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South Florida Building Codes for Garage Doors

The Florida Building Code regulates the design and construction of garage doors on all kinds of buildings. The requirements for garage door design are largely affected by the frequency of hurricanes and tropical storms in southern Florida. In both Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the building code makes special provisions to combat the relatively higher likelihood of hurricanes and hurricane-strength winds.

Resistance Requirements

In South Florida, garage doors must be built to comply with the Florida building code.

In all of Florida, garage doors or rolling doors must withstand winds of a specified speed and flying debris of a specified force. Generally, garage doors must combat three-second gusts at wind speeds between 85 and 150 miles per hour (mph). Both the size of the garage door and the pitch of the garage roof determine the exact wind speed resistance required. For example, a small garage door measuring eight by eight feet with a roof angle of 10.5 degrees must withstand a three-second gust of 85 mph winds. A large garage door measuring 14 by 14 feet with a roof angle of 36 degrees must bear a three-second gust of 150 mph winds. Finally, the height of the building must be factored in, with taller buildings multiplied by the largest co-efficients and subject to tolerating the greatest wind speeds (See reference 1, 1609.6).

In the High Velocity Hurricane Zone

In the both Miami-Dade and Broward counties, garage doors must pass the particularly stringent load tests to meet the "High Velocity Hurricane Zone" specifications. All garage doors must pass a large missile test and/or a small missile test, each designed to model the forces of wind-borne debris flying in hurricane-strength winds. These tests are the same for all exterior doors, wall cladding and glazed surfaces. In the large missile test, rolling doors and garage doors must withstand striking with a two by four piece of lumber weighing nine pounds and traveling at 50 feet per second (see reference 2, R4403.16.2-R4403.16.3).

Other Requirements

Section R309 of the Florida building code stipulates all other requirements for building garages and carports. Garage doors which connect a garage to an interior residential space cannot directly lead to a sleeping area. They must be at least 1 and 3/8 inches thick and made of solid wood or steel, either solid or honeycomb core. 20-minute fire-rated doors of any material are also permissible (see Reference 3. R309). All remote garage door openers must comply with the American National Standards Underwriters Laboratories, UL 325-30.1 and UL 325-30.2. This regulation mandates an automatic reverse-safety function on all remote garage door openers (see Reference 3, R309 and Reference 4).

References

The Florida Building Code does not allow individual pages within its code to be linked directly. Therefore, links for References 1-4 are to the same main page. You'll have to follow the below steps to click to the applicable page for each reference.

Ref 1 -

  1. Click "Florida Building Code 2007"

  2. Click "2007 Florida Building Code: Building (First Printing)‚ includes 2009 Supplement"

  3. Click Chapter 16 - "Structural Design"

  4. Scroll to referenced section.

Ref 2 -

  1. Click "Florida Building Code 2007"

  2. Click "2007 Florida Building Code: Residential (First Printing)‚ includes 2009 Supplement"

  3. Click Chapter 44 - "High-Velocity Hurricane Zones"

  4. Scroll to referenced section.

Ref 3 -

  1. Click "Florida Building Code 2007"

  2. Click "2007 Florida Building Code: Residential (First Printing)‚ includes 2009 Supplement"

  3. Click Chapter 3 - "Building Planning"

  4. Scroll to referenced section.