So many homeowners in Bradenton, FL put a lot of time and energy into finding the right impact resistant windows or hurricane shutters to protect their homes. But sometimes they forget about the other areas. Garage doors are especially vulnerable in the event of strong winds. Here is what you need to know about protecting your garage doors during a hurricane or tropical storm.

Why Do I Need to Protect my Garage Door?

Garage doors are one of the most vulnerable areas of your home and the most likely opening to fail during a severe storm. Yes, even more so than windows. They are relatively long and often constructed of weaker, lighter materials. While this works to help lower costs and conserve energy, it doesn’t do you any favors when it comes to storm proofing your home. Garage doors can detach from the tracks or get hit by debris and buckle. You can imagine the kind of damage that might cause. Once the garage door is lost, you might consider your house also lost due to the pressure from high-speed winds. So if your garage door is not rated to handle the gale force winds and flying projectiles, you need to find other means of protecting your home.

How do I Know if my Garage Door is Hurricane Rated?

Most professionals suggest you get a windowless garage door that can withstand 50+ pounds of pressure per square foot. There should be a sticker on your garage door with the manufacture’s information. In addition to the manufacturer’s name and the model number, you should be able to find if it is impact rated. You need to see if your door is compliant with impact resistant requirements outlined by the state. You also should know a single door has a better chance of survival than a double door, since smaller doors are less than nine feet wide. And if you still aren’t sure, contact one of our professionals to have them come out and take a look.

Can I Reinforce the Garage Door Myself?

Yes. In fact, many homeowners in Bradenton, FL do just that. Some choose to make their own vertical reinforcements out of lumber and attach them to the frame and concrete. Others prefer to purchase pre-made metal reinforcement kits. Of these, there are two basic options: active bracing kits and passive bracing systems. With the active bracing kit, you preinstall the mountings and then physically fit in the braces when a storm is on the way. With passive bracing systems, you install the full unit, including a new garage door, and simply lock it when a hurricane approaches. With both of these options you are adding weight to the garage door and you might need to adjust or replace the counterbalance system. Make sure you hire a garage door professional for that job.

Is there Another Option for Hurricane Proofing a Garage Door?

Yes! Some of the hurricane shutters used to protect windows and doors in Bradenton, FL can also work to protect garage doors. These include screens, storm panels, and roll-down hurricane shutters. For more information on these systems, contact Armored Dade Windows and Shutters at 941-798-9010. Or you can come by 8112 Cortez Rd. West, Bradenton, FL. 34210. Will can schedule a free estimate and help you decide which garage door protection is best for your home.