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3 Ways to Protect Your Windows From a Hurricane

3 Ways to Protect Your Windows From a Hurricane

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A study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency determined that windows are among the four weak links in a home as far as a hurricane is concerned. Applying masking tape to your windows provides only minimal benefit, according to experts. The greatest danger is from flying objects and tape won’t help your windows withstand trash cans or other items that can be hurled by high winds into the windows during a storm. The tape will stop the windows from shattering, but once a house is compromised during a hurricane, the winds and rain can cause severe damage. Instead, consider these three ways to protect your windows before the next storm arrives.

Window shutters. There are two different types of shutters that are designed to roll down over each window and provide an effective barrier from wind and wind-driven debris during a hurricane. One type of shutter can be operated by a hand-crank inside the home while shutters also are available that lock into place at the press of a button inside the home. Like many hurricane mitigation projects, check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for a deduction on your homeowner’s insurance by installing window shutters.

High-impact glass. A normal pane of glass doesn’t offer much protection from flying debris during a hurricane. With high-impact glass, you can generally choose a single-glazed or double-glazed option that considerably strengthens your windows. With two panes of tempered glass, additionally protected by a plastic film, you significantly increase the chances of your windows surviving a hurricane. The high-impact glass doesn’t look any different than your existing window, from an aesthetic standpoint and may qualify your home for an insurance discount.

Plywood shutters. Securing plywood over all of the windows in your home can provide excellent protection from a storm. The problem is that if you if you wait until a hurricane is on its way, thousands of other homeowners will be heading to home-supply stores and plywood can become very scarce. Instead, hire an expert to measure out the plywood before hurricane season. It’s best to choose at least quarter-inch or half-inch plywood and to make sure the wood is measured to install into the walls of the home, as opposed to the window frames. Heavy-duty anchors can be pre-installed so that all you have to do is attach the pre-cut plywood if a hurricane is approaching. Remember that if you choose this option to protect your windows, your home will be extremely dark when the power is out following a hurricane. However, if the plywood is secured into anchors, it can be fairly easily removed after the storm.

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