Why it Pays to Pay for a Strong Garage Door


    In the wake of tornadoes that stretched throughout the Midwest, South and Southeast earlier this year, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) reminded homeowners and trade professionals that poor-quality garage doors are significant structural weak points during severe weather events.

    With hurricane season also underway, the IBHS recently issued updated hurricane preparedness guidelines for homeowners and business owners. These recommendations highlight sturdy garage doors as well as more front-of-mind features like hurricane shutters.

    The Risks of Inferior Garage Doors in Severe Weather


    Mass-produced garage doors are often made with cheap external materials like fiberglass, vinyl and low-grade aluminum. These doors may further lack insulation or layered support between their inner and outer panels.

    According to the IBHS, substandard garage doors are vulnerable to high winds and can contribute to structural damage and secondary damages during severe weather. For example, depending on the wind intensity and garage doors’ exposure, some garage doors can crater and pull the rails and other attaching hardware with them; this can damage the door frame and weaken the structural integrity of the garage and home.

    The forceful winds of a tornado or hurricane can also pull garage doors from homes and send them flying. This not only impairs the structural integrity of the garage and home, but it can cause additional property damage or even personal harm.

    Poor-Quality Garage Doors are ‘Damage Amplifiers’ in High Winds


    In the event of a tornado or hurricane, garage door failure can also facilitate a powerful rush of air into the home. This sudden, pressurized gust can damage windows, roofs and support beams.

    In a recent interview, a research meteorologist for the IBHS called low-quality garage doors “damage amplifiers,” and said that when garage doors fail in severe weather their corresponding homes have a 60-percent chance of structural damage. Even winds that aren’t robust enough to be classified as tornadoes or hurricanes can be damaging.

    The IBHS meteorologist said that 80-mph winds can buckle substandard garage doors, while winds 100 mph and greater can rip garage doors off and cause severe structural damage. The meteorologist also noted that garage doors made with flimsy external materials and insufficient internal density are susceptible to additional damage from other blowing debris.

    Garage Door Construction and Materials Matter



    Many retail garage doors are made with inferior materials and manufacturing methods that limit their longevity, regardless of exposure to severe weather.

    A well-made garage door should possess some internal density and insulation, preferably an insulative core that resides between the outer layers. These layers should be reinforced for strength and to prevent gaps between the outer layers, which on cheap garage doors can bend or break in high winds.

    Premium wood is often a good choice for garage-door fronts as well as interior elements. Timberlane uses superior wood overlays that are resistant to moisture and pests, and receptive to paints and stain finishes.

    Timberlane’s wood garage doors are backed by finger-jointed, laminated-veneer lumber frames that contain polystyrene foam insulation cores. The frames themselves are housed within plywood reinforcements, which amplifies the doors’ structural soundness.

    The Value of Quality Garage Doors


    As real-world events like climate change shape how we live and impact construction approaches, well-built garage doors are proving their value on multiple fronts. 

    Property damage from a single tornado or hurricane can total in the billions of dollars. According to the IBHS and other resources, home upgrades like stronger garage doors and hurricane-rated shutters can significantly minimize weather-related damages and expenses; a 2022 Barron’s article reported that updated building codes and improved home-protection measures softened the financial blow of Hurricane Ian by tens of millions of dollars.

    But the benefits of a first-rate garage door aren’t limited to safety. A high-quality garage door can also enhance energy efficiency and augment home security.

    Garage doors consistently deliver among the top returns on investment among home improvements. According to the 2023 Cost vs. Value Report, a new garage door has an average cost recovery of nearly 103 percent.

    Ultimately, an elite garage door should provide long-lasting peace of mind and curb appeal.

    About Timberlane: Distinctive Garage Doors for the Finest Homes

    black 308 garage door on wood shakes garage front cropped-social edit

    With a focus on exceptional materials and expert craftsmanship, Timberlane makes custom garage doors that offer enduring beauty and strength.

    Our design consultants love working with architects, builders and homeowners to create the perfect garage door for each home. To learn more about garage door styles and personalization options, or to request a quote, connect with Timberlane today.


    Inspiration Curb Appeal FAQs