New study shows strong garage doors can save homes during severe storms

Hurricane season is here, but most homeowners are missing out a crucial step to save their home. 

In a new study from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), more than half of people they surveyed had no idea they could save their home by securing their garage. 

The reality is - you can reinforce your garage for around $200 and have lasting impacts on property protection. 

"You never know what’s going to happen," said Bo Crockett who’s a homeowner and knows how serious hurricanes can be in Central Florida. 

Destroyed homes could have had a fighting chance with stronger garage doors.

"The first thing to fail is the garage door," said Leslie Chapman-Henderson who’s the president of FLASH and is laser focused on educating homeowners about the importance of garage durability this year.

Her nonprofit just completed a new survey of 500 homeowners, and 60% of people didn’t know they could save their home by reinforcing their garage.

"What happens with hurricane pressure and wind is it gets inside your home, and it builds up just like a balloon," she said. 

When it pops, walls are shattered, and roofs can be ripped off. The National Institute of Standards and Technology also agrees. That organization found 90% of homes damaged during winds up to 135 miles-per-hour began with garage doors failing.

Crockett, who’s a Cocoa homeowner, is already ahead this hurricane season. He decided to reinforce his garage with a brace.

"It’s going to add much more durability to your garage door," he said.

FOX 35’s Esther Bower asked the FLASH president what would be her best advice on what to buy and how much someone would have to spend to reinforce their garage door?

"We created a checklist, because there’s three levels," she said. "You can get it done for as little as $125."

Building a wooden brace is the cheapest option. Buying a ready to install storm kit ranges from $250-$700, and a new wind rated garage door starts at $2,000.

FLASH suggests working with your neighbors and planning a prep party to strengthen your garage and save your home. 

"That garage door could be the game changer," concluded Chapman-Henderson

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes has tons of resources and videos that will literally walk you through step by step how to hurricane proof your garage. You can access that information by clicking HERE