The 2019 hurricane season is here and NOAA forecasters monitoring oceanic and atmospheric patterns say conditions are now more favorable for above-normal hurricane activity since El Nino has now ended. Two named storms have formed so far this year and the peak months of the hurricane season, August through October, are now underway.
After hurricane Andrew ravaged South Florida in 1992, the state adopted stricter building codes requiring new or replacement garage doors to be structurally reinforced to withstand higher wind load requirements.
According to FEMA,
The loss of a garage door during a hurricane can lead to an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in the blowout of a house’s roof and supporting walls.
Failures of garage doors during a hurricane can allow significant amounts of water and wind to enter a building.
Because it is common for garages to be constructed with water-resistant materials, water entry is often less of a concern than the internal pressure increase that garage-door failures create. A garage-door failure is a breach of the building envelope. The breach increases internal pressures within that area of the building and may lead to building failure.
Because of their size and relatively long spans garage doors must resist higher forces from the same wind pressures that act on windows and access doors.
FEMA recommends that your door be evaluated by a professional garage door specialist for its ability to withstand these storms (FEMA 2011). FEMA also reported after Hurricane Charley that Florida residents with properly protected homes and businesses escaped with little or no damage and were able to return to their homes and businesses almost immediately after the storm. See Wind Codes by County
Don’t wait until a hurricane warning is issued to have your garage door evaluated. Contact us for a free evaluation.