Securing Your Home – 5 Effective Hurricane Window Protection Methods

Securing your home before hurricane season hits is one of the most effective preventive measures homeowners can take. After the roof, windows are the next most vulnerable part of a home during hurricanes and storms.

A popular option is plywood, which protects against flying debris during a storm. However, plywood sheets must be reinstalled before each approaching storm.

Storm Shutters

In the event of a hurricane or storm, it’s important to remember that your home’s windows are particularly vulnerable. They can shatter and allow rain, wind, and debris into your property, posing severe threats to your family’s safety.

You can protect your windows with a variety of materials. The most common is plywood, a heavy fabric that offers adequate protection when properly installed and marked for the window they are to cover.

Another option is accordion shutters, which unfold like a clamshell to cover your windows. These solutions are labor-intensive and require installing, uninstalling, and reinstalling each time there’s a hurricane threat. In addition, they block out light and can degrade the look of your home. There are better options available. Consider impact-resistant windows.

Impact-Resistant Windows

Hurricane-resistant windows protect homes from the destruction caused by flying debris during a storm. These windows feature laminated glass that withstands direct hits from airborne debris or would-be intruders. They are more substantial than traditional windows, making them less likely to crack or splinter.

This window protection provides a 24/7 barrier between residents and unwanted intruders and can lower homeowners’ insurance premiums. Unlike plywood sheets, which must be installed and removed every time a storm approaches, hurricane-resistant windows remain in place. They are also aesthetically appealing, making them ideal for homes that don’t require shutters. The newest form of window protection, hurricane fabrics, is a more sophisticated alternative to plywood. The ridges are pre-attached to the frame, eliminating the need for additional hardware and making them much easier to install and maneuver.

Tape or Film

Plywood is one of the most commonly used methods of hurricane window protection┬ábecause it’s cheap and reasonably easy to install. However, homeowners need to measure and cut plywood sheets ahead of time, which can be labor-intensive. Additionally, plywood boards block natural light and aren’t aesthetically pleasing.

Taping windows may help to contain broken glass shards, but this method doesn’t prevent windows from breaking altogether. Instead, it causes windows to break into larger, more dangerous shards and increases the risk of injury.

Security film is a pliable Mylar coating that you can apply to windows. It’s effective at reducing shattering and helps to protect against the pressure of debris and intense winds. However, it’s not considered an approved hurricane barrier and will not qualify for insurance discounts.

Plywood

Window protection options like plywood help to keep water, wind, and debris from entering homes and businesses. It can reduce damage and potentially prevent injuries. However, if you use this method, you must check the seals frequently as they may weaken over time.

To ensure the safety of a building’s residents, consider using a more durable material than plywood. For example, a clear polycarbonate panel like Riot Glass looks like glass and allows natural light while resisting hurricane forces.

Plywood boards require substantial installation time, and they’re often sold out during hurricane season. In addition, they’re not attractive from the outside and can hurt a home or business’s curb appeal. Security film can reduce shattering but can’t prevent windows from breaking into large shards or dislodging from the frame.

Polycarbonate Panels

Typically found in bulletproof police shields, polycarbonate panels are extremely tough and can withstand massive forces. It can be found in various products, such as Blu-rays, DVDs, and quality sunglasses that block UV rays.

During hurricanes, high winds and flying debris can shatter windows and force water, dust, and other debris into homes. Having your windows adequately protected can prevent expensive damage and keep your family safe.

While hammering plywood sheets over your windows can be quick, there are better long-term solutions. This method is labor-intensive and doesn’t protect your home or other options, such as impact-resistant windows. In addition, it is only up to code in some areas and won’t result in lower insurance premiums. Instead, consider installing hurricane shutters or other effective protective measures for your windows before a storm hits.