Did you recently move to an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes? As any hurricane veteran will tell you, preparation pays off when a hurricane hits. You often don't have much time to prepare your home. Having a protection system in place can help you maximize your time and protect your home against damage. Windows are often the most vulnerable part of a home during a hurricane. High winds and flying debris can bust windows open, allowing the wind and water to enter your house. Here are some options at your disposal to protect your windows during a hurricane:
Plywood. This is a common solution and one of the least expensive options. You simply get sheets of plywood that line up with your window frames. Then, when a hurricane is about to hit, you nail or drill those sheets into the frame. While plywood will provide some level of protection, they may not be the most ideal solution. Plywood can be cracked by debris. Also, it may be time consuming to get the wood sheets on your windows, especially if your home has a second story.
Another consideration with plywood is that it keeps light from coming into your home. That may not be a problem if you're evacuating. However, if you're going to ride out the storm at home, you may want some natural light and some visibility outside.
Fabric panels. Fabric may not seem like sufficient protection during a hurricane. However, these panels are made from strong fabric that is stretched tight across your window frame. Fabric panels act very much like a trampoline. When debris hits the fabric, it just bounces right off. You can expect fabric panels to cost slightly more than plywood. You also may not be able to install the panels yourself, especially if you have to attach them to brick or stucco.
On the positive side, fabric panels are usually slightly translucent, which means some light will come into your home and you will have some visibility outside.
Shutters. Shutters are a great way to protect your windows and enhance your home's curb appeal. There are a variety of different types of shutters, including colonial, Bahama, and roll-down. They vary in price, but you can usually expect them to be more expensive than either plywood or fabric panels. They're also permanent structures, so it's important that you're comfortable with their aesthetic qualities. When a hurricane is approaching, you simply close the shutters and lock them in place.
Impact windows. These windows are specially designed to handle the impact that can come from flying debris and high winds. They often have thick layers of glass that are held together by adhesive layers of film. When an object hits the window, the grass may crack, but the film keeps the window from breaking open. That prevents wind and water from entering your house. Impact windows may require a sizable investment. However, they could save you money on your homeowners insurance. Also, they'll require little additional preparation work as a hurricane approaches.
For more information, contact Storm Shield LLC or a similar company.