How to Protect Windows During a Hurricane

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Lately, the weather has been no joke. Climate change has made the frequency and severity of hurricanes increase and people must be ready to protect their homes from their consequences. With windows being an easily breakable first line of defense, you must do all you can to keep them from shattering when strong winds blow.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect your windows during a hurricane. Here are a few ideas.

6 Ways to Protect Windows During a Hurricane

Use Plywood Covers

Plywood covers are an affordable solution, and you can even build them yourself. Make sure the plywood you use is at least 5/8” thick.

Measure your windows and cut the plywood so it extends 8” past the window in every direction. Then attach it with bolts, screws or window clips.

Hurricane Film

Hurricane film is a relatively inexpensive transparent plastic that you can leave on your windows year-round. Measure the perimeter of your windows and cut out enough to cover the glass. The film is adhesive and can be applied by peeling off the backing and sticking it to your panes.  

Permanent Storm Protectors

Another solution is to buy metal or plastic storm shutters. The plastic is the more expensive option, but it lets in light, so you won’t be left in the dark if the hurricane blows out your electricity. While the shutters are not cheap (about $18 sq. ft. for plastic and $11 sq. ft. for metal) ordering them may lower your home insurance premium.

You may be able to install your storm shutters yourself, but it’s advisable to get in a professional to make sure they are doing all they can to protect your home.

Fabric Storm Panels

Fabric storm panels are more expensive than their plastic and metal counterparts, but they come with advantages. Once they are mounted, they can be put up quickly and easily, so it won’t take you long to get your home protected after a storm warning is issued. They may also lower your home insurance premium.

PVC fabric panels are approximately $12 a square inch, while Kevlar can be twice as expensive.

Get High Impact Glass Windows

High impact glass is a two paned glass with a protective layer between the planes. It is more expensive than regular windows and, if you are replacing your current windows, you will need to think about installation costs as well. However, they are a low maintenance way to protect your home and they may also lower air conditioning and heating bills and insurance premiums.

Other Tips

Here are some other tips for keeping your home protected during a hurricane:

·      Don’t open your windows during a storm. Some people think this lowers the pressure in the house making damage less likely, but it actually brings the pressure into the home which is something you won’t want to happen.

·      Don’t duct tape your windows. Despite popular beliefs, putting duct tape in an X or grid over the window will not provide protection against a storm.  

Hurricanes are serious business. The tips in this article will help keep your windows and home safe. What precautions do you take when there is severe weather in the forecast?