When hurricane season approaches each year, more and more homeowners are becoming concerned about the safety of the family and home. One way to ensure that your home is secure is preparing the garage door for hurricane strength winds. Your garage door is the biggest moving part in your home and can place you and your family in severe risk if you are prone to hurricanes in your region. Luckily, Atlanta, GA, doesn’t get severe wheather conditions, but we do get some good storms.
Why Secure the Garage Door
As hurricanes or storms make landfall, more and more homeowners have learned to prepare the home by boarding up windows and doors to protect the family and your valuables from severe wind. The Federal Emergency Management Association has recently commented that although properly protected doors and windows do significantly reduce the risk of injury and damage within the home, that the garage door is many times left unprotected from the storms fury. FEMA explains that when your garage door is destroyed, there can be an uncontrollable buildup of air pressure within the home that can result in a blowout of support walls and the roof. For that reason, you should make certain your garage door is secure before the next storm approaches.
The size of your garage doors in Atlanta, GA, makes it much more susceptible to intense winds more so than any other opening in your house. You should first check you garage door with the manufacturer or vendor to ensure it is code compliant, so that you can protect the structural integrity of your home. Two-car garage door pose even a larger threat to the home, so your first step needs to be that the door you have already is complaint to withstand severe wind.
Is My New Home’s Garage Door Fine?
If you have a newer home or recently purchased a garage door in Atlanta, GA, and you have found the garage doors not in compliance with hurricane wind codes, you will need to install additional braces to ensure a blowout does not destroy your home. You can remove the original tracks and replace them with heavier gauge tracks that the door slides on to open and close. Once the heavier tracks and associated hardware is installed, your door will be in a better position to keep it in place when the storms winds begin to reach your home and be in compliance with the International Building Code.
Older Garage Door Can Pose Big Problems
The biggest problem that FEMA sees after every hurricane makes landfall, is that homeowners with garages that are significantly older simply do not even realize the door places their home in such risk. You can eliminate any worry by either purchasing a kit to strengthen the garage door, or have a home inspector come out and inspect and recommend exactly what is needed to make the door compliant. Purchasing a new door is many times the best option because they are all being built to withstand those severe conditions and depending on your region, have been thoroughly tested to the most extreme conditions.
When shopping for brand new garage doors in Atlanta, GA, you should determine beforehand what the wind load specifications are for your location, and then narrow down your search with doors that can handle that wind capacity. You can find that information from your local building code administration. They can also provide you with an inspectors contact information once you have the door installed to make certain it will be able to withstand the strongest of wind conditions.
Two Types of Hurricane Strength Garage Doors
Once you have determined the strength of the garage door you need, you will have to make an important decision on two major types of garage doors. There are the storm ready type and the add-on reinforcement doors. What this simply means is that the add-on reinforcement doors need you to install posts into your garage floor and ceiling to keep the door in place when a storm hits. The storm ready type doors need no additional set up, and are simply secure once you lock them in place. The convenience of the storm ready doors comes with a bigger price tag, but allows you to protect your home in a moments notice.