Protect Your Home Windows from Intense Florida Hurricanes
Hurricane season in Florida is a time of year when window protection is crucial. With the destructive power of these storms, preventing the infiltration of water and debris are critical to defending your home against extreme forces of nature.
Today, we are going to cover some important practices to keep in mind to protect your windows from damage during a hurricane.
Move Sharp or Heavy Objects Away from Your Windows
Remove sharp or heavy objects away from your windows, both inside and outside. If something is launched by the forces of a hurricane, it could crack your window and compromise the safety of your home’s interior.
Some common household objects to be mindful of when preparing your home for a hurricane could include:
- Gardening tools
- Patio/porch furniture
- Barbeques & propane canisters
- Ceramic pots
- Other heavy furniture or other items near your windows
When a hurricane is approaching, move these items away from your windows and either against a solid wall, toward the center of a room, or into an outdoor storage shed. This prevents unnecessary risks of damaging the glass in the event of a storm.
Regularly Trim Your Trees
Fallen trees and branches are a major threat to your home’s structural integrity during a hurricane. If a tree or branch makes contact with your windows and shatters them, it can open up the interior of your home to water and debris.
It is important that you regularly prune trees on your property so they do not become unruly and pose this risk. Additionally, keep an eye out for dead branches which are more likely to snap and fall or be launched toward your home.
Park Your Vehicles in an Enclosed Space
Strong hurricane forces, such as intense winds and floods, can potentially lift vehicles and launch them toward your home. Water damage can also render a vehicle extensively damaged, potentially beyond saving.
If you are sheltering at home, move your vehicles into your garage or other enclosed parking space. Should the authorities issue an evacuation notice in your area, be sure to do this for any vehicles you are leaving behind as you plan to leave the neighborhood.
Avoid Using Insufficient Window Protection Methods
There are a variety of hurricane window protection options on the market, ranging from film coverings to large metal shutters. However, while many of them claim to offer convenience, they often provide an inadequate level of protection or a time-consuming setup and teardown process. Examples include:
Hurricane Window Film
Hurricane window films are rather straightforward in their advertised purpose. These films are applied to the glass with the intent to provide an extra layer of protection. However, films are not approved for Florida hurricane protection and are among the most fragile of available options on the market.
Boarding up windows with plywood is probably the most common practice when it comes to preparing for a hurricane. While it may seem like a popular practice, there are notable drawbacks to this method.
The biggest drawback being that plywood is insufficient protection from a hurricane. The extreme negative air pressure created by a hurricane can suck the plywood right off the side of your house. Even if plywood remains, Florida testing has shown that windborne debris in a hurricane can go right through a piece of plywood.
Other issues with using plywood include:
- Long setup and teardown process
- Need to purchase multiple materials in advance (boards, nails, and hammers)
- Frequently sold out before a storm
- Safety risks with boarding up high windows
- Boards are usually only usable one time
- Installing and removing nails or screws before and after a storm could damage your home’s exterior
- Complete blockage of daylight
Metal hurricane panels are intended for repeated use and provide a complete window covering. As a result, though, they completely block daylight and can create a loud, irritating, and rattling noise in the presence of strong winds.
Like with plywood boards, hurricane panels also require a lengthy setup and teardown process. When not in use, they need to be stored in an enclosed, dry space on your property. Depending on how many you purchase, this could demand a large shed or garage to accommodate.
Protect Your Valuables
Break-ins can be an issue after a storm, when power and phone lines may be down and police may be unable to respond as usual. As such, traditional alarm systems may be of little help after a storm. Hurricane panels do not provide any security against break-ins. Neither does boarding up with plywood.
Since it is important to heed evacuation warnings, it may be prudent to take other precautions with your valuables. This may include taking valuables with you or securing them by other means before the storm.
Upgrade to the Most Complete Hurricane Protection Solution: Impact Windows
Hurricane impact windows are a permanently installed alternative to traditional glass windows. They are designed to withstand intense storm forces and can help prevent break-ins. They are a maintenance-free option that conforms to the shape of your existing window frames and continues to allow daylight to filter into your home. This removes any setup or teardown process with the greater peace of mind that your property won’t only look great, but it will be protected by the most complete solution possible.
At Paradise Exteriors, we are the proud exclusive distributor of Paradise Platinum hurricane impact windows, providing superior home protection with industry-leading financing and warranty options. To learn more about protecting your home windows before hurricane season, contact us today for a free estimate.