Preparing Your Garage Door For Hurricanes

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If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you want to make sure that your garage door is secure. This often means retrofitting it if the protection it offers is insufficient. If your garage door fails during a hurricane, it can allow the hurricane winds to enter your home and damage interior doors, walls, ceilings and even the roof. It's essential to ensure that your garage door can stand up to wind pressure, as well as to impacts caused by flying debris. Below are some of your options for preparing a garage to make it hurricane proof.

Adding Braces

You could choose to install vertical braces to reinforce your garage door. These can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores. For two car garage doors, you'll need multiple braces to stand up to the wind pressure.

One problem with using braces is that they don't address the issue of damage caused by flying debris, which is particularly important if your garage has windows. If you want to protect your garage door from impacts as well, you have to consider one of the other options below.

Purchase a Strengthening Kit

Contact the manufacturer of your garage door to see if they make a kit designed to strengthen the door so it will stand up to the hurricane force winds it might face. Assuming they do, this kit should allow you to bring your door up to the same protection level you would get from a new one especially designed for the purpose.

When you retrofit an existing garage door, it requires reinforcing the panels, as well as strengthening the rollers, tracks and springs. This is a complex job you might want to hire a professional to do for you. These kits often don't come with reinforcements for the windows, so you might have to buy and install replacement impact hurricane windows designed for this purpose.

Install Exterior Protection

Another alternative is to install exterior protection over your garage door. This kind of shutter system can be closed over the door just before a hurricane strikes and opened again once you have the all clear. Many homeowners who go with this option also choose to have similar shutters applied to their home's doors and windows.

Replace the Door Entirely

Your final option (and probably the simplest) is to replace the door entirely. While not inexpensive, this is often the best choice if your garage door is already past its prime and in need of replacement anyway. By choosing this option, your garage door is quickly and easily brought up to the standard required to stand up to a hurricane.

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