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Hurricane Window Protection Options: The Ultimate Comparison

Hurricane Window Protection Options

Comparing Ways to Protect Your Home from Hurricanes in Florida 

While there are many hurricane window protection options on the market, not all of them provide complete coverage or will withstand strong winds, rain and airborne debris during a storm. In this guide, we will explore the different types of hurricane window protection options available so that you have a better understanding of what your best option might be before the storm touches down in your area.

If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, you know how devastating these storms can be. Hurricane season may not start for another few months but it’s always wise to prepare now. Hurricanes are known for their high winds and heavy rains which can cause serious damage to homes throughout the duration of the storm.

Boarding Up Windows

A common hurricane window protection option is boarding up windows. This involves using plywood or other materials to cover windows in an effort to secure them and prevent wind and water damage.

However, the issue with boarding up windows with plywood is that, generally, it is ineffective at protecting against all but the smallest storms. That is because a larger hurricane will cause both positive and negative pressure around a home. The negative pressure can suck plywood off the side of a house, even if it is screwed on. Plus, when tested, windborne debris tends to go right through plywood.

Putting up plywood is a time-consuming and inconvenient process. When you’re preparing to leave your home, you likely cannot afford the extra hours needed to cut boards to your window dimensions, find enough people to help you, shop for materials, and install them. Also, prior to a storm stores and lumber yards are often sold-out of plywood.

Hurricane Shutters

Another common hurricane window protection option is to install hurricane shutters on your home. In most cases, these are made of  aluminum and fit around the exterior surface of a window, and can be opened, like an accordion, in order to protect it from debris as well as wind and water damage during a storm.

These shutters often require frequent maintenance, and, if used to cover a picture-window you will need to close them from the outside, which may require a ladder. While they are faster and more convenient than panels, they still do cost more to purchase and, because they are permanently attached to the outside of your house, they do cause an eyesore.  

Be aware that, once closed, no light will enter your home through the windows. If the power fails due to the storm, you will need to use candles or flashlights, even during the day.

Storm Panels 

Storm panels are another popular hurricane window protection option. These are exterior panels that can be installed over windows to protect them from wind and flying debris. They are typically made from a heavy corrugated metal  that attaches to the perimeter around a window or door.

Though panels much less convenient than a hurricane shutters but a lot easier than boarding up your windows.  The tracks they connect to get permanently attached to the side of your house. 

When a storm approaches the panels need to be put up. This is a laborious and often dangerous process, because the panels are quite heavy and have sharp corners. Installing larger panels over doors, or on second story windows is often beyond what some homeowners can physically handle.

Panels, like shutters, block all light from entering the home through the windows once installed.

Hurricane Fabric

Another option is to use hurricane fabric which can be attached over windows. This lightweight material provides temporary protection from wind.

However, among these options, hurricane fabric is one of the least robust options. Because it requires so many fasteners, fabric is more laborious to install. Plus it requires you to go up on a latter to install it. Fabric also does not provide any protection against break-ins after the storm.

Hurricane Window Film 

Window film is applied to the inside of windows and is intended to hold the window together if it breaks. It also may reduce the chances of glass shattering into sharp pieces that could cause injury.

Like hurricane fabric, window film is not as strong of an option as using a solid material. In states like Florida, where hurricane protection is tested and regulated, window film has never been approved because it does not provide adequate protection against hurricanes.

The Best Option: Hurricane Impact Windows

Hurricane impact windows are the best way to fully secure your home from the threats of hurricanes. Here’s why:

No Setup or Teardown

Hurricane windows are built into your home’s window frames in place of standard glass. This means they are always protecting your home and do not require additional time to install or remove.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Hurricane impact windows are also custom-cut to fit the shape of your window frames. They complement your home’s appearance rather than obstruct the beauty of your property.

Rigorously Tested Hurricane Window Protection

Quality impact windows are tested to rigorous standards for factors like impact resistance, leak protection, and wind uplift resistance by trusted third parties. This ensures that they have been objectively vetted for quality and long-term value to the homeowner.

Additional Home Security

Beyond hurricane protection, impact windows can also offer extra protection from unwanted home intruders. The glass cannot be broken by common instruments that burglars use to gain entry into a residence.

At Paradise Exteriors, we offer the only impact glass recognized by the National Crime Prevention Council to aid in burglary prevention and to “take a bite out of crime.” These windows are trusted by home security experts to make a tangible difference in protecting your home from these additional threats.

Energy Efficient

New Energy Star rated hurricane windows can reduce your electric bill by over thirty-percent. That is according to the United States EPA, as compared to single-pane windows. 

Get the Top Hurricane Window Protection Option for Florida Homeowners Today 

Our team at Paradise Exteriors is committed to providing residential Florida properties with the highest quality hurricane window protection in the Sunshine State. From offering industry leading hurricane impact glass, courteous service, and an unbeatable variety of warranty options, we empower you to protect your home from hurricanes with confidence. 

To get a free estimate, contact us online anytime.