As regions of the United States enter tornado and hurricane seasons, ensuring that your garage door can withstand high winds is key to the safety of your home and property.
Garage doors are the largest point of entry into your home and also one of the weakest, meaning that they have the potential to let in the greatest amount of wind, debris, and precipitation. Doors that are not designed to handle high wind speeds are at risk of bending and breaking under the pressure, leaving your home vulnerable to the force of severe storms.
In this post, we will guide you through everything you need to know to prepare your garage door for hurricanes and tornadoes this season.
1: Check your local building codes and wind speeds
Check tornado activity and wind speeds based on where you live. Different regions have specific wind load requirements that your garage door should meet, which can be found by consulting your local building code and/or contacting your local building department.
If you aren't sure about your current garage door's specifications, you can look for this information on a sticker on your door, or contact the door manufacturer or a professional for an inspection.
2: Install a garage door brace
If you know that a storm is approaching soon, installing a brace on your garage door can add valuable support. Braces are anchored to the floor, wall, and the hinges of horizontally-seamed garage doors to prevent the door from bending against high winds. They can be easily installed in preparation for a storm, then removed and stored afterwards. This is a valuable option if you don’t have time to replace your entire door.
3: Switch to seven-inch rollers
Your garage door's rollers are what hold the door to the frame. Some doors use rollers with a four-inch stem, but switching to seven-inch rollers can provide more support and stability for your door. When increasing your roller length, be sure to also add another hinge so that the roller can fit through both of them, increasing the door’s strength.
4: Replace your garage door
If your current garage door isn’t built to sustain the wind speed where you live, consider replacing your door with one that satisfies your region's wind load requirements.
If you live in an area that is at risk for wind-borne debris, make sure that any windows on your garage door are rated for impact as well.
5: Add a rubber bottom sealInstalling a Rubber Bottom Weather Seal to the bottom of your garage door seals the gap between the door and floor to prevent wind and water from creeping in. Seals can also help regulate garage temperature and keep pests out all year round.
Don’t wait for a hurricane or tornado threat to take safety measures to reinforce your garage. Being prepared for severe weather is crucial for keeping your family and property safe, as well as avoiding costly damages.