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Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane: Update Your Garage Door

Garage Door
One of the hazards of living along Texas's Gulf Coast is hurricanes. Residents of Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas are all too familiar with this danger. On average, hurricanes hit any 50-mile stretch of Texas coastline once every six years. Preparing your home for a hurricane is a must.
While your roof and windows may be your main focus when getting your home hurricane ready, it's important not to forget about your garage door. Here's why this is important, as well as what you can do to make sure your garage door is stormproof.

Garage Door Failure Can Lead to More Damage

The winds in a hurricane can range from up to 95 mph in a Category 1 storm to 157 mph and higher in a Category 5 storm. Even a Category 1 storm can cause significant damage to your home, while a Category 5 can be catastrophic. The question you may have is why is it important that a garage door be able to stand up to hurricane-force winds?
Garage door failure during a hurricane doesn't affect only the garage. A damaged or blown-in garage door can actually leave your entire home prone to damage. In the event of a garage door failure, the house envelope can be breached. When this happens and hurricane-force winds get in through the garage, pressure within the home builds up and can blow out the roof and walls of your home.

Hurricane-Resistant Garage Doors Are Available

One way to ensure that your home will be protected during a hurricane is by replacing your current garage door with one that is hurricane-resistant and that can withstand hurricane-force winds. Hurricane-resistant garage doors are often made of steel and fiberglass in addition to having a strong steel track system and framework that is twist-resistant. Local building codes vary regarding wind load requirements.
In Texas, the Windstorm Inspection Program, which is part of the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), issues Certificates of Compliance to properties that meet the building requirements for windstorms. These certificates are referred to as WPI-8s. Any new garage door that you have installed needs to be WPI-8 eligible. 
Hurricane-resistant garage doors are available in a variety of styles and colors. And it's not just hurricanes that these doors stand up to. A hurricane-resistant garage door can come in handy during severe storms as well, where wind damage can also be a major issue. If you decide to replace your garage door with a hurricane-resistant model, professional installation is also a necessity to reap the full wind resistance benefits.

Retrofitting Your Garage Door

If a new hurricane-resistant garage door is just not in the budget, retrofitting your existing garage door is an option until replacement is possible. Garage door braces are one of the most common options for retrofitting. These braces are attached to the garage door before a hurricane approaches in order to strengthen it and prevent it from crumpling in due to hurricane-force winds.
Another option that you may want to look into is hurricane panels. These panels are attached to the outside of your garage door and add additional protection from hurricane-force winds. These panels are usually made of steel or aluminum and can protect your door from windblown debris as well. Retrofitting often requires re-calibrating the garage door's springs.
Hurricanes are the biggest weather threat for residents of Corpus Christi. Making sure your home is prepared and capable of withstanding hurricane-force winds is very important. While retrofitting your garage door can help it stand up to hurricane-force winds, a new hurricane-resistant garage door offers the best protection against wind and debris.
If you have an older garage door that isn't hurricane-resistant or hurricane-proof, it's time to take a closer look at your options. Chapman's Garage Doors, Inc., can help you find the right hurricane-resistant garage door for your home.