If you were to ask someone the single most vulnerable area of a house in the event of a hurricane, they might answer windows. In actuality, the answer would be the garage door. In fact, according to Jack Stumpff, owner of a company that created a garage door bracing system, 80% of the dollar damage attributed to Hurricane Andrew was attributed to garage doors.
If your garage door is blown off, it results in a sudden pressure change due to the wide gap left. This pressure change can tear the roof off a house as well as cause significant structural damage. Not only that but once an opening has been made, your home is even more vulnerable to flood water. Just a single inch of water can cause thousands of damage to your home.
Regardless of where you live, understanding your garage door wind load could mean the difference between thousands of dollars of damage or making it through unscathed during a hurricane or severe thunderstorm.
Do I Need to Replace My Doors?
Whether or not you need a hurricane resistant garage door depends on where you live. Those in Roseville, Sacramento may not need as high a rating as individuals residing in hurricane-prone Florida.
First, check your local city building codes for garage door requirements. You should be able to find a specified wind resistance. Contact your garage door manufacturer to obtain technical specifications for your door and make sure it meets your cities requirements. If it doesn’t, then you should buy a new garage door.
Another option is to purchase a bracing system for your door. This can help your door withstand any impact from a storm. Further options include garage netting and hurricane panels. However, this only adds further support and insurance and does not make up for a weak garage door.
If safeguarding your home’s integrity wasn’t enough to convince you, talk with your insurance company and find out if you can save on your annual premium. Some insurers have quoted a 30% reduction in price just by ensuring your garage is wind resistant.