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5 Ways To Protect Your French Doors During Hurricane Season

by April Carlson

French doors provide many benefits including greater airflow, lots of sunlight, and easy access to your yard. Unfortunately, they can also be a fairly weak point in your home during hurricane season. However, if you want the benefits of French doors, there are several ways that you can minimize the risk of damage to your doors during hurricane season. Below are five ways that you can protect your French doors, and the interior of your home, if you live in an area prone to hurricanes. 

Install Outward Swinging Doors 

In most cases, both outward-swinging and inward-swinging French doors provide enough security and protection to a home. However, in hurricane areas, you will want the slightly stronger stability of outward swinging French doors. This is because, under high pressure from winds, outward-swinging doors will naturally push inward towards the door jamb and stay closed. Conversely, inward-swinging doors are solely dependent on their hardware to resist wind pressure, making them less secure. 

Inward-swinging doors are more likely to suffer from gaps along the edges of the door during high winds, even if they do not fail completely. This can allow water into your home during hurricanes. 

Use Long, Heavy-Duty Hardware to Anchor Your Doors 

All of the hinges for your doors should be solidly anchored to the frame of your house. To do this, you may need to replace short screws that only reach the surface of your walls with longer screws. You may also want to replace your hinge plates with large plates that accept wider screws, as this can help ensure that the hinges hold to both the doors and the walls during high winds. 

Install Anchorage Systems On Both Doors

Traditionally, French doors offer an anchor for one door. This anchor is near to where the two doors meet and is usually a relatively thin pin that extends down into your floor when you do not want the door to open. It provides an extra measure of security, but is often not enough to withstand hurricane forces. You should install a thicker anchorage system at the top and bottom of each door. You should make sure that the anchorage system extends fully into your sub-floor and ceiling joists. This will make the doors less likely to fly inward at their meeting point under high winds. 

Opt for Shatter-resistant Glass

High-quality, shatter-resistant glass is helpful for all French doors that are in a hurricane area. However, they are especially necessary if you have large glass panes in your French doors. This glass is usually made by sandwiching a strong, clear polymer between two layers of glass. This type of glass is less likely to break due to winds or flying debris, and if it is damaged, it will not shatter. This can protect your home from pressure build-up in your home even if the glass in one of your French doors fails.

Although after market films can be added to your glass to increase their strength and help prevent shattering, opting for shatter-resistant glass is generally a safer choice.  

Install Storm Shutters Over Your Doors 

Finally, you should install storm shutters over your French doors. There are a wide variety of storm shutters available, which you can either install yourself or hire a professional to install. Roll-down shutters are the most expensive option, but they are easy to operate and stay in place above your doors permanently, meaning you will not have to reinstall them every time there is a storm warning. They also tend to provide maximum protection for your home. 

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, it is important that you consider these issues during the installation of your French doors. This way, you will be prepared when a storm comes. For more information, contact a company that sells french doors, such as Fas Windows and Doors.