If you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, you probably know about protecting your home from tropical storms. You can install impact-resistant windows, hurricane shutters, metal roofs, and more.
What about your garage? How do you keep it protected in the event of high winds and hurricanes?
Most garages hold cars, expensive equipment, tools, and other property, and are usually attached to your home. When hurricanes and high winds blow through, your garage is susceptible to a lot of damage. That’s why it’s critical to make sure your garage is prepared for inclement weather.
Here are some tips on how to choose a hurricane-resistant garage door for your home:
Remember the Building Codes
Before you start shopping for hurricane-proof garage doors, you need to be aware of the building codes in your area. There are garage door requirements in many hurricane-prone places across the country.
Generally, the building codes are less strict the further inland you live. However, if you live somewhere close to the coast, your building code requirements will be much tougher. For instance, in Miami-Dade County in Florida, garage doors are required to resist winds of up to 150 miles per hour, approximately the speed of a Category 4 hurricane.
In other places, building codes will vary. However, it’s essential to know what wind resistance and impact requirements your garage door must have before you shop for your garage door.
Choose a High-Quality Impact Rated Garage Door
You have a few options to ensure that your garage door meets the building codes.
The easiest is to choose a high-quality, impact-rated, and certified garage door. In these cases, the manufacturer will rate the doors on a wind scale from W1-W8. Counties will indicate which wind scale score they require.
Another option is to purchase a retrofit kit to reinforce an existing garage door to make sure it fits the necessary impact ratio. These reinforcing kits aren’t miracle workers however, in that they won’t transform worn-out, wooden garage doors into super-strength barriers. However, when paired with a high-quality steel or PVC door, retrofit kits can be the perfect solution.
Those two options are considered “storm-ready” doors because you don’t have to do anything to prepare when a storm is coming. The other option is called an “add-on” reinforcement door.
In these instances, manufacturers add long posts on the ceiling and floor that you put in place before a storm comes. Then, you remove them once the storm is over.
These are three options you have to make sure your garage door is impact-rated and up to code for your area. The right choice for your garage depends on your budget, style goals, and your area’s building codes.
Choose the Right Material
Garage doors come in an array of material options, including wood, wood composite, fiberglass, vinyl, steel, aluminum, and PVC. However, when you’re shopping for a hurricane-proof garage door, you’re going to want to go with one of the stronger material options.
Your best bet will be to go with materials like reinforced aluminum or steel. Of course, going with a purely aluminum or steel door won’t be very attractive. If style matters to you, you can consider something that has a steel base with a PVC overlay, that merges style and strength.
Speaking of style, let’s take a look at some of the options for your garage door’s style.
Don’t Sacrifice on Style
There’s no denying that the garage door plays a significant role in your home’s curb appeal. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style just because of an occasional storm. There are many manufacturers who design or custom build garage doors to be both durable and stylish.
There’s no shortage of garage door styles out there, but some of the most popular include:
- Farmhouse Inspired Garage Doors
- Classic Panel-Styled Garage Doors
- Trifold, Folding Garage Doors
- Carriage-Style Garage Doors
The carriage, trifold, and farmhouse garage doors all traditionally swing or fold open. However, if you’re in a hurricane-prone area, these functions should be purely aesthetic. Your door needs to function like a traditional overhead garage door because making folding or swing doors wind-resistant would be incredibly challenging.
Many garage doors come with windows, but you’ll probably want to avoid them for your home. Instead, aim to select bold colors, designs, milling, and hardware to make your garage door really pop.
When it comes to choosing a style, color, and design, it’s a matter of personal preference. Many people want their garage doors to match their home’s architecture and color scheme. Ultimately though, the garage door’s style is entirely up to you.
Choosing a Hurricane Proof Garage Door
It’s possible to choose a beautiful garage door that boosts your home’s curb appeal and protects it during hurricane season. Just remember to check on your area’s building codes and go with a high-quality garage door from the start, and you’ll be sure to select the hurricane-resistant garage door that’s perfect for you.