Hurricane Garage Doors and Window Protection
Hurricane Retrofit Guide
Because garage doors are so big, usually the single biggest opening on your house, and because most old doors are so weak, the survival of your garage door is very important to the survival of your house. Experience has shown in older houses that when garage doors fail in hurricane winds a lot of additional damage follows. When you are evaluating your house for its vulnerability to hurricanes you need to look at your garage door as one of the first and most important vulnerabilities. Older garage doors and new ones that are not pressure rated are highly susceptible to wind damage, including buckling, twisting off the tracks, total collapse, and failure due to impact from windborne debris. Doors can be pushed in by winds blowing onto the door, the upwind side, or pulled out as winds whip around the corner of the house where the door is located, the downwind side.
Failure of the garage door allows the full fury of the hurricane enter the house to act on interior walls, doors, ceiling or roof that form the barriers between the inside of the garage and the rest of the house. This frequently leads to failure of these surfaces and can lead to significant loss of roof sheathing or loss of a part of the roof.
Water intrusion around the perimeter of a garage door is not usually a big problem unless you have things that can be damaged by water sitting directly on the floor. Most garage floors are gently slopped towards the door so that water that blows in around the door will tend to drain out of the garage. However in a hurricane winds may blow water into the garage for some time so it is probably prudent to raise vulnerable contents off the floor and away from the door.
Hurricane rated garage doors are just one component of protection for your home. Hurricane proof front doors and hurricane rated impact windows or shutter systems help to complete the overall protection. See the URL below for more information about hurricane rated garage doors, hurricane proof front doors, and hurricane window protection as well as other related topics.
Read the entire hurricane retrofit guide at floridadisaster.org.