There are many reasons to be excited when the summer season is coming, but one thing that all Florida homeowners need to remember is that with the summer fun also comes hurricane season. June 1st marks the start of hurricane season, and it can last until as late as November 30th.
As we enter into hurricane season once again, it is important to revisit your most valuable asset: windows. There’s more than just broken glass on the line, windows that break during hurricanes allow the wind to flow through your home, putting the entire structure in jeopardy.
Consider impact resistant windows and doors
Hurricane impact windows are, as the name suggests, impact resistant windows designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. With putting up shutters or plywood to protect your windows from a storm, you have to plan ahead of time and spend a lot of time installing a preparing your home. In contrast, impact glass is not only impact resistant, but also the window frame itself is reinforced to withstand the pressure that a hurricane can cause.
There are immense amounts of pressure that can occur when a hurricane makes its way through your town. It is so important to ensure that all of the openings into your home are securely closed. When all of this pressure and wind enters your home and is pushing up trying to escape, the probability of roof damage is high. A door that has the ability to withstand hurricane-force wind is just as important as hurricane impact windows.
Advantages of impact-resistant windows and doors include:
- Hurricane Impact Windows and Hurricane Impact Doors are designed to withstand high winds, pressure and corrosion. These stand-alone units do not require any additional coverings or adjustments when a storm is headed in your direction
- Impact products can improve home security and reduce noise by up to 70%
- Having access to an unobstructed view during a storm makes it easier to stay informed and see what is happening outside of your home
- UV coatings are an available add-on for impact glass that will provide your home with sun protection and improved energy efficiency year-round
- Impact windows and doors can improve your home’s resale value and provide a return on investment of up to 110%
After impact windows, shutters are the next best option for hurricane protection
If a hurricane is imminent but you haven’t yet had time to consider installing impact resistant windows, accordion or aluminum shutters are the next best thing. Shutters will keep the debris from coming into your home and can withstand hurricane-force winds without losing integrity.
While this option is certainly promising, it comes with a few drawbacks. Shutters keep light out when they are installed and if you have accordion shutters, you’ll have to deal with an unsightly box above your windows all throughout the year.
If you decide to go the manual route, you have to make sure you have space to store them in the offseason and figure out how to put them up when a storm is on its way. It can be expensive, especially if your home has large picture windows.
Plywood is a cheap option that will get the job done in most circumstances, but they carry the same drawbacks without any of the durability. It needs to be stored throughout the year, it keeps out light and exceptionally high impacts can cause them to break or bend in towards your windows.
Additional hurricane preparedness for South Floridians
A common myth says that taping your windows during a hurricane will prevent shattering, but this could not be further from the truth. A taped window will not only still break, but it will also cause bigger issues. As opposed to the glass breaking into tiny pieces, the tape can cause the glass to break into larger, more dangerous shards
Be sure to clear your yard of clear potential projectiles that can be thrown by a hurricane. Florida yards tend to be treasure troves of potential projectiles, from coconuts to propane tanks. Hurricane-force winds can and will easily lift these objects and fling them towards your windows. Lawn furniture should be brought indoors, and trees should be trimmed to avoid loose branches. A clear yard with fewer objects means less chance of damage to you or your neighbor’s home.
Have a hurricane plan ready
Florida residents know all too well how quickly a tropical depression can turn into a more powerful hurricane. A big mistake that many make is scrambling to prepare just a few days before landfall. It’s useful to have a group of people that can help around the neighborhood with trimming trees, putting up shutters and moving in heavy lawn furniture in order to make the process go by a lot faster.
Of course, it would be more ideal to consider what your best option is before a storm is already heading in your direction. But regardless, having a plan ready and encouraging your neighbors to clear their yard of debris that could potentially damage property are important steps to take in order to ensure everyone’s safety.