My weatherman has been warning us from time to time of “tropical systems” creeping up into the Northern/Western Hemisphere. While hurricanes rarely hit the Northeast (they DO strike us, though– check out this post about the most damaging one to ever hit the U.S., in 1938), they usually do affect our weather. But this post isn’t for those of us in the Northeast; it’s for my many readers in the South, who are in the midst of hurricane season right now. I have never been through a hurricane, but it must be a horribly harrowing experience. The photos I have seen on the hurricane-chasers’ digital cameras and videos are scary enough!
Bob Vila has a great article about getting your garage doors storm ready. I think it’s very timely!
Hurricanes have taught us that garage doors are possibly a home’s greatest danger zone in a high-wind event. Bracing garage doors against failure has become the focus of code officials and manufacturers as buildings are built better to resist damaging winds.
…In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew’s devastation in 1992 the building codes in many coastal counties and storm-threatened areas made a leap in stringency. One of the most important changes in code concerned the biggest hole in our homes—the garage door. Failure of the garage door in a hurricane leaves a breach in the house envelope that can be as big as 300 square feet. Experts conclude that the resulting change in pressure can blow a roof off the house or create other tears and fissures in the home that allow rains and water to invade and damage or ruin drywall.
Basically, your garage door needs vertical AND horizontal bracing along the interior of the door. You can buy a new garage door specially built for hurricanes, build the bracing yourself, or buy kits to “retro-fit” your garage door to bring it up to standards. Of course, the bracing is only as good as the structure you are attaching it TO. Check out Vila’s article for more info!