Hurricane season is here, and as you board up your windows, it’s important to remember that storms aren’t just externally destructive — they can be internally destructive. Hurricanes can cause damage inside of your home and business if you leave your windows exposed. Given the massive destruction that hurricanes can bring — not to mention the cleanup costs — you must protect your home from the elements. It’s best not to wait until it’s too late, so check out these tips to hurricane-proof your windows before the season begins.
Cover Windows With Impact-Resistant Film
The most effective way to hurricane-proof your windows is by installing impact-resistant film. Hurricane film can be added to any window in your home and help protect your windows from breaking. It’s often used to protect against break-ins and fly debris during a storm, but it doesn’t impede the view or natural light through the window, making it an excellent option for homes prone to hurricanes.
The impact-resistant film is relatively easy to install, and most homeowners can install it themselves with the right tools (a steamer and squeegee are recommended). The installation process typically takes about two hours per standard window. Once installed, hurricane film typically lasts for several years; however, after a hurricane passes over your home, you’ll likely need to replace it before reinstalling it on your windows.
Install Storm Shutters
Installing storm shutters is one of the most effective ways to prevent hurricane damage. It’s also one of the most expensive, but in deciding whether or not to invest, you’ll need to consider what kind of window protection makes sense for your home and your budget.
Types of Storm Shutters
- Accordion storm shutters may be the least aesthetically appealing option. Still, they are an affordable, easy-to-install removable type that features interlocking panels that slide sideways into slots on both sides of a window frame. This may make sense as a short-term solution if you’re renting your home or apartment, but they won’t hold up well over multiple seasons.
- Rolling storm shutters are another type that easily slides out of sight when not in use but require more sturdy hardware than accordion shutters, and their higher price tag means they’re more often installed on commercial properties than homes. Still, if strength and durability are important factors for you and your family’s safety in tough weather conditions, these may be worth considering.
- Bahama Storm shutters are decorative exterior shutters with fixed horizontal slats mounted above windows for shade and protection from tropical storms or hurricanes. The bottom edge is hinged so the panel can be raised upward to allow ventilation even when closed against wind and rain. They’re economical because they don’t require additional framing to install them since their top edge attaches directly below the soffit of a building structure—but this does mean that only windows with overhangs can accommodate them; if installing them yourself doesn’t seem feasible (and it’s recommended not to do it yourself), hiring professionals will add cost too.
Build an Interior Storm Room
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, constructing an interior storm room can provide a safe place for you and your family. This can be in combination with the task of trying to hurricane-proof your windows. It should be located in the interior of your home, away from windows, doors, and outside walls. The storm room must be anchored and constructed of sturdy materials to protect from flying debris, high winds, and other damaging effects of a hurricane.
The most important aspect of building the storm room is making sure it is constructed with solid walls, roof, and door, all items that can be broken by high winds or debris. Plywood sheets screwed into studs make an excellent interior wall for the storm room. The floor should also be constructed with plywood to make sure it is strong enough to withstand the weight of everyone who will shelter in the storm room during severe weather conditions.
Make Your Home More Secure During a Hurricane
If you live in an area that gets hurricanes, there are several precautions you can take to protect your home during a storm. These include installing hurricane shutters or window film, adding reinforcements to existing windows, and constructing a safe room in your home. If you live in a flood-prone area, make sure your residence is elevated and not swept away by rising water.
The most common way of protecting buildings from the high winds of hurricanes is shutters or window film. These materials, installed on windows by homeowners or professionals depending on local regulations, add strength to the building and prevent flying debris from breaking glass and entering through windows. Shutters are usually installed with screws into the window frame and are typically made of plywood or metal. Hurricane film is applied directly onto glass panes using adhesive tape; it is usually thicker than typical window film because it must withstand strong winds and flying debris.
Hurricane-Proof Your Windows: Conclusion
As a Florida native, you are likely familiar with how damaging these storms can be. But as the hurricane season approaches, it is essential to prepare for any potential damage that a hurricane could do to your home and windows. These powerful storms can range from a window blowing out in your home to the extreme damage caused by high-velocity winds. Any precautions such as reinforcing and blocking open windows on the lower floors will help minimize damage caused by hurricanes.
Here at Daytona Window & Screening, we are here to help keep you informed about protecting your home and family during hurricane season. If you’re looking for new windows before the season arrives, contact us today for more information or visit us online.