to withstand the weather.  You may even consider surpassing your minimal durability requirements for extra protection.

Omaha Door & Window has been facing wind load issues for years.  There are certain things we automatically do to help your door’s ability to withstand winds, but many homeowners still opt for higher wind load capabilities.  Clopay offers 7 different levels of wind codes, and you can take basically any of their doors and increase the wind load.   The possibilities are endless!

Our team is highly trained to talk you through this issue and help you weigh your options to figure out what’s best for your home.  If your garage door blows in or buckles, the wind will travel, and in some cases, the pressure can push through the house and impact your roof!  Don’t try to test your luck with the next storm.

Contact us to discuss the specific details of your home and environment.  We know how to provide that extra level of durability to give you a safe and secure feeling.