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Protecting Your Present: Garage Doors

Because of their width, double-wide garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than single doors. Unless you have a tested hurricane-resistant door, the wind may force it out of the roller track -- especially if the track is light weight or some of the anchor bolts are not in place. This occurs because the door deflects too much under excessive wind pressure and fails.

To secure your garage door:
  • Check with your local government building official to see if there are code requirements for garage doors in your area.
  • Check with your local building supplier or garage door retailer to see if a retrofit kit is available for your garage door.
  • You should probably reinforce your double-wide garage door at its weakest points. This involves installing horizontal and/or vertical bracing onto each panel, using wood or light gauge metal girds bolted to the door mullions. You may also need heavier hinges and stronger end and vertical supports for your door.
If you decide to retrofit your garage door with a kit that allows you to operate the door after it is installed, make sure the door is balanced by lowering it about halfway and letting go. If the door goes up or down, the springs will need adjusting. Note: Since the springs are dangerous, only a professional should adjust them.

If you are unable to retrofit your garage door with a kit specifically designed for your door, you can purchase garage door retrofit kits to withstand hurricane winds at your local building supply store. Also, check to see if the supplier can do the installation.

The above information is taken from IBHS's instructive pamphlet, "Is Your Home Protected from Hurricane Disaster? - A Homeowner's Guide to Retrofit."

More: Strengthening roofs and walls and windows and doors.
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Page last modified: July 27, 2004
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