Most people with overhead style garage doors do not realize the doors they have are more than likely NOT “wind rated”. This means, in the event of winds over 50 or so miles per hour, they stand a good chance of collapsing. If the garage door fails, the wind forces inside your building increase exponentially, which could result in significant damage to your building, or failure.
The great majority of Building Departments do not require garage doors to be wind rated. Hansen Buildings always encourages our clients to invest in wind rated doors, in many cases, the cost difference is negligible.
Because of their width, double-wide garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than single doors. Unless you have a tested hurricane-resistant door, the wind may force it out of the roller track — especially if the track is light weight or some of the anchor bolts are not in place. This occurs because the door deflects too much under excessive wind pressure and fails.
To secure your garage door:
- Check with your local government building official to see if there are code requirements for garage doors in your area.
- Check with your local building supplier or garage door retailer to see if a retrofit kit is available for bracing garage doors.
You should probably reinforce your double-wide garage door at its weakest points. This involves installing horizontal and/or vertical bracing onto each panel, using wood or light gauge metal girds bolted to the door mullions. You may also need heavier hinges and stronger end and vertical supports for your door.
If you decide to retrofit your garage door with a kit that allows you to operate the door after it is installed, make sure the door is balanced by lowering it about halfway and letting go. If the door goes up or down, the springs will need adjusting. Note: Since the springs are dangerous, only a professional should adjust them.
If you are unable to retrofit your garage door with a kit specifically designed for your door, you can purchase garage door retrofit kits to withstand hurricane winds at your local building supply store. Also, check to see if the supplier can do the installation.