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How to Reinforce a Garage Door for Hurricanes

Garage doors, especially two-car garage doors, can wobble, pull out of their tracks, and/or collapse in hurricane strength winds. When a garage door fails, high winds can enter the building, blowing out doors, windows, walls and roofs. Some garage doors can be reinforced with retrofit kits. These cost between $70 to $150. If your garage door is not retrofit-capable, you will need a new garage door that's reinforced to withstand winds of up to 120 miles per hour. These cost between $400 to $450 and must be professionally installed.


  1. Check with your town's planning department to learn of any code requirements.
  2. Obtain any necessary permits from the planning department.
  3. Check with local building suppliers and home improvement stores to learn if there's a retrofit kit made for your garage door.
  4. Purchase the appropriate kit, if available. Your kit will include manufacturer's specific instructions.
  5. Install horizontal bracing onto each garage door panel.
  6. Install heavier hinges using heavy duty screws or bolts (as provided in the kit).
  7. Install stronger center supports and end supports.
  8. Check the track on the garage door. Using both hands, grab a section of each track, then attempt to pull and twist it. If it loosens or twists, you need to install a stronger track.
  9. Install the new track, carefully anchoring it to the 2x4s inside the wall with heavy wood bolts, or in a brick home, attach to the masonry with expansion bolts.
  10. After completing the retrofit, check the door's balance. Lower the door half way, then let go. If it moves up or down, the springs need adjusting. Spring adjustment requires a professional.

Things You Will Need

  • Building permits (if required)
  • Manufacturer's retrofit kit
  • Adjustable head screwdriver
  • Monkey wrench
  • Electric drill

Tip

  • Each manufacturer's retrofit kit will vary. Your kit may not use all the items discussed in this article.

Warning

  • Reinforcing your garage door and other areas of your home does not make your home hurricane proof, but it will improve its ability to withstand a hurricane. Reinforcing your home does not make it safe to remain in during a hurricane. Follow National Weather Service and FEMA evacuation directions to remain safe.

Resources

About the Author

Carlie Lawson is a hazards consultant, writer, and model living in Oklahoma. Her articles have appeared in "Keysian," "Movitly," "Weather and Society Watch," "Journal of Regional Studies," "Oklahoma College Press," and "JollyJo.tv." She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and mass communications, and in film and video studies, and a Master of Regional and City Planning from the University of Oklahoma.