In recent years, California experienced increasingly severe storms. Rain, sleet, and windblown debris can wreak havoc with your garage door, the track it moves on, and other components such as pulleys, torsion springs, and the computer system that controls the garage door.
The technicians at Garage Door Medics want to help every member of our community by securing garage door windows, door panels, and weatherstripping. For emergency service and garage door repair by Garage Door Medics in Lakeside, CA, call 888-997-2423. Keep reading to learn seven ways to protect your home and garage door before a storm.
Why Homeowners Need to Prepare their Garage for Storms
When an incoming storm hits the news, homeowners often think first of their loved ones, pets, and personal belongings. However, don’t overlook your garage. Investing in a dependable garage door system protects your home.
Keeping Your Home Up to Code
In many locations around the country, building codes have changed to reflect the need to withstand hurricanes and other powerful storms. Getting a new garage door can save you from a headache further down the line when you need to sell the property or upgrade the garage,
Keeping Your Family Safe
A modern garage door system has many safety features, including an emergency release, automatic reversal, and photo eye sensors that prevent people from being trapped in the garage or under the garage door.
If your garage door sustains damage, some safety features might not work as they should. The damage might not reveal itself until months or years later when an accident occurs.
Avoid the risks of an outdated or broken garage door. Take these steps to secure your garage door for an incoming storm.
#1: Reinforce Your Current Garage Door
If your garage is in good shape but not strong enough to hold up against severe storms, bracing can be an economical way to protect your garage from damage. Braces strengthen the door and prevent it from breaking apart under gale- or hurricane-force winds.
You can buy a retrofit kit containing steel braces for single-car and two-car garages. Multiple braces distribute the force of the wind and water across multiple points on the door, reducing the likelihood that any one point will fail.
#2: Replace the Garage Door with a Stronger One
Many homeowners have garage doors that are sturdy enough for everyday use but not reinforced against storm winds. The doors can buckle or bend, potentially rendering them unable to open or close safely. A reinforced door made of steel is more likely to withstand severe weather.
A professional garage door installation company provides you with a selection of quality, reinforced, impact-resistant garage doors in a variety of colors and patterns.
If you buy a heavier garage door, you might need to install an upgraded track and garage door opener to accommodate the heavy load.
#3: Protect Your Garage from Flooding
Like any other building, your garage could suffer water damage if your neighborhood floods. The flood could damage some parts of your garage door, such as the track and the photo-eye sensor.
Ensure that the space between the garage door and floor does not allow water to slip underneath the door. Make sure that there is weather stripping around the door and at the base of the door. Replace the weatherstripping if it has cracks or has come loose from the door.
Place a flood barrier against the base of the door to protect the weatherstripping by forming an extra layer of protection against floodwater.
Placing sandbags around the garage can protect the garage from short-term flooding. Sandbags are particularly important to seal the gap between the bottom of the garage door and the floor.
#4: Install a Sturdier Track Mechanism
Replacing the door alone might not be enough to protect your garage door mechanism. When you lower the garage door, it rests on rollers against the track. Torsion springs and other support structures bear the weight of the door, allowing it to rise and fall smoothly.
A heavier garage door places enormous pressure on the track as it bears the brunt of a storm. Wind and rain can drive the door backward, causing the track to bend out of place.
One option for securing garage door components is to remove the entire garage door assembly, including the track, and install a reinforced track that anchors securely into the ground. The new track adds to the cost of the garage door installation, but it provides an extra layer of storm defense.
#5: Board up Windows
Many garage doors have windows to allow natural light to come in. However, they are potential weak points during a storm.
If a flying piece of wood or metal knocks out a window, it provides an entry point for water. If the windows are glass, shards on the floor could pose a safety risk.
Avoid the hassle and danger of broken windows by securing garage door windows in the garage with sheets of plywood.
#6: Secure Debris on Your Property
A leading cause of damage to garage doors and other property structures is flying debris. A hurricane can propel tree branches, furniture, and other heavy objects at high speeds.
You might not be able to eliminate the risk of debris, but you can protect your garage by:
- Tying down lawn furniture or moving it inside before a storm
- Trimming trees near your garage
- Pick up stray branches and tree limbs to do so in case another storm hits
- Repair any damaged fencing or nearby structures that could be a source of flying debris
#7: Monitor the Garage During the Storm
A storm can be a security threat if it compromises the integrity of your home or garage. Thieves often take advantage of storms and search for homes with broken windows or doors. If your door has visible damage, keep an eye out for intruders.
Monitoring the garage door should be a priority if you have an attached garage. Once an intruder gets through your garage door, the garage offers a hiding place and is an entry point to the rest of your home.
Don’t risk your own safety by trying to fix the garage door or guard the garage during the storm. Instead, find safer ways to keep an eye on the garage remotely and call the authorities if anybody tries to break in.
If you have a home security system with a remotely accessible camera trained on the garage, use it to watch for any siding that has come loose, damage to the garage door, or water pooling at the base of the garage door.
If you have a motion sensor in or near the garage, check your garage door security status periodically. Movement could mean that someone is trying to break into your garage or that debris is flying in the vicinity.
Schedule Repairs for Your Storm-Damaged Garage Door
Homeowners can fix some types of minor damage when a storm hits. If the storm has damaged your electrical system, damaged the motor, or weakened any of the structures that hold the garage door in place, they might no longer operate safely.
If you have garage door damage in the wake of a recent storm, take advantage of the opportunity to protect your garage from further damage. Let the experts at Garage Door Medics help you by securing garage door structures and installing a new, reinforced garage door. Call 888-997-2423 to learn more about aluminum and steel garage doors from a professional garage door repair technician.