Hurricanes are a part of life for Florida homeowners. Seeing homes ripped apart by high winds leaves little doubt that preparing for them is important.
Many homes use plywood to protect windows during a storm, but there are more acceptable long-term solutions. Instead, consider impact-resistant windows.
Shutters for Windows
Having the right protection for your windows during hurricane season. Leaving your windows unprotected could cause them to break under the force of debris that flies during a storm. The shattered glass can also create negative pressure that can damage your roof or even injure you and your family.
Panel hurricane shutters are an affordable option that can be easily deployed. They can be made of aluminum, steel or polycarbonate. They can also add an architectural upgrade to your home. However, they don’t allow much light into the house and must be stored when not in use.
Permanent hurricane windows shutters look like roll-down garage doors that can be lowered manually or electronically. They offer 24/7 protection and can be installed above each window. However, they require you to be present to close them before a hurricane arrives. This can be a disadvantage if you are away on vacation during the hurricane season.
Shutters for Doors
Hurricane shutters protect the vulnerable openings of your home during a hurricane, such as windows, doors and screened areas like lanais and patios. They shield these openings from extreme winds and flying debris. They are available in various styles and materials, including aluminum, steel and translucent polycarbonate panels, to fit your home’s style.
The simplest kind of shutter is plywood. It has the advantage of being affordable and easy to install. However, it offers less strength than shutters made of aluminum or steel. Also, plywood can warp with heat and moisture over time.
Other kinds of shutters that require a bit more work include accordion or roll-down shutters. These are permanently installed and can be rolled up and down manually or automatically when a storm is forecasted. They are easy to deploy and can be stacked next to each window. Other options include colonial and Bahama shutters that look more stylish and provide greater protection.
Shutters for Patios
The windows in your home can be especially vulnerable during a hurricane or other type of storm because they let in high winds, rain and debris. While there are many different options to protect your home, shutters are the best choice because they provide a barrier between the elements and your windows.
Shutters come in several styles, including accordion shutters that stack beside a window when not in use and unfold accordion-style during a storm, or metal roll shutters that sit above your windows at all times and can be lowered with a motor, manual crank handle or by hand. These are ideal for homes, condos and commercial buildings.
Another option is impact windows, which look like regular windows but have been tested to withstand hurricane-strength winds. They also reduce the likelihood of a window breaking and should help you save on your homeowner’s insurance. Impact windows are more expensive than shutters and require professional installation, but they may be worth the investment to help you save on your premium.
Shutters for Bay Windows
A hurricane can do no worse damage to a house than blown-out windows. Flying debris picked up by storm-force winds can smash into windows, changing the air pressure inside a home and leading to roof collapses and structural damage.
Hurricane shutters close over a window, offering full protection during a storm and absorbing the impact of flying debris. They are available in several styles and can enhance or blend in with the look of any home.
However, unlike impact-resistant windows, they must be manually closed before a storm. This can be a problem for homeowners away from their homes during hurricane season or not living in a hurricane-prone area year-round. For these reasons, some people prefer impact windows, which offer 24/7 protection and don’t require any action from a homeowner. However, both types are effective and affordable options for protecting your property during a hurricane.