Having a strong, sturdy garage door is obviously important for keeping your home secure and preventing damage to your garage and the rest of your house. The problem is that most older garage doors aren’t all that strong and can easily be damaged by strong winds, hail, or major rainstorms. If you’re concerned about the impact that storms may have on your home’s garage door, here are some tips to help make it safer and more secure.

1. Install Braces or Reinforcement Struts to Your Existing Door

If your garage door is more than 15 to 20 years old, you’re almost always better off replacing it instead of trying to upgrade it to be more stormproof. Investing in a new garage door will help increase the value of your home and make it more stylish and visually appealing. If your garage door is still in good shape, but you’re worried it may not withstand a major storm, another option is to have a bracing kit or reinforcement struts installed.

Overhead garage doors are made of individual panels with hinges that connect them, allowing them to move independently so that the door can open and close smoothly. The problem is that the hinges and joints between the sections are weak points. When exposed to strong winds, the panels can bend, or the hinges can break, causing the door to fail.

Garage door struts are mounted to the inside of the door and work to strengthen each panel to help prevent them from bending or breaking. While struts offer an easy way to reinforce a garage door and make it more storm and wind resistant, they do add extra weight to the door. As such, you will usually need to replace the existing hinges with heavier-duty hinges that can support the added weight. Otherwise, the door won’t be able to open and close smoothly. You’ll also want to make sure to add brackets or hangers onto the tracks to support the added weight.

In many cases, you will also need to upgrade the garage door springs. If you don’t, your garage door opener may wear out sooner than expected because of the increased weight. Due to all the extra work that may be necessary to accommodate the struts, there are often times when you’ll be better off simply replacing the door with something more durable.

2. Invest in a Sturdy, Stormproof Garage Door

The best way to make sure that your garage door is stormproof is to replace it with a storm-resistant door that can withstand extreme winds and impacts. One of the best options is an insulated steel sandwich door, also known as a steel-back garage door. This type of door has a piece of solid steel on the back or inside of each panel or section that makes the panels more robust and helps prevent them from flexing or bending in strong winds. The outside or face of the door is typically made of fiberglass or vinyl, but you can choose a fully steel door instead.

When choosing a stormproof garage door, you’ll want to look for something that is both wind- and impact-rated. An impact rating means that a garage door can withstand multiple impacts from large pieces of flying debris and remain operable, smoothly opening and closing as it should. Wind-resistance ratings can vary, so you want to make sure that whatever door you choose is rated to withstand the typical maximum wind speeds experienced in your area. Higher-rated doors can withstand hurricane-force winds, but this type of protection is not always necessary and will often cost you quite a bit more.

In addition to being constructed of heavy-duty steel, a storm-resistant garage door has extra struts or brackets that give it more strength. This type of door is also installed using heavy-duty rollers and hinges that all work together to make it less prone to damage from impacts and high winds.

This type of door will also make your home more energy efficient. This is because insulation sandwiched between the inside and outside parts of the panel helps to keep cold out during the winter and blocks out heat during the summer. This means your garage won’t get as hot in the summer or as cold in the winter, which in turn will keep your home more comfortable and help keep your air conditioning and heating costs lower.

3. Consider the Type of Material Your Garage Door Is Made Of

If you are planning on upgrading to a new, more storm-resistant garage door, it’s also important to consider what material the outside of the door is made of. Steel garage doors can be quite strong and resistant to wind, but they are prone to damage from hailstones and other impacts. Vinyl garage doors are a popular choice because vinyl is much more resistant to damage from impacts.

If hail hits a steel door, you’ll usually end up with lots of dents that are fairly visible. These dents can then lead to the steel starting to rust, shortening the life of the door. When hail or anything else hits a vinyl door, it will usually just bounce off without leaving any dents or otherwise damaging the door. Since vinyl is the same color throughout, you also won’t be able to easily see any scrapes, dings or other damage. Steel doors have either a painted or powder-coated finish, which makes it much easier to see when the door has any damage.

4. Have Your Garage Door Professionally Maintained

No matter what type of garage door you have, one essential aspect of making it more storm resistant is having it professionally maintained. If the hinges are loose or weak or the track is bent or not properly supported, there will be a much higher chance of your door failing or suffering major damage during a strong storm. Especially important is regularly inspecting your garage door to make sure that none of the panels are bent and there are no cracks, holes, or gaps in between the sections. It’s also important that the weather stripping on the bottom of the door and along the sides of the door frame is fully intact and in good shape.

Bent panels or cracks between the panels will allow wind to get inside and can cause the panels to collapse or get ripped out, and the same can happen if there are any cracks or missing parts of the weather stripping. If the weather stripping along the bottom of the door isn’t fully intact or doesn’t seal properly, you can also end up with lots of water getting into the garage and damaging it and anything you have stored inside. All these issues show why you should hire a professional garage door company to fully inspect and maintain your garage door at least once a year.

With more than 50 years of experience, Lewis Door Service is the top garage door service company in Louisville, KY and southern Indiana. We offer expert maintenance, repair, and installation services.

Give our team at Lewis Door Service a call for all of your garage door needs!

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