Best Types of Doors for Hurricanes
Hurricanes are a force of nature that can wreak havoc on homes and communities. The door is one of the most vulnerable parts of a home during a hurricane. A weak or poorly constructed door can easily be blown off its hinges or penetrated by flying debris, posing a significant risk to the safety of the home’s occupants. Therefore, choosing a door that can withstand the high winds and heavy rains associated with hurricanes is crucial.
1. Fiberglass Doors
Fiberglass is a popular choice for hurricane-resistant doors due to its strength and durability. These doors are constructed with a core of insulating foam, making them energy-efficient. Fiberglass doors can mimic the look of wood but are far less susceptible to warping, rotting, or swelling due to moisture. They are also corrosion-resistant, making them ideal for coastal areas where salt air can be corrosive.
2. Steel Doors
Steel doors are another excellent option for hurricane resistance. They are incredibly strong and can withstand high-impact forces, making them less likely to be breached during a storm. Steel doors often come with multiple layers, including a layer of insulation, which adds to their strength and energy efficiency. However, they can be prone to rust if not properly maintained, especially in salty coastal environments.
3. Impact-Resistant Glass Doors
If you prefer a door with glass panels, opt for impact-resistant glass. This type of glass is designed to withstand the force of flying debris and high winds. Even if the glass does break, it is designed to shatter into small, blunt pieces rather than sharp shards. Impact-resistant glass doors often come in various styles, including French and sliding doors, providing functionality and aesthetic appeal.
4. Solid Wood Doors
Solid wood doors, particularly those made from hardwoods like mahogany or oak, can also be effective against hurricanes. However, the wood must be treated to withstand moisture and should be at least 1-3/4 inches thick for maximum strength. Keep in mind that wood doors require more maintenance than fiberglass or steel doors, as they can warp or rot over time if not properly cared for.
Tips to Consider
- Reinforced Door Frames and Hardware: Regardless of your chosen material, a strong door is only as good as its frame and hardware. Opt for reinforced door frames made from materials like steel or aluminum. Heavy-duty screws and multiple-point locking systems can also add an extra layer of security.
- Garage Doors: Pay attention to the garage door when hurricane-proofing your home. A weak garage door can be a point of entry for strong winds, pressuring the house and potentially blowing off the roof. Reinforced, impact-resistant garage doors are available and are a wise investment for homes in hurricane-prone areas.
- Certification and Ratings: When shopping for a hurricane-resistant door, look for those tested and certified to meet the standards set by organizations like the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the Miami-Dade County Building Code. These doors have been rigorously tested to withstand the conditions associated with hurricanes.
When protecting your home from hurricanes, the right door can make all the difference. Whether you opt for fiberglass, steel, impact-resistant glass, or solid wood door, ensure it is reinforced and meets the necessary certifications for hurricane resistance. By taking these precautions, you can provide essential protection for your home and loved ones.
– Written by Geraldine Orentas