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Storm-Proofing Your Home: Door Reinforcement

In this series of articles, we’ve been diving deeper into how to properly prepare your home for the hurricanes that are likely to approach. We’ve already covered the basics of storm-proofing and took a closer look at protecting windows from shattering during storms. Now it’s time to discover how to reinforce your doors, particularly your garage door, from becoming a weapon in high speed winds. Even more importantly, protect your home with a comprehensive Florida Wind/Hurricane Insurance program, heed the following advice.

Why do I need to reinforce my garage?

As the largest opening to your house, there is a lot of potential for wind-blown items to knock it down and end up in your home. During hurricanes, wind speeds can exceed 100 mph, making everything in its wake a missile. If your garage is not strong enough to resist these winds, your home could end up flooded. Or, worse, someone could become injured.

What are my reinforcement options?

Depending on your budget and your specific risk hazard for hurricanes, you can either purchase a new garage door that is made to withstand winds up to 110 mph, or you can reinforce your current one with 2×4’s.

According to NW Climate, 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.

In total, you can expect to pay about $300 for these materials. However, the cost of a new garage door is approximately $700.

What about entry doors?

Depending on the direction of the wind and the way in which your door opens, your doors’ vulnerability varies. To prevent them from becoming weak and failing, the article recommends the following:

  • 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.
  • Purchase sliding bolt locks and place them at the top of the doors.

About Advanced Insurance Underwriters

Property owners who have suffered severe financial damages from a flood never dreamed they’d ever experience one. Others believed their Florida homeowners insurance would protect them and discovered—to their shock and regret—that it didn’t. Let our Florida wind insurance specialists set you up with the coverage you need. Call us today at 800-660-7734 for a free consultation.

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