The garage door is potentially the weakest point of your home during a hurricane.
The door has a large surface area and the attachments on most garage doors are minimal – namely the track and wheels. Hurricane force winds can blow your garage door in or suck it out. Once hurricane force winds have entered the house, you are much more likely to lead to a buildup of internal pressure resulting in a loss of the roof or walls. According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes about 80 percent of residential hurricane wind damage starts with wind entry through garage doors, so protecting the garage doors is important.
You can check your current garage door for a sticker that gives the Miami-Dade seal, wind speed rating or pressure rating. Some older doors are rated to 100 mph winds, newer doors that are Miami-Dade County approved are rated to 150-165 mph. Prior to 1993 many garage doors were rated only to 50 mph. After 1993, many may be rated only to 100 mph.
For an existing home there are several options available to improve the durability of your garage: strengthening your current garage door or replacing it with a new model.
Most solutions for securing an existing garage door to prevent hurricane damage involve supports and braces. There is a product, available in home improvement stores called Secure Door®. This is a product that is extremely effective, Florida Building Code approved (FL6420), highly affordable solution that provides wind protection for garage doors in the event of a major hurricane. The product is a vertical bracing system made from high quality aircraft-grade aluminum that attaches to the inside of the garage door. Secure Door® hurricane garage door protection strengthens the door and provides support for the door in addition to the garage door tracks. Secure Door® is a patented hurricane garage door brace that converts most existing garage doors to a hurricane-resistant garage door. While no garage door can be considered a hurricane proof garage door, Secure Door’s performance capabilities have been proven through independent laboratory tests and may be as close to that goal as possible.