Question about hurricane proof garage doors in Miami, FL.
I understand all new doors in south Florida need to be hurricane proof
doors. Does anyone know what exactly that means?
It is a special kind of doors or does it mean a special way of installing
the door with reinforcement?
Hurricane garage doors are very susceptible to blowing out in a hurricane
thus allowing the wind to enter the house, blow out the windows and possibly
lift the roof. Most garage doors in Florida are metal doors. What they do is
put horizontal metal braces across the door. Then they give you at least
one vertical brace (usually stored on the door itself). This vertical brace
would be placed on brackets installed on the door and then into a socket on
the garage floor. This would prevent the wind from blowing the door in.
There is more than one level of hurricane wind protection. As I understand
it, it works this way --
-- 1. Basic metal garage door composed of about 5 horizontal sections.
No special hurricane protection
-- 2. Basic door, with each section reinforced with a u-shaped
horizontal brace that goes across the middle of each section. When you buy
door panels the reinforcements come in a separate package that you then
mount on the door panels. AFAIK This is the standard requirement for
Florida except for the Miami-Dade / Ft. Lauderdale area. It may be possible
to retrofit an older door to this level by buying and installing the
-- 3. The reinforced door, with an additional vertical post which
provides additional bracing. I think, without confirmation, that this meets
the requirements for Miami-Dade.
I have the type 2 door, above. It went through five hurricanes in 2004-5
without any problems. The only damage was when an itinerant handiman came
around looking for hurricane clean-up work and accidentally backed into the
garage door, then took off without telling me about it --
After Andrew the Florida building code was upgraded and as of 2002
there was a unified FBC that makes the "Miami/Dade" references
obsolete. The new coastal code that affects all of peninsular Florida
and close to the beach meets or exceeds the old Miami code (the 130MPH
zone), Areas near the beach in South West Florida are in the 140 zone
and the SE coastal zone plus the Keys is 150.
The one I have seen has steel reinforcement. A friend had new g. door
installed. The floor was drilled so the bars clamp to the g. door and
extend into the floor to brace the whole thing. The principle is that
the door takes a huge amount of wind force, and normal framing was not
sufficient to hold it in place. Seems it would be much more an issue of
bracing than the strength of the door alone.
That is what I have seen too, the additional bracing, I have seen some
with a horizontal rod that extends into the holes of the sliding rail
and center vertical bracing as well. So I thought one can use any
garage doors but it is an additional installation measure.
Until I started to call around to get quotes on new garage doors, and
they came and gave me brochures to look at and I ask how much is this
one, and the guy said "OH this one is not hurricane proof". I asked
what is the difference in the actual door, he said the hurricane doors
are all steel doors so I asked if the one I pointed to is steel and he
said yes, but this one has not been tested.
So I am still confused, apart from the fact that they have to be steel
doors, what is so special in the construction of a garage door that
makes them hurricane proof?
I am looking at this site and it has some real interesting stuff:
but none of them are tested for hurricane. So I am back to just plain
I retrofitted my door by adding a bracing kit to each door segment and
using 2 4x4s at the 1/3d points across the width of the door. These go
into a 1/2" bolt "red headed" into the tie beam over the door and
masonry anchors in the floor via a simpson post clip.
3 hurricanes later it is doing fine. The only problem is storing the
4x4s but you have the same thing with all these doors.
What I think you need are depressions in the floor the size of your
shoes, then a steel bar is inserted and clamped so that YOU don't blow
away in a hurricane.
But seriously, a while back I saw that someone said most Florda roofs
could be saved if the roof were actually attached to the rafters, I
think it was. That the problme was the roof was just sitting on the
rafters and the nails basically just kept the plywood from sliding
off, but not from being lifted off. And that simple straps nailed (or
screwed?) in place between the plywood and the rafters, or was it the
rafters and something else, would prevent the loss of most roofs.
I suppose this is completly or largely true, but I don't remember if
there was to be a campaign to refit roofs or if they were planning for
new construction only, and I don't remember how old your house is or
know if you should do anything aobut all this.
Hurricane straps have been a building requirement in Florida since the '80s,
according to my contractor. They are metal straps which hold the rafters to
the walls to keep the roof from lifting off in hurricane winds. Houses with
hurricane straps qualify for a discount on their homeowners' insurance (or,
at least my company gives a discount --)
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