Securing a Carport and Maintaining One

Recently, a carport fell over from valley winds in Phoenix, and while something like this doesn’t appear to be significant news, it brings up the question to carport owners and users, what force does it take to topple a carport? In the news story, a carport fell over from valley winds and, in the parking lot of a housing community, a few cars are now covered by the roof of the structure. Although judging from the picture in the article, the structure appears to be a large metal carport, the structure, when anchored properly, should be wind resistant.

In general, such structures are supposed to withstand winds up to 95 miles per hour. Valley winds near Phoenix have been known to be as high as 100mph, but a carport should almost always be able to stand such winds. But with exposure to so many wind storms, can a carport become worn out over time? This could have been the case, and a structure that has not been maintained properly may have simply toppled over. Maintenance, however, is an important factor when keeping a carport, whether for personal use or for a large group of people. As this structure may need to last several years under severe weather conditions, those maintaining the property should have been paying attention to the construction of the carport.

For a carport to be stable, the first thing to do is to make sure it has a solid foundation in the ground. With individual carports, this often means securing the structure in dirt, either with stronger anchors or putting the legs in cement first before putting the structure in the ground. In a parking lot, however, the structure should be secured in cement in the ground. Aside from the base, all joints for the carport need to be maintained so make sure that none are deteriorating.

Safety with Carports

Carports, although they effectively protect a vehicle, don’t offer the same safety as a brick-and-mortar garage. This isn’t to say that the structure will easily collapse on the vehicle, but, instead, that the openness of a carport allows thieves and burglars to break into the car easily. Although various zoning laws require carports to be in the back of someone’s property – theoretically out of sight – someone looking to steal will cut through a property to the back. After all, many home break-ins start from the back or side of a house – not the front. Although carports have different degrees of coverage ranging from a basic metal or polyethylene roof to full, all-around coverage, a car is safe from rain and snow but not burglars.

One newspaper in Australia, the Manning River Times suggests that valuables shouldn’t be left in a car when it’s covered by a carport, as well as any other outdoor structures used for covering a car or other vehicle. While leaving a cell phone or iPod charging overnight might seem safer when the car is in the back of your home as opposed to the street, a car is susceptible to break-ins any time it’s exposed.

The obvious solution to this issue is to not leave any valuables in a car. While stealing a car from a carport could prove to be difficult, especially if the carport is located at the back of your home, breaking into a car doesn’t involve driving away with the vehicle. Even if the item is small, like a cell phone, iPod, or GPS, the electronic device should still be brought inside. If the device simply has to be left in a car parked in a carport, it should be obscured from view. This way, someone looking inside your car wouldn’t have a clear incentive to break inside and steal anything.