Your garage door is probably the largest opening in your house and needs to be protected, especially older doors installed before more stringent building codes went into effect.
Preparing yourself and reinforcing this weak spot is always a good idea.
If the garage door is blown open, wind enters your home. Once that happens, the damage can be severe, including having the roof ripped off.
You have several options to reduce this potential hazard. These range from replacing the door with a newer one designed to withstand winds up to 110 mph to reinforcing the panels with two-by-fours.
Some manufacturers sell kits that include a sturdy pillar that can be anchored to the floor and the door. The pillars are placed in the center of the door, making a 16-foot garage door into two 8-foot doors.
There also are kits that include heavier panel hinges, more bracing in the door sections and stronger rollers and roller guides. These probably are best installed by professionals since because the different hardware may change the balance of the door. In that case, the springs will need adjusting, something most homeowners shouldn’t try.
This work could run more than $300, or a bit less than half the price of a new, stronger door.
You also can run two-by-fours length-wise across the door, securing them to the roller guides. This will provide some protection.
Your house’s entry doors also may fail during a storm.
The impact of the wind on your doors will depend on its direction and which way the doors open.
Wind blowing on the opposite side of the house will produce a negative wind force that pulls outward on the door. In that case, a door that opens outward is more vulnerable, and doors that open inward are more secure.
It’s the opposite when wind blows against the door.
Your aim is to reinforce the door in its frame.
Some locks are available with steel pins running through the top and bottom of the door and into holes in the frame that can help hold the door in place.
If you have a double-entry door, you may need to reinforce or replace the pins that secure the inactive door.
A more low-tech version for either single- or double-entry doors is to buy sliding bolt locks, such as on gates, and put them at the top of the doors.
Regardless, be sure to lock and deadbolt the door. If there is a glass panel, it should be covered by a shutter.