Written By: Brad Campbell | January 28, 2021
Commercial entry doors are extremely vulnerable during a hurricane or other strong windstorm because they tend to contain large glass panels.
Just like you want to make sure all your windows are protected during a storm, it’s important to ensure that your business’s front door is secure as well.
When windows and doors blow out during a hurricane, two main issues arise that can cause further damage and cost you more money to repair after a storm:
Neither one of those options are something you want to deal with, which is why it’s so important to ensure that all your business’s windows and doors are sufficiently protected against hurricanes.
When it comes to making large glass entry doors hurricane resistant, you have a few different options:
Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of these potential solutions.
Replacing all your doors with hurricane-rated entry doors is an effective way to make them highly resistant to storm damage. However, the cost of replacing commercial entry doors can be very expensive, which makes it a prohibitive option for some business owners.
An average 60-inch by 80-inch hurricane impact door can cost $1,900, on average. If you have more than one front door or multiple entry doors, well, you can do the math.
Hurricane mitigation barriers range from temporary solutions like plywood sheets and corrugated storm panels to permanently installed protection like roll-down hurricane shutters and accordion-style shutters.
Installing storm damage barriers is an attractive option to many business owners because of the wide range of products available — there’s something to suit every budget and a variety of aesthetic styles to choose from. However, these solutions aren’t without their disadvantages.
For one, boards and storm panels require a lot of storage space when not in use and are labor-intensive to install. They’re also an unattractive option that can hurt your commercial property’s curb appeal and put off potential clients.
On the other hand, hurricane shutters are more visually appealing and are really easy to put in place when a storm is coming. But, you still have to install some permanent metal housing above or beside your entry doors, which isn’t always practical or pretty.
Your third option is to reinforce the glass itself. One popular way to do this is with security window film, which you may have heard of by the name hurricane window film.
This solution has plenty of merits, but it’s not as strong as some marketers would have you believe. The film is applied directly to your existing glass and makes it slightly stronger, but it won’t do anything to stop it from breaking when impacted by storm debris.
What window film does is help hold broken shards of glass in place and prevent them from flying inwards, potentially causing injury and allowing water into your business. But, you’ll still have to replace the glass after the storm.
Another glass reinforcement option is laminated security glass. This type of glass can be retrofitted into your existing glass doors and provides a level of impact resistance that’s much higher than security window film.
Nevertheless, heavy storm debris thrown by high-velocity winds can still crack laminated security glass. It will still retain its shape and keep the glass fragments in place to continue protecting your property, but it will require replacement.
Both window film and security glass are best used as a last line of defense in case an exterior barrier over the glass fails and are not designed to replace the strength of other hurricane mitigation barriers.
But, we have a third glass reinforcement option for you that CAN provide unbreakable protection for your front and entry doors.
How to Protect Doors During a Hurricane with the Riot Glass™ Flagship Product
First of all, you’re probably wondering “what exactly is ArmorPlast® 25 and what does it have to do with making entry doors hurricane resistant?”
Well, ArmorPlast® is our patented line of polycarbonate panels and framing designed for maximum security. It can protect you and your business from devastating hurricane damage as well as other threats like forced entry, burglary, and even ballistic attacks.
ArmorPlast® 25, or AP25™ for short, is a non-ballistic, containment-grade polycarbonate sheet that offers glass-like hardness with the impact resistance of polycarbonate.
That’s right, it’s not actually glass, which is why it’s the best option for making glass entry doors hurricane resistant. Even the strongest types of security glass are at risk of breaking when impacted by debris hurled by hurricane-force winds, but polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable.https://www.youtube.com/embed/6_HCCfYtIVY?wmode=transparent
Since it looks and feels just like standard window glass, installing these panels won’t detract from your building’s appearance, block out natural light, or inhibit your visibility. You’ll have essentially invisible glass protection, 24/7.
Fortifying your commercial entry doors is an essential part of protecting your business against expensive storm damage.
For cost-effective protection against storm damage and other threats that your business faces on a daily basis, we highly recommend choosing AP25™ polycarbonate panels.
Contact Riot Glass® today or have your commercial glass contractor give us a call to discuss AP25™ and other storm damage mitigation solutions we have for you.