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3 Options for Hurricane Window Protection

Jul 02, 2019

Protecting your home from the onslaught of a hurricane is a given if you live near the coast. There are many products on the market today that meet strict hurricane resistant standards. The “hurricane window protection” market is no exception. There’s little doubt that you’ll find the product that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

It’s a known fact that once the wind obtains entry, things can go horribly wrong in an instant. Flying debris of all sizes threatens the safety of everyone inside. Even worse, the wind immediately rushes upward looking for a way to escape the confines of your home. Once it reaches the attic, it finds every opening possible to force its way outside.

Meanwhile, the storm continues to rip at your home. The result of the forces coming together can take a roof completely off.

It’s also a known fact that the winds of a hurricane hurl debris at your windows without mercy. Once they fail, the storm gains easy access.

Batten down the hatches

Hurricanes don’t mess around. Anything that the wind can pick up becomes a missile. We tie down everything from huge, decorative urns to sheds. Lawn furniture is stored in the recesses of a reinforced outer building whenever possible. Even harvesting our fruit trees ahead of time is not an uncommon occurrence. Sad, but not uncommon.

If there is a hurricane on the way, safety first is the top priority. Even if that means sacrificing our future harvest.

When it comes down to securing windows due to an approaching storm, homeowners have a number of options. We’ll start with the basics and work from there.

Plywood

Many people who choose plywood as their method of hurricane protection cover their windows themselves. They save an average of $2/sq. ft. by doing so. An avid DIY’er can probably accomplish the job over a weekend for a typical sized house. Remember, that plywood completely blocks the light. You will want to have ample resources available should the power go out.

Use plywood that is 5/8″ thick. There are many online articles and videos that will aid you in the “how-to’s” of the job. When the storm is near, use heavy-duty screws and anchors or expansion bolts to attach the plywood to the walls of your home. Do not attach the wood to the window frames.

There are additional material choices to cover windows. They include aluminum, steel, and heavy-duty plastic. A little research will help you determine which is best for you.

Shutters

If you’re looking for a window covering that stays put year-round, hurricane shutters may be for you. They come in roll-up or accordion styles and just roll down or pull out when it’s time to seal up the home. Motorized roll-up shades deploy with the touch of a button.

Some shutters use materials that let light penetrate them while securing your home. However, having plenty of flashlights and batteries in the event of a power outage is still a must.

The most common material used for shutters is aluminum. You can also purchase shutters made of reinforced fabric or other materials as well.

Storm shutter panels are another variety. Shutter panels go up before the storm and are removed afterward. They stack together for storage when not in use.

Windows

High impact, or hurricane resistant, windows are generally constructed of two or more panes of tempered glass bonded to either side of a sheet of high-tech polymer. The result is astounding!

In order to rate as hurricane resistant, windows must pass a rigorous series of tests. In fact, the first two in the series are named the large and small missile tests. The tests include shooting 2×4’s and ball bearings from a canon. They aim them directly at the window! Wind speed and rain resistant tests follow.

To earn a qualifying hurricane resistant rating, the entire window unit must survive the tests. That includes the glazing!

Hurricane shutters covering your windows may keep intruders from ransacking the place after a storm passes, impact resistant windows on the other hand stand against home invasion year around. That’s right. 24/7

In addition, these windows are energy efficient. They are energy star rated so keep that in mind! Eventually, they will literally pay for themselves in savings.

The fringe benefits just keep coming! Noise reduction is another advantage to installing hurricane resistant windows for your hurricane window protection. The noise stays outside where it belongs.

We have far more bright and sunny days than those filled with the ominous clouds that accompany a hurricane. Hurricane resistant windows offer excellent UV protection. Worrying about faded carpet or furniture becomes a thing of the past.

Lastly, impact resistant windows can change the entire look of your home. They come in many styles, so whether you are popping in replacement windows or taking on a major renovation, you are sure to find the perfect fit.

Decisions, decisions

Whether you decide to literally board up your home or decide that shutters or windows best meet your needs, reinforcing your home to better withstand the force of a hurricane may mean lower insurance premiums. You should contact your agent ahead of time. The savings difference dependent on the product may sway your decision.

It’s wise to do all you can to add protection to your home when you live near the coastline. We may not see a storm all season, but then again, we might.

Taking every precaution for the “just in case” of it all would never be considered an unwise decision. In fact, some wouldn’t hesitate to say the opposite is true.

Whether it’s hurricane window protection or installing hurricane clips to hold down the roof, providing the safest environment possible for our families comes into play here. You never know when you will be staying put rather than evacuating. Not to mention the fact, that even if all forecasts indicated it would be okay to ride out the storm, things could change in an instant.

That thought makes a “just in case” decision a very wise one, indeed.

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