Did you know that over 80% of hurricane damage to homes and businesses starts with wind entry through garage doors? Your garage door can be the largest and weakest opening in your home or business. FEMA recommends that your door be evaluated by a professional garage door specialist for its ability to withstand these storms (FEMA 2011). FEMA also reported after Hurricane Charley that Florida residents with properly protected homes and businesses escaped with little or no damage and were able to return to their homes and businesses almost immediately after the storm. Meanwhile, even after two months, many of their neighbor’s unprotected homes and businesses remained shuttered. Don’t get caught unprotected!
Your existing garage door can be reinforced to be as strong as a new door for a fraction of the cost. However, as with any home improvement project, there is a correct and incorrect way to reinforce your garage door. Many homeowners attempt these incorrect methods in order to save a few bucks. These methods may make you feel safer, but they will not work as expected.
Incorrect Reinforcement methods:
- Using a vehicle to reinforce the door-having a vehicle too close to the garage door during high winds may cause the door to clinch around the vehicle
- Using wooden panels to reinforce the door-wooden panels are typically not strong enough to withstand high winds and may come unattached from the garage door
- Using angle irons or steel vertical braces for reinforcement-these reinforcements may not be strong enough or secure enough to withstand winds. If these braces come unattached from the garage door, they may cause additional damage or injuries
The Correct Hurricane Reinforcement Method:
- We begin by ensuring the lumber the track is attached to is securely anchored into the block or wood-frame walls.
- Install two additional jamb brackets to each track to anchor the track to the lumber.
- Install new heavy-duty rollers to prevent the door from being pushed out of the tracks.
- Install 3″ structural reinforcements to each panel to supply the main strength of the system. This is the key element in the reinforcement of the door.
- We install one brace per panel for 100 m.p.h. reinforcement, and two braces per panel for 130 m.p.h. reinforcement.
- Install new heavy-duty galvanized springs to properly counterbalance the door with the additional added weight.
- Install heavy-duty hinges on each end of door and secure with 8 screws per hinge.
This is a complete package, which must be installed properly and as a whole in order for the true protection to be achieved. Be aware of our competitors who install smaller reinforcements, no jamb brackets or rollers, or claim they can “re-tension” your existing springs.
Our reinforcement package does not cause any extra strain on your automatic operator. In fact, with the new springs and rollers installed, there is more lift and less drag from the door, resulting in easier opener operation.
Vertical post reinforcements can be used in addition to our permanent hurricane package. The posts provide additional strength, but have to be manually installed before a storm and renders the door inoperable until they are removed. Our permanent reinforcements will provide up to 130 m.p.h. of protection in the event you are not home or unable to install the vertical posts. When the posts are installed, you can have the peace of mind knowing your garage door will withstand any category wind-speeds. And when your garage door can survive a hurricane, you dramatically increase the odds of your home still standing after the storm.
Doors with windows can still be reinforced. There is simply not enough wind that can enter through broken garage door windows to cause the updraft to remove your roof. We offer free no pressure estimates and demonstrations for our Hurricane Reinforcement Packages. More hurricane Health & Safety information can be obtained from FEMA.