Protecting your Garage Door from Storms
Often the largest opening in most homes, the garage door is usually the most vulnerable to high wind pressure such as hurricanes, tornadoes and storms. The pressure of the wind can destroy the garage doors during a storm that allows water and wind to enter the house. This can cause significant damage to furniture, electronic equipment, the contents in general as well as the house’s structure. The garage door is often overlooked when strengthening the structure against high winds.
Active and Passive Systems
Massive building failures and strong winds have convinced storm-prone communities that residents must be prepared to employ active or passive reinforcement systems for their
garage doors. An active system is a specific type of reinforcement that must be installed before a high-wind event while passive systems are built into the product and don’t need any activation from the owner. For the home owner in hurricane-prone areas, there are only two real options: either a new garage door with a built-in passive reinforcement system or a garage door reinforcement kit.
The Various Options
The option of totally replacing the garage door is usually an expensive procedure so a garage door reinforcement kit would be a good choice if you have a low budget. Although it is rather expensive, a new garage door offers a more secure and safe option in front of a high wind.
If you’d rather choose the cheapest option, that is to reinforce your garage door, you can protect your home in one of the following ways: first of all, install pressure or impact resistant devices such as shutters, panels, accordion fold shutters on the garage doors or install pressure/impact resistant garage doors that do not require shutters. If your existing door is impact resistant but it is not wind pressure rated, install an approved garage door bracing system to increase the wind pressure resistance. A pressure/impact resistant rating ensures that the device meets the wind pressure and debris impact requirements of the Southern Building Code Congress International standards or the July 1988 wind pressure and debris impact requirements of the American Society of Civil Engineers adopted in September 1994.
When adding a garage door bracing, first ensure that there is enough and relevant documentation that the product has been tested at a certified testing laboratory. The product should be designed to withstand both positive and negative wind pressure. You should contact a local garage door supplier of approved garage door bracing systems to assist you in the selection of the necessary system for your needs.