To ensure your home or business can endure hurricanes to minimal or no damage, it’s important to choose the best structural and exterior materials. Whether you recently purchased a new home or you want to upgrade your storm protection, impact doors are one of the most important elements to consider. How can you choose the right doors?
At Alufab USA, we’re experts in impact front doors, windows, and other protective systems. Our team can help you find an excellent fit for your home’s style and dimensions. At the same time, we provide professional installation services that go beyond the surface to provide real hurricane resistance. Here are several recommendations for selecting the best impact doors.
What is an Impact Rated Front Door?
An impact-rated door is a hurricane door that is designed to withstand the intense winds and flying debris of hurricanes. That’s why these doors are frequently called hurricane doors. Every part of an impact door is reinforced, from the core structure to the materials used in the door frames and hinges. This heavy-duty construction provides the toughest doors for homes and businesses in Florida.
In order to qualify as impact-rated, doors have to pass intense testing requirements such as the Miami-Dade High-Velocity Hurricane Zone Test. Part of this rigorous test includes launching a 2×4 piece of lumber at 50 feet per second aimed at various parts of the door.
How is a Hurricane Door Different Than a Regular Door?
Standard doors may look solid from the outside, but they don’t have the power to stand up to a hurricane — not even close. That’s because normal doors are basically hollow. They use a layer of metal surrounding an insulating filler.
Regular doors are more for cosmetic style than for protection. They can deter casual attempts at breaking in, but they’re simply not equipped to resist the 100–150 mph winds and high-velocity debris associated with hurricanes. In Florida, families depend on the durability, strength, and safety that only impact doors and roll down shutters can provide.
How are Impact Doors Made?
Hurricane impact doors use several high-tech layers that make them exceptionally sturdy. The thick exterior layer of an impact door is usually made of reinforced fiberglass with wood or composite elements. On the inside, impact doors use solid steel plates and superior polyurethane cores to deliver incredible strength and protection. The laminated glass used in hurricane doors follows the same technology as bullet-resistant glass.
The frames and hardware for impact doors are different than regular doors. They feature reinforced materials, stronger hinges, and better anchoring to the building’s underlying structure. This is essential for standing up to the high pressure created by hurricanes.
Impact front doors look just as gorgeous as any other entry door. There are countless styles available to fit your home’s exterior design perfectly.
What Does Load Requirement Mean?
The load requirement of impact doors refers to their resistance. One aspect is the amount of air pressure they can withstand. The other qualification is the missile impact rating. Hurricane doors can successfully resist high-velocity impacts without breaking.
Understanding Florida Hurricane Building Codes
If you live in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, or the Florida Keys, impact doors have to meet High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) testing standards. Hurricane Building Codes are stricter than the requirements for other parts of Florida. Other Florida residents, including SW Florida, should look for hurricane doors with a Florida Building Code (FBC) seal. Of course, many manufacturers aim for the HVHZ certification since it ensures even better quality.
How About Storm Screens? Are They Better Than Hurricane Doors?
Hurricane storm screens provide an excellent level of protection against high-velocity debris. They’re especially useful for open-air areas of a home, such as French doors that open to the patio. However, many screens don’t compare with the complete hurricane resistance of impact doors and windows.
Pairing storm screens with regular doors can keep a home safe from thrown projectiles. The problem is that the dangers of hurricanes include more than that. Heavy winds and high pressure put normal doors and windows under intense stress, which can cause them to break. The instant this happens, it puts the building’s interior and roof structure at tremendous risk.
On the other hand, impact doors can do it all. They stand up to strong winds, pounding rain, high-velocity debris — everything. If you decide to install storm screens over impact doors and hurricane windows, this can provide an exceptional amount of resistance.
Get Impact Rated Hurricane Doors in Southwest Florida with
There’s no comparison for homeowners looking for the best protection. Impact doors are one of the best investments you can make. Enjoy your beautiful home every day while taking steps to prepare for extreme weather. Few things are better than the peace of mind from knowing that your family is safe.
Discover incredible hurricane doors and customized impact front doors by making an appointment to visit our showroom. Contact our team at Alufab to learn more about the right impact-resistant doors for your home or business.