There’s no preventing hurricane season, whether we like it or not. From June 1st through November 30th, everyone that resides in the Florida hurricane-prone areas maintain a keen eye on the weather report, waiting on a storm system with the next alphabetical name. With modern weather forecasting, hurricanes can be detected from over a thousand miles away, keeping every person in its path on the edge of their seat.
Those who live in locations prone to hurricanes tend to be prepared and know exactly what steps to take in order to minimize the impact to their property, and ultimately, their lives. They stock up on supplies such as drinking water, flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits, etc. As the hurricane approaches, you’ll also see news video of people covering their doors and windows with plywood and other materials.
Don’t Forget the Garage Door
Surprisingly, we hear very little about precautions to secure garage doors from damage. Perhaps because many garage doors don’t have windows, or maybe people look right past the garage door as if it were part of the structure of the home.
But this is not the case. The garage door is indeed an opening like all your other doors. They are not a structural component of the home. They are entrance ways that open and close, with just a few attachment points.
Therefore, not only is it not a strong point of the structure that will protect the garage during the hurricane, it is a vulnerable part of the home which, if not properly strengthened, can be severely damaged, or worse yet, totally removed from the building.
Having your garage door blown off your house does more than just destroy your door. Because it’s the largest opening in your home, once the wind gets inside your garage, it can do far more damage than if the door stays intact.
In fact, if your garage door is compromised, pressure inside the home can build up and potentially cause catastrophic damage, like removal of the roof and supporting walls. Securing your garage door against hurricane-force winds isn’t just a good idea, it’s an absolute necessity if you live in a location prone to hurricanes.
There are two main considerations when thinking about garage door fortification. The first is wind resistance. Hurricane winds can range from 75mph to 150mph. Most average garage doors are not wind code rated and may not withstand these high wind speeds.
The second consideration is impact resistance. Many existing garage doors may not be able to stand up to the impact of objects flying at high velocity. If the door is damaged by flying debris, we again have the problem of high winds entering the building through a sizable opening.
Know Your Local Building Codes
Your city or local building division can provide you with details governing garage doors. Many areas have unique codes requiring wind-resistant garage doors that can endure minimal quantities of wind.
Lots of cities throughout the nation have actually adopted the International Building Code (IBC), which requires homebuilders to make and construct residences to stand up to minimal wind loads in their area. The IBC additionally relates to substitute garage doors.
New Wind Immune Garage Doors
In the past, wind-resistant garage doors were built such that additional beams and supports needed to be put into place every time a hurricane or tropical storm occurred. The hardware needed to be removed before the door could be used again.
Today’s newer garage doors have support structures designed and built into the door, capable of withstanding both positive and negative pressures created by wind-related events. Wind-rated garage doors are a solution that require no pre-storm preparation; better than retrofit kits that require installation before every storm.
Wind-resistant garage doors are constructed with one or more layers of steel. Some doors also utilize layers of insulation, aluminum or wood to increase their strength. Because the strengthening qualities are built into the door, you won’t need to waste time setting up panels before storms.
Strengthening Existing Garage Doors
If your current door has actually been in place for a number of years, you may feel as though you can beef-up that door with some DIY measures and also squeeze a couple more years out of it. That’s not a threat worth taking.
In fact, if your current door has endured a few hurricanes, thinking it’s strong enough to remain to do so is not a great bet. Most likely, it has possibly been battered enough to be weaker than when it was brand-new.
If your garage door is older, as well as was mounted before typhoon codes were set up, you ought to consider reinforcing it, or better yet, changing it entirely. However if you’re persistent on keeping your existing door, there are some actions you can require to present some strength to your existing door.
There are two short-lived approaches of safeguarding an existing garage door that is not a storm-resistant door:
Dental braces– Install braces constructed from lightweight aluminum or steel. Put them into brackets mounted inside the garage.
Panels– Usage panels, like those used on domestic doors and windows. They can be mounted right into tracks mounted outside you garage door.
If your garage floods when it rains, you’ll need to replace the weather stripping and also set up a flood barrier to stop water from entering at the front of the door. If water is entering your garage at the bottom of the door weatherstripping may not suffice. You might require to have a water drainage system mounted to path water far from the door and also right into sewage system lines or a better location on your residential or commercial property.
There’s no navigating the fact that if you live in a hurricane-prone area, there are numerous points to consider when a tornado is headed your method. All those instant home and also life-saving steps are initially on your mind, consisting of leaving town.
But your local garage door installer is probably leaving town too, so they won’t be around to install your new storm-resistant door. Do yourself a favor and have a new storm-resistant garage door installed by Overhead Door of Tallahassee before the next storm shows up on that weather map.