During a hurricane, windows can become a real liability. They can be blown in by wind allowing rain in. One option to prevent this if you live in a location that is prone to being hit by hurricanes is to have impact resistant windows installed. Typically, they are tested to be able to handle winds from a Category 5 storm or up to 200 miles per hour. Hurricane resistant windows can be made from vinyl, aluminum or wood.
The damage a hurricane can do to your home can range from mild to catastrophic. High impact windows can make a huge difference. Impact resistant windows are also important for your safety. If a window blows in, shards of glass go everywhere. This is dangerous when it is happening but afterwards as well.
Tips to protecting your home from hurricane damage:
- Get some really good hurricane glass. This is one of the best ways to protect your house from a hurricane. Hurricane windows are impact resistant because they include two panes of glass with several layers of plastic stuffed in between. Should something smash into the outside of the window, the damage ends there as the plastic protects the second layer of glass.
- Pick a permanent window covering. When you have your windows installed, if you do not go with the impact resistant hurricane glass, consider getting permanent shutters. You can get accordion shutters that can be moved to cover your windows during a bad storm. They will bear the brunt of the wind and any debris that might be thrown at them. This will protect you and your windows. You can get shutters for the inside or outside of your home. Both will prevent the broken window and rain from entering your home. The most common indoor shutters are ones that roll down to protect the inside of your home from flying glass.
- Use a temporary cover for your windows. If a storm is on the way, you can use plywood or storm panels to protect your windows just for the duration of the storm. Storm panels are made from aluminum or corrugated steel. Basically, you can bolt them to the outside of your window and remove them after the storm has passed. Similarly, you can put plywood over your window just before the storm hits. Make sure, if you go this route, that you have the wood installed correctly. Plywood that is installed incorrectly can become loose, blow off and back into your house. This can be as dangerous as an unprotected window.
The most effective way to protect you and your family from hurricane damage is to have impact resistant windows installed. If you have older windows, replacing them will give you a return on investment of nearly 80%. Newer windows are also much more energy efficient and can cut your energy bills by between 7% and 15%. Windows that are manufactured today will last approximately 20 years. There are simply too many reasons to upgrade old windows to not go ahead and do it.