Wind Damage >> Reinforcing Your Garage Door

Protecting Your Home From Hurricane Wind Damage Figure 6. Double-Wide Garage Doors Certain parts of the country have building codes requiring garage doors to withstand high winds. You should check with your local government building officials to see if there Reinforcing Your Garage Door are code requirements for garage doors in your area. 

Some garage doors can be strengthened with retrofit kits. Check with your local building supplies retailer to see if a retrofit kit is available for your garage door. You can expect to pay Reinforcing Your Garage Door from $70 to $150 to retrofit your garage door. Many garage doors can be reinforced at their weakest points. Retrofitting your garage doors involves installing horizontal bracing onto each panel. 

This horizontal bracing can be part of a kit from the garage door manufacturer. You may also need heavier hinges and stronger center supports and end supports for your door (see Figure 6). 3 Check the track on your garage door. With both hands, Reinforcing Your Garage Door grab a section of each track and see if it is loose or if it can be twisted. 

If so, a stronger track should be installed. Make sure that it is anchored to the 2´ 4s inside the wall with heavy wood bolts or Reinforcing Your Garage Door properly attached to masonry with expansion bolts (see Figure 7). Figure 7. Garage Door Track Anchoring After you have retrofitted your door, it may not be balanced. To check, lower the door about halfway and let go. 

If it goes up or down, the springs will need adjusting. The springs are dangerous and should be adjusted by a professional. If you are unable to retrofit your door, Reinforcing Your Garage Door you can purchase specially reinforced garage doors designed to withstand winds of up to 120 miles per hour. 

These doors can cost from $400 to $450 (excluding labor) and should be installed by a professional. Storm shutters Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and Reinforcing Your Garage Door other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. You should cover all windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and skylights. 

There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. For more information on manufactured shutters, check with your local building supplies retailer. If you install manufactured shutters, Reinforcing Your Garage Door follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Before installing shutters, check with your local building official to find out if a building permit is required. 

It is important that you have your shut ters ready now, and that you mark and store them so they can be easily installed during a hurricane watch. Plywood shutters that you make yourself, if installed properly, Reinforcing Your Garage Door can offer a high level of protection from flying debris during a hurricane. Plywood shutters can be installed on all types of homes. 

Measure each window and each door that has glass, and add 8 inches to both the height and Reinforcing Your Garage Door width to provide a 4-inch overlap on each side of the window or door. Sheets of plywood are generally 4´ 8 feet. Tell your local building supply retail er the size and number of openings you need to cover to determine how many sheets to buy. 

To install plywood shutters you will need bolts, wood or masonry anchors, large washers, and 5/8 inch exterior-grade plywood. For windows 3 feet by 4 feet or smaller installed on a wood frame house, Reinforcing Your Garage Door use 1/4-inch lag bolts and plastic-coated permanent anchors. The lag bolts should penetrate the wall and frame surrounding the window at least 1 3/4 inches. 

For larger windows, use 3/8-inch lag bolts that penetrate the wall and frame sur rounding the window at least 2 1/2 inches. For win dows 3 feet by 4 feet or smaller installed on a masonry house, Reinforcing Your Garage Door use 1/4-inch expansion bolts and galvanized permanent expansion anchors. The expansion bolt should penetrate the wall at least 1 1/2 inches. 

For larger windows, use 3/8-inch expansion bolts that penetrate the wall at least 1 1/2 inches. The tools you will need are a circular or hand saw, a drill with the appropriately sized bits, Reinforcing Your Garage Door a hammer, and a wrench to fit the bolts. To be safe, use eye protection and work gloves. 4 Cut the plywood to the measurements for each opening. 

Drill holes 2 1/2 inches from the outside edge of the plywood at each corner and at 12-inch intervals. Drill four holes in the center area of the plywood to relieve pressure during a hurricane. Figure 8. Plywood Storm Shutters Place the plywood over the opening and Reinforcing Your Garage Door mark each hole position on the outside wall (see Figure 8). 

Drill holes with the appropriate size and type of bit for the anchors. Install the anchors, the plywood, and the bolts to make sure they fit properly. On wood-frame houses, Reinforcing Your Garage Door make sure that the anchors are secured into the solid wood that frames the door or window and not into the siding or trim. 

Mark each shutter so you will know where it is to be installed and store them and the bolts in an accessible place. If the opening is larger than one sheet of plywood, you will need to make shutters with 2´ 4 bracing. This bracing can be two 2´ 4s at the middle and bottom of the two sheets of plywood, evenly spaced, Reinforcing Your Garage Door with the 2-inch side attached to the inside of the storm shutter.

 Attach the 2´ 4s to the outside of the storm shutter with 2-inch, 10-gauge wood screws before installing the shutter. Figure 9. Large Plywood Storm Shutters 5 The recommendations in this brochure are not intended to replace local building code requirements or Reinforcing Your Garage Door to serve as the only options for protecting your home from hurricane wind damage. 

For more information on protecting your home from hurricane wind damage, contact your local building official; your local building supply retailer; Reinforcing Your Garage Door or a building professional, such as an engineer, architect, or experienced contractor. ARC 5023 FEMA 247 Dec. 1993

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