Whether hurricane season is another year away or you are facing it down as “named tropical depression number 234” has just become a tropical storm and is on its way to becoming a hurricane, you need to be thinking about how to hurricane-proof your home. Everything from the roof to the garage doors needs to be reviewed, analyzed, and if needed, updated.
The garage door is one of the biggest dangers ones in a home during a hurricane. If it’s not secured properly, it’s probably going to be the first entry point for the storm to get into your home. It’s the largest door in your house, and most likely the weakest.
Garage doors have an important job. They protect your possessions – your vehicles, your lawn equipment, your tools, and more.Yet many people don’t even think about these integral parts of the home when they consider hurricane-proofing their house before a storm or during construction.
The good news is that you can easily find a hurricane-proof or wind-resistant garage door and leave the worry behind about this major area of concern. Before the next hurricane comes your way, find the best hurricane-proof garage door for your home by looking for these 6 essential features.
6 Essential Features to Look For Before You Buy Hurricane-Proof Garage Doors
1. Are they impact-resistant or hurricane-proof? First, check your local codes. Many counties in hurricane-prone areas have adjusted their codes to require every garage door to be able to withstand hurricane force winds up to 130 mph or higher.
Homeowners have been required in hundreds of counties to either replace their old garage doors to doors that meet the updated codes or to reinforce their current doors with a retrofit kit. When you are looking for your garage door, be sure it meets the strictest of codes in your area.
Make sure you consider this, too: Just because it is impact-resistant does not mean it’s hurricane proof. Impact-resistant means that if something is hurled against it at a great velocity, it won’t break (up to a certain point, per the manufacturer’s guidelines). Hurricane-proof means that it’s impact resistant and it has a special framework that makes it twist-resistant.
2. Be sure they use heavy wind locks and other safety mechanisms. Standard garage doors have regularly caused millions of dollars in unnecessary damage when a hurricane destroys them, allowing the devastating elements to get in the home. Hurricane-proof garage doors alleviate this problem, reducing damage and tragedy during major storms.
These types of doors are made of high strength steel that is difficult to damage. They also utilize features like wind locks to keep the garage rollup door from being able to slide or fail. Heavy guides, fasteners, and mechanics ensure that your safety is a priority.
3.Efficiency does not have to mean ugly. Once you know the requirements you need to meet to be up to code, you can look around to find a door that has those specifications, includes all of the safety features necessary, and also fits with the style of your home’s architecture and your tastes.
Most hurricane-proof door manufactures understand that their clients do not want to have a huge, ugly steel door messing up the aesthetics of their carefully planned house. When you start looking for your next garage door, let each company know that style is important to you, as well. They should have many options that they can show you for you to choose from.
4. Decide if you need “storm-ready” or “add-on” doors. Storm-ready means that there are already reinforced panels and frames that active just by locking the door. These are good for those who are not in the right physical condition to add on extra precautions or homeowners who may not be in the area when the hurricane hits.
Add-on doors have long posts in the floor and ceiling that you need to put in place before the storm hits and take out after it’s gone. It’s a little extra work but a lot of extra peace of mind knowing that your garage door is not going to let any of the storms into your sanctuary.
5. Energy saving is essential. While you are not going to be using the “hurricane” aspect of your garage door often (we hope), your garage door will be there every day of the rest of your home’s life. Because of this,you need to consider its energy-saving properties.
Garages are naturally extra cold or extra hot,depending on the weather, because they are not considered to be livable areas,so most people do not spend the extra money to insulate them. However, that extra heat gets into your home, making your air conditioner work harder, or the heat from your home seeps into the garage. This makes investing in an energy efficient garage door and finding other ways to make your garage more energy efficient costs that you will recoup exponentially over the years.
6.Professional installation is a must. Installing garage doors is not something the everyday person has the knowledge or the physical capability of doing. Not only is the work itself difficult and cumbersome, but you have to ensure that your installation meets the building codes for your county and state. Professional installation also validates the warranty for the doors.
Because of these reasons and the inherent danger that comes with a hurricane-proof garage door that is not installed right, most garage door sales companies offer professional installation as part of their package, but if they don’t, you may need to consider shopping around.
Hurricane-Proof Doors Are Not All Made Equally
Just like any other equipment and materials that you would choose for your home, hurricane-proof doors are literally not a one-size-fits-all product. You need to consider the needs of your home, the codes of your county, and how you are going to use the door on a daily basis.These things are just as important as the doors themselves.Hurricane-proof doors are not all made equally, but you can narrow down the good ones from the bad ones by looking for these six essential features in your next garage door.