I live in Florida. My house was built in 1983 and the garage door is
the one that came with the house. I did have it "upgraded" back in
2007 - the door is the same but it was braced. The codes have changed
a lot over the years - starting with Andrew in 1992. I have been
thinking about getting a new door - it would be up to the current
codes and the door itself would be heavy and thick. (My next door
neighbor just got one). The bracing looks pretty much the same - he
has seven vertical braces and I have four. During hurricane season
when we have close calls - I have to bring everything inside that's
not tied down and it goes in the garage. This includes gasoline,
generator, propane and grill ... my house has been fitted with
aluminum shutters and I feel fairly safe because of that. I feel very
nervous about the garage though. I am trying to justify getting the
new doors.... would hate for the doors to cave in during high wind.
Just how much chance is there that the braces wouldn't hold the door?
Or that something could crash through it? The door is metal but very
thin ... any of you have any practical experience with this? I don't
want to waste money if it isn't necessary.
Are these part of the door, or are they put on in case of a hurricane
like the covers over the windows? Normal doors have horizontal
members at the top and bottom of each of the 4 sections. Additional
bracing would be either 4 braces, one across the middle of each
section, or some other weird configuration. MOre info is needed.
Attached or detached garage?
Damage occurs two ways: Impacts from flying objects and over-pressure.
The door should be able to withstand an impact of a 2x4 or garbage can
travelling at 60mph.
The door should also seal itself against the floor and some method for any
air that IS forced in to escape. In a hurricane, roofs don't blow off houses
as much as they are popped off like a champaign cork by internal pressure.
As for YOUR particular door, your local state offices - and even door
replacement people - should be able to provide you with the experiences of
litteraly thosands of examples. You're right; it's going to cost bags of
money to replace your door. Retrofitting (or doing nothing) will be much
The braces are extra. There is the usual top and bottom one that
probably came on the door and then there are four that were added.
There is a dent in the door at the top corner that would let some air
in -- there hasn't been a hurricane in my part of FL since early in
If you have a Dade county approved door, you will get lower insurance
rates. It has to be stamped Dade County approved as your aluminum panels
are. (or should be)
I just went thru all this. My door is not approved and didn't get me any
lower rates. My panels are Dade county approved and lowered my rates
I got a discount because of the shutters and am seriously thinking
that the peace of mind plus the discount may make it worth while. I
have been cancelled by State Farm (everyone in my county has) and will
be covered by Citizens starting the first of April. The deductible is
2% which means it would cost me a lot upfront if I had windstorm
damage. That's the main reason I am thinking about getting new
Hurricanes usually come with plenty of advance warning. Easy to add plywood
and lumber bracing before it hits if needed. Garage doors especially double
width doors are a weak spot. If you are not able to install aditional
bracing as needed I would go for a new door.
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