Retrofit or buy hurricane garage doors?
Assuming your residence is situated in a hurricane-prone area, having an impact rated overhead garage door is a must. It’s the law. Now, your problems begin if you don’t have a hurricane garage door. In this case, you have two options: to retrofit or buy a new one. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each case.
- Retrofitting the existing garage door
At first glance, it’s the cheap way to make the garage door resistant to hurricanes. On second thought, it might not be very cheap after all. It all comes down to the condition of the existing garage door and its parts. In order to make the garage door resistant to high winds, one must add braces. The garage door tracks are usually replaced too along with the brackets. You need big and strong ones, made of low gauge steel, which is very durable. If you change out the tracks, chances are you may need to replace the rollers too. If the springs are old or not very strong, you may need to replace them as well. In short, retrofitting the garage door is cheaper than buying a new one, but not as cheap as you’d think.
- Installing a new hurricane garage door
This is a more expensive option. After all, this is a new garage door. On the other hand, most of them come with the necessary garage door springs, tracks, rollers, etc. So, you don’t worry about the parts. You just need to be sure that the brackets are made of durable steel, all fasteners are long and strong, and the tracks are robust and perfectly installed. So, the professionalism of the garage door contractor and the quality of the installation service both matter! Given that you work with a trusted company and get a reliable, branded hurricane garage door, this is the best option.
The cost of a new wind load garage door is not that high, after all
The only disadvantage with new wind load garage doors is that they will cost you more than retrofitting the existing door. But besides the extra parts that you may have to replace, think of that too: if your garage door is old, it will already have some problems. That’s bad news when you need to be sure the garage door will have the power to keep in place should a hurricane strike. And so, the higher price for a new door compensates with all the garage door repairs and changes you may need to do before retrofitting the existing door.
New garage doors can be completely ready to resist hurricanes or include the braces and hardware for you to place when there’s an alert. The former option is always best, especially if you travel and want to be sure your home is safe at all times. So, it’s pretty clear that retrofitting the garage door should be your last option and only if you cannot afford a new door at this moment and your local codes are not strict, which means that your house is not in imminent danger. But if the codes are strict and you have the budget, choose to get a new hurricane-proof garage door. That’s the best solution.