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Is Your Garage Door Hurricane Ready?

Posted by Jimmy Hawley on Nov 17, 2017 3:56:15 PM

The garage door is the largest opening of your home, making it the most likely to fail and potentially cause major structural damage to your home in a hurricane or tropical storm situation.

If your garage door is not rated to handle the winds and potential impacts from a tropical system, the high winds can detach the door from it’s tracks, impacts from debris can cause it to buckle, putting your whole home at risk for catastrophic damage. Find out if your garage door is hurricane ready by following these steps:

Determine Wind Speed and Exposure For Your Location

You’ll need to find out the wind speed that the American Society of Civil Engineers has determined as the amount of wind load a structure should be able to withstand in your specific location. You can easily find this information by clicking through to the Applied Technology Council Windspeed by Location tool. Enter your address and click “Get Windspeed”. The next page will give you the ASCE 7-05 wind speed for your area.

Next, you’ll need to determine if your home is in an Exposure B or Exposure C area. According to the ASCE 7, the exposure areas are:

  • Exposure B - Urban or suburban areas, wooded areas, or other area with closely spaced obstructions that are single-family home sized or larger. (Can you see homes and similar buildings or wooded areas as far as the eye can see? If the area is stil under development, will there be homes or other similar buildings surrounding you when the development is complete?)
  • Exposure C - Open terrain with scattered obstructions, generally less than 30 feet. Flat open country, grasslands, and shorelines (greater than 600 feet from an open waterway.)
  • Exposure D - Home is within 600 feet of an open waterway one mile or more across.


Check your Garage Door for Wind Load/Impact Information

Your garage door should have a sticker with manufacturer’s information. This should include the manufacturer’s name, the door’s model number and design pressures. It may also indicate if it is impact rated. Search for your door on the Florida Product Approval Website by choosing your product manufacturer from the drop down menu, then select the “Exterior Doors” category. Enter your model number and click “search”. This will bring up a listing with your doors’ detailed approval information.

At a glance, you should be able to to see if the door DOES or DOES NOT comply with impact resistance requirements. For wind speed information, find the link to the installation instructions, where you should see a table with the wind speed rating information. Compare this to the information you have about the wind speed for your area. Can your door handle what might come your way?

Free In-Home Estimate

If you find that your garage door is not hurricane ready— or if the steps to determine that information left you with questions— we will gladly come out to your home for a free estimate. Contact Storm Solutions today!

Storm Solutions Office Front


Topics: Garage Doors, Hurricane Preparedness