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Home Improvement Article

Storm-proofing Garage Doors

Your garage door may be the most vulnerable part of your townhome to hurricane damage.

That's because it is typically the largest opening in a home. If left unsecured, the garage door is susceptible to 100-plus-mph winds that can cause it to buckle, allowing wind to penetrate the garage, potentially rip apart a roof, and eventually the rest of a structure.

The garage door of this house was blown in by Hurricane Charley.
(Photo/The Institute for Business & Home / July 9, 2011)

One one hand, I don't think townhome owners need to worry, as Green Cay Village buildings were designed to meet the latest Florida hurricane building codes. These codes include garage doors and doors built to the new codes have done just fine. Click here for details.

On the other hand, with hurricane shutters in place, and hurricane impact resistant windows, the garage door may be a townhome's weakest link.

That said, there is an easy way to strengthen garage doors by adding a brace. Stumpff's company manufactures what are called Secure Door Vertical bracing systems, which are sold at Lowe's home improvement stores in South Florida, local dealers and online. The cost is about $160 per brace, and Stumpff recommends at least one brace for a single-car garage. The braces can be easily removed and are only attached when a storm approaches.

You can hire a professional to install such braces, or if you are handy with tools, install them yourself by drilling into the garage floor and top of the garage door frame (called the lintel) to attach brackets that hold the braces in place. Or hire one of our maintenance people to do the job for you.

Source - Daniel Vasquez, Sun Sentinel Columnist - July 9, 2011

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