In recent months states such as California and Texas have seen some severe weather systems that have resulted in flooding. In fact, some of the forecasts, which attribute the weather pattern to El Nino, have predicted that these weather conditions may continue even into the winter months. Many insurance companies do not provide protection against flooding and flood damages in the regular homeowners' policy and while the federal government has picked up the slack in that direction, it would be prudent to do what you can to reduce the risks of flood damages to your home.
When it comes to severe weather conditions such as flooding, hurricanes and thunderstorms, the garage door can sometimes be a disadvantage as many of them, especially the older models, are not structurally built to sustain high winds or the force of flood waters. So here are a few ways to stop your garage doors from being the weakest link in your arsenal of flood-proofing methods for your home.
Older garage doors made even up to 2006 may not be hurricane or flood-proof and would not be up to the current standards that can resist wind forces of up to 130 mph. To make your garage door more resistant to the pressures from rushing flood waters, you can park your car up against it, making sure to protect the bumper with a thick covering such as a tarp or even a blanket. This would only be recommended for the immediate flash flood warning where time to make other reinforcements might be limited.
Another way to do simple reinforcements is by using board, such as 2x4 strips, or steel, which would be attached across the door from floor to ceiling. To prevent water from seeping in below the door, place sand barriers at the base to act as a levee. These can be really cheap, especially if you already have these available and can do it yourself.
It is estimated that preventing even an inch of water can save you almost $8,000 in damages so using a stronger reinforcement might be in order. There are garage door bracing kits that can cost about $500 for a double garage door. These come fitted with both the braces and the necessary hardware to secure the door and are best installed by a garage technician or manufacturer. When buying a bracing kit check with the manufacturer to get recommendations for the one that would work best with the door you have so that the track will be able to properly support the reinforced door.
If all else fails or you find that it is better to replace the door then, conservatively, you can expect to pay between $800 and $1500 for a 16-by-7-foot garage door including installation. A new weather-proof door also does more than help to protect your home from wind and flooding, as a new door is estimated to bring a return-on-investment of more than 75 percent upon sale of the house.