Garage doors can be weakest spot on homes in high winds - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Garage doors can be weakest spot on homes in high winds

Ziegenhorn said garage doors are designed to handle winds up to 65 to 70 miles-per-hour. (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS) Ziegenhorn said garage doors are designed to handle winds up to 65 to 70 miles-per-hour. (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
Winds can get much stronger than the threshold, and they have such a wide surface area. (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS) Winds can get much stronger than the threshold, and they have such a wide surface area. (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
Once the winds push through the garage, Grant said, typically the roof and walls go next. (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS) Once the winds push through the garage, Grant said, typically the roof and walls go next. (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)
(KFVS) -

Winds can pack a powerful punch, even when there is no tornado. While any part of your home can be damaged by winds, one of the most vulnerable spots is your garage door.

"Garage doors, typically, in the research that has been done, can be the first thing to go," David Ziegenhorn, owner of Garage Door County of Sikeston said.

Ziegenhorn said garage doors are designed to handle winds up to 65 to 70 miles-per-hour. Winds can get much stronger than the threshold, and they have such a wide surface area.

"Well, when you have certain areas of the home, you have certain spots are weak points, and the garage is a significant weak point," Chief Meteorologist Grant Dade said. "Again, we talk about surface area, and the more surface area the winds can attach to, the more damage it can do."

Once the winds push through the garage, Grant said, typically the roof and walls go next. He also said the damage can look a lot worse afterward, even though the storm may not have been as strong as first thought.

"A lot of the time it's found in storm surveys, that the garage has been the week point in the house, a lot of time there will be significant damage to a house but it's been found that because of the weakening point in the garage that the tornado may not have been as strong as you would think based on the roof being torn off because of the garage and the other walls falling in place," Grant said.

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There are a couple options: buy a new garage door, or retrofit your current one to a certain extent.

"A garage door is specifically engineered for what's sitting there right now," Ziegenhorn said. "If you start adding weight to that, you've changed the springing engineering of the door so, if you're going to go through that trouble, you do all of the engineering of the door so that it's still working the same as when you started doing all of that."

Ziegenhorn said if you are not willing to buy a new door, or go through the trouble of messing with the engineering of your current one, there is something else you could do if you have a solid garage door jam.

"If you've covered that base, the other thing that you can do is adding reinforcing to the door track," Ziegenhorn said. "Which would mean extra brackets to hold that track to keep it from blowing away, that allows the rollers to pop out and the door to blow in."

Something that does not surprise homeowner, Donna Tucker. She is not planning on any upgrades but could see why others might.

"I don't know if I need to consider that for my door, but I would if there was a problem with my door, and it also depends on which way your house was facing, so yeah, I would consider that," Tucker said.

Ziegenhorn said you can look for a sticker on your garage door that has the wind limit your doors should be able to withstand, that is if it is installed correctly.

Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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