Tips for Protecting Your Windows From a Hurricane

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The mantra for hurricane season is just like the motto of the Boy Scouts, be prepared. Making sure your home and family are adequately prepared and your flood insurance is up to date will help ease the pre-hurricane season jitters.

Since windows are the eyes to your home, you’ll want to protect these precious eyes. Here are four ways you can protect the windows of your home from a hurricane.

1. Hurricane shutters offer the best protection for windows. They are affixed to the exterior of your home with screws and can typically be made storm-ready, once installed, by one person. Popular styles include accordion (pictured), louver and roll down.

2. Window film is similar to the durable plastic-like layer sandwiched between the glass of a car’s windshield. While a window may crack from the pounding wind and debris thrown during a hurricane, hurricane film will keep the window intact without exposing dangerous shards of glass.

3. Fabric shutters evolved from boat sails that perform under heavy wind loads. When selecting this type of window protection, select a fabric shutter made from durable fabric, like ballistic nylon. It’s equally important to choose an installation method that decelerates flying debris while also absorbing wind pressure. Not sure if the installation method you’ve chosen meets this criteria? Try the trampoline test. The more force you push down on the installed fabric shutter, the greater the pressure (i.e. wind) that should be bounced back.

4. Marine plywood is a high quality plywood built for structural integrity. Using plywood is not highly recommended since it does not meet most building codes. Yet many homeowners who lack a more permanent storm shutter system install them. So, if you decide to use this system, it is important to install the shutters correctly. Experts recommend using at least 3/4 inch plywood (marked and cut to fit each window and glass door) and drilling screw holes 18 inches apart all around it.

Whichever method you choose to protect your windows from a hurricane, remember that none of them can make your home hurricane-proof. However, these preventative measures do provide some level of increased security.

Photo credits:  Getty Images

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