If you want to protect your house against damage caused by extreme storms, you should prioritize storm-proofing your garage.
As one of the largest single sections of your home, it is also the most vulnerable point in your house to extreme winds.
Ofcourse there are numerous garage types and qualities but if and when your garage is breached, the rest of your home is far more likely to sustain costly damages. Here are ways to storm-proof your garage to protect the rest of your home.
Install a Storm-Resistant Garage Door
Storms with extreme levels of wind cause the most damage when they breach your garage door and blow through the rest of your home. In addition to wind, the rest of your garage and home can sustain expensive damages from one inch of water. When you next replace your garage door, look into buying a garage door with a higher wind-resistance rating for your area.
You can check your city’s building codes for recommended wind-resistance requirements in your area. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, it’s recommended you invest in a garage door that can withstand winds of 130/mph or more. Similarly, look into doors that also have a high impact-rating, so it can withstand any debris blown by the high winds.
Install Bracing System
You can reinforce your garage door with proper bracing. Most garage doors are secured only by the tracks (for overhead doors) or hinges (for carriage doors), which are not secure enough to withstand extreme storm winds. Any slight breach in the door allows the storm winds to blow in or get sucked out, ripping at the tracks or hinges violently. You can purchase and install a bracing system, or even make and install yourself out of wooden beams.
Bracing systems work by anchoring the garage door to the walls, the floor, and into each hinge. They usually come with strong, durable materials such as aluminum that acts as a highly secure backbone to further brace it against any wind force. These systems are commonly used in areas prone to tornadoes and hurricanes, such as Florida, and have been tested for high wind resistance ratings.
Keep Your Garage Door Maintained
The biggest threat to your garage and your home is if there is a breach, hole or crack — however small — in your garage door that can allow the storm winds through. Once the wind can enter, the force of it blowing through or being sucked back out by the storm’s pressure is what causes the worst damage.
This is why you should always keep your garage door properly maintained. You should be performing a monthly maintenance check, looking for things like the following:
- Holes or cracks in the door itself
- Seal cracks, holes, or missing portions in the weather stripping
- Weakened or bent portions of the garage door tracks and bracing
Fixing any holes, gaps and weakened portions will be what helps keep your garage sealed off and secure enough to last through a storm.
Secure All Windows
The other possible source of a breach in your garage is through any garage door windows. Again, if you are in an area prone to extreme storms, the easiest way to stormproof your garage is by removing the windows or replacing them. However, if you do not want to get rid them you can try to protect and secure them from storms.
Replace the panes in your windows with impact-resistant glass, and install exterior shutters that you can close and lock to prevent debris from smashing through them. If you have glass windows built into the garage doors, you can’t use shutters but you can use the stronger glass. You can also try installing wrought-iron window protectors that will at least shield them from larger pieces of debris.
Install Drainage and Flood Vents
The other potential cause for damage to your garage is from any extreme amounts of water or flooding caused by storms. Even an inch of water can cause a lot of damage to your garage and the rest of your home.
You can help prevent storm and flood water by getting to your garage by installing a trench drain in front of your garage, and on either side of your driveway, to direct any water away from your home. You can also install flood vents in your garage that will allow any water that gets in to be quickly drained before the water levels rise enough to cause any damage.
This is a guest post from Neb Aleksic. Neb is the Sales Manager at Doorcare, a company specializing in home and property improvement projects. He is an expert when it comes to residential garage doors and commercial overhead doors, dock levelers, automatic gates and accessories.