Tropical storms can cause significant devastation, especially for residents living in coastal areas. In the event of an upcoming storm, it’s essential to batten down the hatches and maximize protection of your family and property from wind, water, and debris.
Hurricane-proofing your doors and windows is vital in limiting damage that could occur to a home or business. Are you unsure of how to prepare them for next hurricane season, or are looking for some guidance on how to properly secure your home?
Listed below are 7 steps you can take to safeguard your assets.
1) Check your window and door seals.
This is one of the most important first steps to take. Checking the seals on all of your windows and doors thoroughly can ensure that they will not let in any water or wind during a storm. It’s normal for these seals to weaken over time, especially in hotter climates. If you take the time to regularly reseal these openings, you will provide a line of defense that prevents seepage into your home or business, potentially saving it from expensive damage.
2) Close and lock all windows and doors.
There’s a myth that cracking open windows or doors can help relieve air pressure during a hurricane and prevent damage. This is NOT TRUE, and will in fact have the opposite effect; a breach will allow the pressure to build inside the building. Keeping all of your doors and windows closed and locked will allow the seals to do their job, reducing damage to your roof, walls, and interior.
3) Remove any potential projectiles.
Nobody wants to witness their door or window being shattered by flying debris. One way to help minimize this risk is to get rid of any potential projectiles around your property. Bring inside any outdoor furniture, trim your trees, and clear up any loose foliage, branches, and yard decor. The fewer objects, the better, as it reduces the changes of something becoming airborne.
4) Cover your glass with hurricane film (and skip the duct tape).
Many people believe that putting tape on windows in an “X” shape is a trusted way to prepare for hurricane winds. However, it’s not advised. The glass will still likely break even with the tape applied, only now it will be in large pieces instead of tiny shards. Larger pieces are actually more dangerous, especially if they get sent flying in the storm winds. Hurricane film is an affordable transparent plastic that you can use to cover your entire windowpane, and can be left up year-round. It might not protect the window from breaking, but it will protect you from glass shards and help keep the wind out of the building.
5) Install storm shutters.
Storm shutters are a viable and effective option in protecting your windows and doors from hurricane force damage. They are permanently attached to your structure and simply need to be pulled down into place before an approaching storm makes landfall. These shutters are a solid solution for storm preparation, but can be more on the expensive side, and aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing.
6) Apply plywood.
It’s common practice to apply plywood to the exterior of windows and doors before a hurricane. Nailing these pieces into place can help protect glass from debris and minimize damage in a very cost effective way. The downside is that it takes a lot of elbow grease and cannot be done too far ahead of time, since nobody wants plywood covering their windows and doors when it’s not necessary. Plywood also blocks out any natural light, plunging your home or business into darkness if you lose power.
7) Invest in impact rated glass for long-term protection.
This is perhaps the best step you can take in preparing your assets for hurricane season. Unlike plywood and storm shutters, impact rated glass will not detract from the aesthetic appearance or your home or business, and requires no extra steps from you when a storm is on the horizon. This glass is a permanent fixture that is designed to withstand high pressure, winds, and projectiles, all while allowing natural light into your space. While the cost upfront can be higher than other options, panels can easily be installed by a professional and offer superior protection and security.
Euro-Wall proudly offers impact rated door systems, available in multi slide, folding, pivot, stacking, and fixed options. We understand the importance of not only creating a breathtaking view, but also using materials that will ensure the safety and integrity of any structure. While maintaining elegant aesthetics, our doors are built with the highest quality materials. To learn more, check out our page on hurricane rated doors.