You’re on the hunt for a hurricane door and aren’t sure where to start. We understand impact door shopping can be overwhelming, as there’s a lot to consider.
Whether you’re seeking a hurricane-safe fiberglass or aluminum entry door, a French or sliding glass door or a heavy-duty garage door, a few basic considerations apply when choosing an impact door.
Let’s look at some common questions we get from our customers to help make your decision easier:
Is it Better to Invest in a New Hurricane Door or Reinforce Your Current Door?
As a Florida resident, your doors must be able to withstand simulated testing and have a certified stamp of approval to be considered hurricane-safe.
There are ways to reinforce the door you have now instead of replacing it, however, these retrofitted “Band-Aids” lack the protection of a tested impact door. By time you brace the edges of the door, secure the mounting area and strengthen the track, you’re looking at a large investment of time and money— which could have been used to purchase a professional-grade hurricane door with expert installation.
Plus, there are a lot of differences in the construction of a hurricane door vs. your average, everyday door. Even reinforced, a standard wooden door is still often no match against debris whipped at over a 100 miles per hour!
What is the Storm Door Made of?
Before purchasing a hurricane-safe door, you need to consider the type of material you prefer for both style and functional protection. Do you need an impact-proof sliding or French swing door that won’t shatter? What about your garage door— do you choose a shutter-like fold-down or paneled fiberglass?
A few things to look out for:
- Know your impact glass. Glass types can get confusing: there’s tempered, laminated, etc., then all the crazy lingo of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and shatter-proof adhesives. Read our article all about impact glass windows to discover the difference and know the key features that give glass panels a trustworthy impact-rating.
- Stay away from real wood. While real wood is beautiful, it’s subject to erosion and wear. That’s why many hurricane doors manufacturers make their products out of aluminum or fiberglass, with patterns that mimic the look of wood, like PGT.
- Opt for a strong frame. A door is only as strong as the framing that holds it in place. Aluminum frames, for instance, carry three times the strength of vinyl and are often a wise choice for storm doors— which is one of the reasons we choose SIW doors.
- Check the hardware. Don’t skimp on the parts that connect your door to its framing. Look for corrosion-resistant materials, promising long-term durability.
What’s Your Area’s Wind Load Requirement?
Different regions have different compliances, like a wind load rating, that your door must match. In the Miami-Dade area, for instance, garage doors must be able to resist wind speeds of up to 150 miles per hour, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane.
Learn more about the wind speeds at various hurricane categories and be sure to check that the impact door you choose can withstand your city’s requirements.
Does the Impact Door Come with a Warranty?
While hurricane doors are more durable than a standard door, the elements can take their toll. Impact doors can be a big investment, so be sure you’re getting your money’s worth in the long run.
Many reputable brands offer generous warranties, which is something you should investigate before purchasing a door. For instance, many of our hurricane doors come with 5 or 10-year coverage to promise long-lasting protection.
Would a Storm Screen Be Better?
Are you looking to protect a larger opening, such as a space next to your pool house or lanai? Unfortunately, heavy-duty doors or shutters can obscure your outdoor view.
With a hurricane screen, you can still protect your family from the elements, and even insects and sun! Learn how about what sets our Altas Armor Hurricane Screen apart or browse our selection of hurricane screens.
You Need Professional Installation
There’s a time and a place for cutting corners, however, a natural disaster is not it.
Ensure your family has the best protection possible, by leaving the hurricane door selection and installation up to the professionals.
Discover why people all across Southwest Florida choose our impact doors for their homes and businesses. Then, give us a call at (239) 431-3190 and consult with our team on the best solution. We can help you choose the right style and strength for your doorway, as well as install it correctly— for more protection and less stress.