Severe Weather Guide: How to Strengthen Your Garage Door

Few old garage doors are built and installed well enough to resist high winds and flying debris. When weak doors fail, a domino effect can take place, leading to failure of the garage walls and roof.

Strengthen Your Garage Door

FH16SEP_GARAGE_09Clopay Door

The best way to deal with weak doors is to replace the door with a new, code-approved model. In lieu of replacement, there are several ways to strengthen an existing door. However, if your door is made of lightweight materials, replacement is your best option.

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DIY Options

strengthen garage door

Option 1

Install a code-approved metal post system which allows you to quickly reinforce your garage door to keep it from blowing in or out (about $150 per brace, use two for a double garage door). Make sure the track is securely fastened to the framing, and brace the framing.

Option 2

Cover the outside of the door with metal panels, fabric screen or 5/8-inch plywood installed with additional bracing (2x4s at each joint and 2 feet on center).

Some doors can be strengthened with retrofit kits that add vertical and horizontal reinforcement and beef up tracks and hardware. However, reinforcing adds additional weight to the door, and the springs that raise and lower the door must be adjusted. Spring adjustment is a job for a professional.

Reinforcing an older door may help keep the door from being blown in, but will not give it any additional protection against dents and punctures.

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Information for this post was made in collaboration with Lowes for a severe weather guide.