There’s no denying that 2020 has been one heck of a year. From a war that almost broke out between the U.S. and Iran, the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires raging across the West Coast, and over 25 recorded Hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin, this year is shaping out to be one of the worst ever (in terms of natural disasters and climate change).
With weather like this becoming more common by the month, it’s enough to make many homeowners question the quality and durability of everything in their home. This is especially true if you’re in the market for a new folding door system. Now, not only do your bi-fold doors need to be energy-efficient, but they also need to be weather-proof!
In today’s article, we’re going to be going over storm-proof folding door panels and what you can do to ensure that you’re choosing the highest-quality option on the market. Whether you’re constructing a large patio door, an entrance point or you’re installing large opening doors for your business, if you live in a hurricane-prone area, it’s important to make sure you’re protected.
A Rapidly-Changing Planet
Like it or not, our planet is rapidly changing, so here’s a quick lesson in modern science. As the earth continues to heat up year after year, the polar ice caps are melting which has contributed to a rapidly-rising sea level. The higher that the sea level rises, the more that the earth’s climate changes with it.
Changing climate means more variability in wind pressure, more unpredictability in weather patterns, stronger winds, and more hurricanes, storms, tornados, you name it. Much of what causes these fast-spinning storms to form is differences in temperature and pressure.
These changes are most common in the late summer and early fall months. Only now, these storms are becoming bigger and more frequent than they ever have in the past. Experts agree that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, so you’ll want to make sure every home decor choice you make now will be able to stand up to our planet’s future weather patterns.
Bi-Fold Door Systems Are Built For Durability
We promise that we’re not trying to completely scare you off! Lucky for you, many of the leading manufacturers of accordion doors are have been able to design storm-proof and hurricane-proof doors that are just as reliable as traditional sliding doors and swing doors.
These aren’t your average closet doors, they’re large, heavy-duty, metal doors designed to take the hardest beating that nature can throw at them. From energy-efficient, low-e, glazed glass options that can stand up to hurricane pressure change to reinforced-aluminum doors and stainless steel tracks, below we’ll cover all of the important details you should be aware of when shopping for your next folding door system.
How To Pick Your Hurricane-Proof Accordion Doors
Now that you know a little bit more about why it’s important to choose hurricane-proof folding doors, let’s look at what your options are going to be as far as technical specifications.
Miami-Dade Storm Certification
If you really want to make sure that your new multi-point folding doors are rated for maximum durability, then you’ll want to double-check to ensure that they’ve passed the Miami-Dade Storm Certification ratings.
Located on the Southern tip of Florida, Miami gets hit by more hurricanes every year than just about any other city in America. As you can imagine, they have some of the strictest building codes in the country, and getting this city’s stamp of approval means that it will probably come with an unbeatable warranty.
Choose The Right Material For Door Panels
The most commonly used material for storm-proof folding doors is thermally-broken, structurally-reinforced aluminum. This high-quality metal is reinforced with additional welds and layers of fiberglass or ensure that they’re able to withstand hurricane-force winds. In order to ensure that the individual panels still retain their energy efficiency, the stiles are layered with a thin layer of polymer to prevent energy transfer from one side to the other.
Stainless steel is less commonly used for residential applications due to the increased weight and lack of versatility. However, the material is incredibly strong, and when combined with modern glass glazing and low-e technology, they can make for a strong commercial door application.
It’s common to see folding doors made with various solid core wood species that are storm-rated, but there aren’t many that are hurricane-proof. Although it may seem like a slight difference, wood bi-fold doors usually aren’t designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. They’re a good option if your area experiences seasonal thunderstorms and other moderate weather, but hurricanes are a different story.
Choosing High-Quality Glazed Glass Options
When purchasing a hurricane-proof folding door system, you should look for impact-resistant glass. These glass systems usually involve layering glazed glass with a low-e coating that naturally resists energy transfer from one side to the other. The layering of glazed glass panels also ensures that just because one layer fails, you’ll still have another layer to protect your living area from water damage.
Anti-Shatter Window Film
In order to provide additional protection from flying debris, most hurricane-rated glass will feature an anti-shatter window film on top of the glazed glass. This ensures that even if a rock flies into your window and causes it to crack that the whole system doesn’t shatter.
Somebody could repeatedly smash the surface of this glass with a bat and the film would still hold all of the glass together so shards didn’t fall and damage bystanders.
While you may not be able to stop climate change by yourself, you can certainly do what you can to make sure that you and your family are protected when the worst inevitably happens. Hurricane-proof doors are able to stand up to harsh winds, temperature change, torrenting rains, and flying debris. When it comes to the future of your home, don’t you want to make sure you and your family are protected?