5 Tips to Prepare Your Windows for Hurricanes

Hurricanes bring powerful winds and flying debris that can cause significant damage to your home, especially to windows. Broken windows not only lead to immediate damage from wind and rain but can also compromise the structural integrity of your home by allowing wind pressure to build up inside.

Preparing your windows for hurricane season is crucial for protecting your property and ensuring your safety. Here are five tips to help you get your windows ready for hurricanes.

1. Install Storm Shutters

Storm shutters are one of the most effective ways to protect your windows from the impact of hurricanes. They provide a strong barrier that can withstand high winds and flying debris, significantly reducing the risk of window breakage.

There are several types of storm shutters available, including roll-down, accordion, Bahama, and panel shutters. Roll-down shutters are permanently installed above the windows and can be quickly deployed by lowering them into place. Accordion shutters fold compactly beside the windows when not in use and are easy to close and lock.

2. Use Hurricane Window Film

Hurricane window film is a protective layer that can be applied to your windows to strengthen them and reduce the risk of shattering. This film is designed to hold glass fragments together in the event of an impact, preventing them from scattering and causing injury.

Hurricane glass windows film provides an additional layer of protection for your windows by reinforcing the glass. While it may not be as strong as storm shutters, it can help reduce the damage caused by smaller debris and wind pressure. The film also blocks harmful UV rays, which can protect your furnishings from fading and reduce heat gain, contributing to energy efficiency.

3. Install Impact-Resistant Windows

Impact-resistant windows are designed to withstand the extreme conditions of hurricanes, including high winds and flying debris. These windows are constructed with laminated glass, which consists of two layers of glass bonded together with a strong, clear interlayer. The result is a durable window that remains intact even if the glass is broken.

These windows offer superior protection compared to standard glass windows. In the event of an impact, the laminated glass may crack but will remain adhered to the interlayer, preventing the window from shattering. If you don’t have impact-resistant windows installed, go for window replacement right away and protect your property from hurricane damage.

4. Seal and Reinforce Window Frames

Securing and reinforcing your window frames is crucial to prevent them from being compromised during a hurricane. A strong frame is essential for keeping the window intact and maintaining its protective capabilities.

Begin by inspecting the window frames for any signs of damage, such as cracks, gaps, or rot. Use caulk to seal any gaps around the frame to prevent wind and water from penetrating. Silicone-based caulks are ideal for exterior use due to their durability and flexibility.

5. Cover Windows with Plywood

Covering your windows with plywood is a traditional yet effective method for protecting them from the impact of hurricanes. This method provides a sturdy barrier that can shield your windows from flying debris and high winds.

To prepare plywood covers, you’ll need ⅝-inch thick plywood sheets, cut to fit the size of each window. The plywood should extend a few inches beyond the window frame to ensure complete coverage.