Experts point out a number of factors to consider when selecting a reinforced garage door. The first task a consumer must undertake is to research the wind load requirements for the specific geographic region, garage orientation and proximity to a wind block. You can obtain this information from your local building code authority. In addition, you can have a professional garage door installer perform an on-site inspection.
Research Before Selecting
Armed with this information, you can consider these additional factors before making your final choice:
- Are you installing a new door or evaluating an existing door? If you’ve just moved into your home, have a professional check out the existing door. There is no guarantee that the door is appropriate for your area. By the way, have the professional show you how to lash down the door during a bad storm.
- Learn the difference between a door that is storm-ready vs. one that has add-on reinforcement. A storm-ready door needs no preparation before an oncoming storm hits – the reinforcement is built into the door. All you have to do is lock it. On the other hand, you must first install long floor and ceiling reinforcement posts to secure an add-on door, and then take them down after the storm subsides. That really sounds like a pain in the neck, especially if you are in an evacuation situation!
- For vacation and second homes, and for rental properties, there is no alternative to a storm-ready door if you want peace of mind.
- It’s a waste of time to retrofit an old garage door with new hardware because it will not provide the necessary support to meet today’s demanding building codes.
- Don’t worry about overwhelming the look of your garage with a huge monolithic steel door. It’s just as easy to get code-compliant doors in carriage-house or other styles that are just as sturdy as the steel slabs.
- If your garage door has windows, make sure they are impact-resistant.
- Never inadvertently lock a pet inside your garage, especially if you are going away. There is no way a dog or cat will be able to squeeze out of a garage with a locked reinforced door. The heat on a hot day could kill your pet, or it could dehydrate and starve if you are away on vacation. Remember, pet safety is just as important as garage door safety!