August 14, 2015

Garage Doors and Wind Resistance: Are You Safe in a Storm?

Perhaps you live in a “storm belt,” or maybe you just occasionally get a storm that makes you sit back and take notice. Either way, it’s important that you have a durable garage door. Homeowners who don’t consider the wind resistance of their garage door can end up incurring damage in the thousands of dollars.

When you’re deciding what type of garage door to purchase, make sure that you inquire about the ratings of various doors. You want to make sure that the door you buy is rated for high wind speeds.

Wind turbine

Why Garage Door Wind Load is Important

Jack Stumpff, the president of Secure Enterprises, attributes nearly 80% of the financial losses homeowners incur during hurricanes to garage doors that simply didn’t stand up to the force of the wind (source). As he puts it, “If the garage door fails, the roof is likely to be damaged and then the damage to the home is severe.” If your garage door isn’t sufficiently wind-resistant, you could conceivably end up being out thousands of dollars repairing the damage.

Of course, a really wind-resistant garage door will cost you more than a flimsier model, but you can expect to save up to 30% on your insurance premiums once it’s installed (source). It’s actually a better deal than the cheaper door in the long run, and will also do wonders for your peace of mind when extreme weather happens.

Preparing for Extreme Weather

In areas that typically get blizzards, hurricanes, or other types of storms that generate high winds, homeowners need a garage door that is impact-resistant at a minimum. Ideally, they should have a hurricane-proof garage door. Keep in mind that it only takes an inch of ice or water to cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home. If the garage door breaks, which is highly possible if you don’t take measures to prevent it, you can likely count on a lot more than an inch of water or ice entering your garage. Make sure to:

  • Find out what your city building code requires for wind resistance. Some locations (especially those that are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes) require homeowners to use garage doors that can handle winds of 130 mph or even more.
  • Buy and install an impact resistant or a hurricane-proof garage door. An impact-resistant door can withstand high winds, but a hurricane-proof door is stronger, and also features framework that resists twisting. The hurricane-proof door is the better choice.
  • Install a bracing kit. Regardless of the type of door you have installed, you should make sure to use a bracing kit that’s designed specifically for garage doors. They’re not hard to install (you can likely do it yourself if you’re handy), and they can provide you with an enhanced level of protection.

Preparing for Normal Weather

Even if you live in a more temperate region, chances are that from time to time, you’re going to experience a severe thunderstorm. Sometimes, these storms can be bad enough to cause wind damage, so even in moderate climates you should be mindful of the importance of wind resistance when selecting a new garage door.

Windproof doors also help you to save money on energy, since it will cost you less to heat your garage when the winter winds begin to blow.

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