Prevent Wind Damage with a Secured Garage Door
February 28, 2018
In February 2016, a powerful EF3 tornado with wind speeds up to 150 mph touched down in Century, Florida. Several PURE members were affected, although fortunately, no one was injured. With an average claim amount of $166,178 and total losses reaching nearly $1,500,000, however, this event helps demonstrate the great strength possessed by such storms.
While most tornadoes occur in the infamous “Tornado Alley”—which stretches through parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota and Minnesota—no state is immune. Tornadoes form rapidly, can come anywhere and at any time of the year and are often disguised by precipitation or dark storm clouds. The most accessible defense mechanism is preparedness, and one of the most important things you can do to prepare is fortify your garage door.
A garage door is likely the largest, and therefore most vulnerable, opening in your home. In fact, one National Science Foundation research study focusing on a 2013 tornado in Moore, OK, found that “damage was often initiated at the garage doors.”1 These doors must be properly sealed and braced in order to ensure that your home’s “envelope” is intact, which is crucial when it comes to preventing wind damage from tornadoes, hurricanes or other strong storms.
A trained garage-door systems technician can inspect your garage door to assess its current state and help you perform any necessary reinforcements. You can typically expect to pay about $600 for this service, although this price will vary depending on the size and type of garage door you own. In hurricane-prone areas, if there is advance notice of a high wind event, a garage door bracing system can help strengthen your garage door against wind pressure.
If you are purchasing a new door, be sure that it has an appropriate wind pressure rating. Wind-rated doors are reinforced to withstand and protect against high wind speeds, and are installed with more secure hardware. We recommend windowless doors that are rated to withstand 30 or more pounds of pressure per square foot. (Put another way, a 16’ long x 7’ high door has to be able to resist almost 3,400 pounds!) Your local building authority will be able to confirm any minimum requirements.
1 “Tornado Damage Assessment in the Aftermath of the May 20th 2013 Moore Oklahoma Tornado.” Funded by the National Science Foundation.
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