There are things that everyone knows to do when a hurricane is coming. Board up the windows. Stock up on sandbags. Head to the grocery store for bottled water, non-perishable food, and batteries. Fill up your gas tank with fuel and put up your hurricane shutters. Secure anything that may turn into a projectile during a storm, like plants and patio furniture. It’s easy to think that your list is complete. But you may be missing something important – your garage door. It’s important to consider the garage door when preparing for a hurricane, because if the door is blown in or blown off, your chances of roof damage and other structural damage increase markedly. Take a look at what you need to know to ensure that your garage door is secure.
How Wind-Resistant Is Your Door?
During a category three hurricane, wind speeds can reach up to 129 miles per hour. If you’re looking at either a category four or five, you can expect even higher winds than that. So your door needs to be able to withstand those winds. Your city building codes may even require garage doors to be able to withstand winds up to 130 miles per hour. Check with your city to find out if there are building code requirements for your garage door. There should be a sticker on the side of the door that tells you how wind resistant it is.
While newer doors are likely to be up to code, if you have an older garage door, or if you still have the garage door that came with the house and you don’t know how old it is, you’re more at risk. Also, the door for a double-car garage is at more risk than the door for a single-car garage.
Increasing Your Wind Resistance
There are a couple of ways to increase the wind resistance of your door. You could buy a new garage door, which is a good idea if your current door isn’t up to code, or if it’s simply an old door that’s in need of replacement anyway. Make sure that you understand the difference between an impact-resistant door and a hurricane-resistant door. Impact-resistant doors are made to withstand items or strong forces hitting them. Hurricane resistant doors not only are designed to survive impact; they also have framework that prevents the door from twisting in the face of heavy winds. Impact-resistant is better than nothing, but a hurricane-resistant door is better, especially if you live in an area that’s especially hurricane-prone.
You can also purchase a garage door bracing kit that gives your garage door extra reinforcement against hurricanes. These are usually easy enough for a reasonably handy homeowner to install on their own, and can provide a little extra protection no matter what kind of door you have. Even a hurricane-resistant door could benefit from a little extra protection. If your door is not hurricane-resistant or impact-resistant and you don’t have the time or funds to purchase a new door before a hurricane hits, a bracing kit is important to give your garage door as much resistance as you possibly can.
To find out more about protecting and strengthening your garage, contact us for a Free design consultation and estimate.