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Doorway to disaster: Garage door is where a storm’s danger comes home – South Florida Sun Sentinel

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    Doorway to disaster: Garage door is where a storm’s danger comes home – South Florida Sun Sentinel

    We know you’d rather forget the trauma of last year’s hurricane season and pray we never have another one like it.

    Keep praying, and welcome to another season.

    This week hurricane forecaster William Gray predicted 15 named storms, including eight he expects to swirl into hurricanes. He says 59 percent of the storms are likely to hit the U.S. East Coast, including Florida.

    You know what to do, right? You surely had enough practice last year.

    Stock up on canned food, batteries and water. Check.

    Take outside furniture and plants inside. Check.

    Put up hurricane shutters. Check.

    Secure the garage door. What was that again?

    If you don’t secure your garage door properly, you may be placing your home and family in grave jeopardy. The garage door, the largest and weakest opening in your house, is the area of your home most likely to fail first. And yet, 96 percent of those surveyed in a recent Mason-Dixon poll said they didn’t know how to strengthen their garage doors.

    If strong winds blow it in or out during a storm, storm damage experts say it could lead to a buildup of internal pressure that could cause a blowout of the roof and supporting walls.

    “The primary problem resulting from a garage door that is sucked out or blown in is the internal house pressure,” says Robert C. Stroh, associate dean for research in the College of Design, Construction and Planning at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

    “The engineers call it negative pressure. It creates a vacuum on the roof. When the…

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