Wind-Proofing a Garage Door Also Helps Protect a Home
Many homeowners across New York simply assume that their garage doors will hold up in a storm because storms aren’t as severe in the Northeast as they are in Florida, for example. But recent experiences with tornadoes and hurricane-force winds that hit the area have shown residents that you can never be too prepared for extreme weather and the effects it can have on your home. Every homeowner who has a garage should take steps to ensure their garage door can handle unexpectedly high winds and severe storms.
When high winds cause damage to a garage door, it’s not just the door that’s affected. If the winds are strong enough, the garage door can warp or fail, allowing the wind into the garage. The wind can then impact the home’s roof, possibly taking off part of it in the process. In any case, it’s much safer and more cost-effective to take steps to protect a home’s garage doors before a storm hits rather than deal with the damage after the storm.
All areas of the country have been assigned a “wind load” ranking based on each area’s prevailing climate. In the New York City and northern New Jersey areas, winds generated by severe thunderstorms and coastal storms can produce as much wind as Florida experiences during some hurricanes. Wind speed is an important part of the ranking, but pressure differential, expressed as the pressure emitted by forces acting on the inside as well as the outside of the garage door, are also an essential consideration.
Today’s garage doors are better able to handle the stress put on them by high winds than garage doors in the past, but they aren’t infallible. Homeowners themselves can take some steps to make repairs or they can call a garage door repair company to do the repairs rather than replacing the garage doors completely.
Repair Options That Strengthen Garage Doors
The easiest and least expensive way to strengthen a garage door is to fit it with special reinforced door braces. Garage companies recommend a vertical bracing system that attaches to the top and bottom of the garage door frame. Typically single-car garages require one brace, while two-car garages may need three braces. These braces are temporary, but can be easily and quickly installed before a predicted storm and then removed once it has passed.
Hurricane panels are another repair option that can strengthen the garage door. These panels are typically manufactured of metal or aluminum materials. The panels are attached to the exterior of the garage door by clips, screws or special track systems. The use of hurricane panels for garage door enhancement is often regulated by local governments, so homeowners should check ordinances and regulations before purchasing and installing the panels.
New Garage Doors Can Better Withstand High Winds
Installing a new garage door is a permanent but more expensive solution. A homeowner who is considering replacing a garage door should first check with their local government about the wind load ranking of their city. This will help him determine which garage door he should buy.
Reinforced garage doors should be rated to withstand potential winds across the New York area. This means they should be manufactured with rollers and panels that can withstand the winds expected for the area. The rollers, hinges and tracks need to be made of reinforced materials and the tracks should be attached to the structure at more points than is typical in garage construction.
Strengthening your garage door means more than just protecting the garage itself. Homeowners who want to make sure that their garage doors and homes can withstand a severe thunderstorm, strong tropical winds or a coastal blizzard need to take action while the weather is calm. Calling an experienced company like New York Garage Doors is the first step you can take to ensure your garage door will stand up to all kinds of wind and weather.
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