How can I storm-proof my garage? 6 steps to help this vulnerable space hold up against high winds and hurricanes

Keep your home secure and avoid costly repairs with these weather-proofing measures for a strong and sturdy garage

a garage with red and orange sports cars
(Image credit: Design: Bockus Payne)

Storm-proofing your garage isn't just a job for those in the Midwest. High winds and the adverse impacts of climate change have made it more important than ever to prepare our properties for unpredictable weather patterns, and reinforcing your garage is a good place to start. 

Battered garage doors, missing roof tiles, and water damage are all too common after a storm. This is because garages typically aren't built or maintained to the same standard as our houses themselves - when it comes to modern homes, at least - meaning they're more susceptible to weather damage. They're also a space where we store valuable items such as cars, safes, and power tools, and can impact the overall security of the home if damaged. That's why it's especially important to ensure your garage can withstand high winds, heavy rain, and hurricanes. 

To help you make your garage sturdy and fit for purpose, we spoke to some construction experts to find out the key steps you can take to storm-proof a garage, without the need for costly refurbishments. Here's what they had to say. 

1. Install bracing on garage doors 

A modern house with a driveway and a garage with a grey door

(Image credit: Getty)

By far one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reinforce your garage and ensure safe garage door security is with temporary metal braces. These easy-to-install struts are bolted onto existing frames to prevent your doors from denting, crumpling, or from coming detached in high winds.

'From an informal perspective, imagine the garage as a knight and storm-proofing measures as its armor, crucial for safeguarding your castle from a hurricane's onslaught,' says Zackary Smigel, a real estate expert and the founder of Real Estate License Wizard. 'An initial straightforward solution lies in installing temporary bracing on garage doors, an aspect that can intimidate homeowners due to perceived complexities. However, readily available retrofit kits simplify the process significantly, making it user-friendly even for those not innately inclined towards DIY tasks.' 

2. Invest in hurricane panels

Plastic shutters or hurricane panels are a worthy investment if you live in an area prone to hurricanes. These corrugated sheets can be placed in front of windows or doors to prevent damage during storms. 

As Andrew Johnson, constructor and CEO of Prime Seamless, explains: 'The panels guard against airborne debris in extreme weather and, depending on the product, are either screwed or clipped onto your garage door.' It's a good idea to store them inside your garage when not in use for an extra organized garage

As Zackary goes on to note, the door should be the primary focus when storm-proofing not just your garage, but your wider home itself. 'It's vital to view the garage door not merely as an entry point but as a protective barrier demanding reinforcement,' he says. 

3. Install an anchoring system 

Exterior shot showing a garage door painted in a Ronseal colour

(Image credit: Ronseal)

Hurricane ground anchors and metal cables can be used to secure lightweight metal garages that could potentially be destroyed in bad storms. 'It's a technique we've borrowed from our landscaping, where securing structures against strong winds is a norm,' says James Mayfield, CEO and president of Mayfield Environmental Engineering.  

He suggests using ground anchors alongside heavy-duty metal cables to secure the roof and walls of your garage and improve storm resistance. 'In a way, it's like creating an invisible, firm hug around the structure, a method we tested to great success during a high wind event in the San Bernardino mountains last year,' he says. 

4. Adjust misaligned garage tracks 

Garage door tracks can easily become misaligned over time with frequent use, or from accidental bumps and scrapes which cause the mechanism to come dislodged. It's the sort of minor inconvenience you might just learn to deal with day to day if your door still functions, but if bad weather is predicted in your area, you'll want to adjust any misaligned tracks to avoid any further damage. As Andrew notes: 'Eliminating track impediments and carrying out track alignment will stormproof your garage in high winds or hurricanes.' 

5. Cover windows with storm shutters 

A modern home with a large driveway and a double garage

(Image credit: Getty)

Not all garages have glass windows, but those that do will require extra care during stormy weather. Simply covering them with hurricane shutters can prevent costly repairs down the line, but it's also worth considering the installation of tempered glass if you live in a climate with particularly high winds. 

'A hurricane can easily turn window glass into dangerous projectiles,' explains James. 'Impact-resistant windows, or at least, some good-quality storm shutters, can help mitigate this risk.' 

6. Keep up regular maintenance 

Last but not least, regular maintenance and upkeep of your garage could mean the difference between a standing garage post-storm and a tangled wreckage of metal. 'A comprehensive inspection routine, including checking for seal tears, replacing worn gaskets, and ensuring an obstruction-free track, significantly contributes to storm resistance,' says Zackary. 'Despite the perceived inconvenience, this routine upkeep guarantees long-term protection, making it an investment worth considering.' 

'When inspecting, hinges, locks, and other hardware must be carefully examined for signs of wear and tear,' adds Andrew. 'If such signals are found, the compromised components should be replaced immediately to ensure optimal operation and security.'

Finally, even if you avoid your garage from becoming a complete wreckage from a storm or hurricane, flooding and water damage are common problems. It's vital to seal any gaps, replace any lost roof tiles, and check any electrical wiring to keep your garage safe and watertight. While you're at it, why not consider decluttering your garage - chances are it's well overdue! 

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Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.