If you're installing a door in your home or business you may want to know the proper swing of the door. In general, most interior doors open “inward”, meaning you pull them in towards you. The same is true for exterior doors and here are some reasons as to why...
- You want to keep the door hinge pins secure inside the building / room.
- If the exterior door swings outward it could catch the wind (on a windy day) and basically get pulled away from your hand and possibly bang into something.
- If you live in a snowy environment, opening the exterior door outward will be very difficult if there is a large amount of snow against it.
- If you wanted to add a screen door or storm door to the entry you will not be able to do so if the door swings outward.
There are those who recommend that an outswing door is more secure from breakins and is safer during hurricane season.
In South Florida, it is the norm for all exterior doors to swing outward. It is also code that these doors swing outward. There are exceptions but these doors must not only pass a forced entry test but also a water infiltration test. And have either Metro Dade Product Approval or Florida Product Approval with additional approval for “High Velocity Hurricane Zone” (HVHZ).
According to the Florida Building Code, "“Wind-borne debris region” where design speeds are greater than 120 mph or greater than 110 mph if within 1 mile of the coast. Except the Florida panhandle where the region lies within 1 mile of the coast. 2. “High velocity hurricane zone” of Miami-Dade and Broward counties."
As far as your other comments about cleaning and painting, you are “spot on”. The doors being manufactured today are a composite being made with a high strength foam core and fiberglass skin and they are able to withstand the stringent Impact testing and can be used in residential applications. Your strongest doors for this region or any coastal hurricane region are going to be an aluminum door with full laminated glass with this glass being anywhere from 3/8” to 9/16” thick. Many of these doors have a design pressures to go 30 stories or higher depending on their location in the building.
Because of the ever evolving design technology doors and windows are continuously becoming stronger and more energy efficient every year.