How To Protect Your Garage Door Against Storm Damage

You may not realize that when a hurricane strikes, the most vulnerable part of your home is your garage door. In part because a garage door has such a large surface area, it is particularly prone to damage from high winds. If your garage door has not been reinforced against hurricane force winds, it can easily bend and buckle under the pressure. Damage to the door can allow these high winds to get inside and tear part of your roof off. This can in turn lead to catastrophic damage to the rest of your home. Fortunately, there are things you can do to better secure your garage in the event of a major storm.

What Are Your Options?

When you’re considering protecting your garage door (and by extension your home) against this kind of damage, you have a number of options available to you. These range from relatively inexpensive bracing that you can install yourself, to having an entirely new garage door with a high wind rating installed. Of course, this latter option is the most expensive approach. An option that lies between these two is to install hurricane panels.

Adding Braces to Your Garage Door: While there are a number of different bracing designs on the market, many people are choosing to install a type of door brace called secure door vertical bracing. For a single car garage door, you will need at least one of these braces, whereas a double car garage door will probably need a minimum of three. Depending on local code requirements, you might be allowed to install this yourself, or you might be required to hire a professional to do it for you.

Installing Hurricane Panels: Hurricane panel systems are essentially shutters made of metal that are attached to the outside of your garage door and held in place by screws, clips or a track system. When these systems are installed on garage doors, many people also use it as an opportunity to install the same kind of panels on their windows and doors.

Less expensive than installing an entirely new and heavily reinforced garage door, hurricane panels cost quite a bit more than braces. At the same time, they provide greater protection than bracing systems. Again, local building regulations or homeowner association rules may affect whether you’re able to install these for your home. Installing hurricane panels is a difficult project and is best left to professionals.

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