How To Protect Your Windows During A Hurricane

Storms that create high winds, like hurricanes, can be disastrous for homeowners. Windows are probably the most vulnerable part of a house in this situation because glass breaks so easily. Not only can broken glass cause expensive damage inside your home, but it can also cause fatal injuries to anyone who is close to it when it breaks. The best line of defense is to install hurricane shutters for every window and glass door in your home. Continue reading to learn how you can build your own hurricane shutters for a fraction of the cost of what you'll find in stores:

Tools And Materials Needed:

  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Circular saw
  • 3- or 4-inch heavy duty barrel bolts
  • 5/8-inch exterior plywood – as many pieces as you have windows and glass doors.
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Paper

1. Measure all your windows and doors.

Most windows have at least a 2-inch inset around the sill. Hurricane shutters should be placed inside this recessed window sill, so they are flush with the exterior wall of the home. If a shutter is screwed directly into the exterior wall of the house, a gust of wind can get underneath it and rip it right off the wall.

To get the right measurement, make sure you are measuring inside the window sill. Also take extra care to measure every corner of every window, because many windows are not square. Write down the measurements for each window and glass door.

2. Cut the plywood to fit your windows.

Starting at the top of your list, use your saw to cut the plywood to the right size to fit the window. Then, use a permanent marker to indicate which side of the plywood should be facing out, and which window that piece of plywood is for. Repeat this step until each piece of plywood has been cut and marked for every window and door in your home.

3. Secure the plywood into place.

Take one piece of plywood and put it in front of the first window. Remember, the plywood needs to be inside the window sill, and covering all the glass. Then, screw one of the 4 barrel bolts into each corner of the plywood to secure it to the window. If you have large windows, the bolts should be placed about every 2 feet.

4. Mark the window bolt locations.

Mark the spot on the window recess where the other side of the bolt is touching the side of the wall. This will help you remember where to put the bolt holes in the next step.

5. Drill the bolt holes.

Take the plywood off the window. Take a drill bit that is just big enough for the bolt to fit into when the shutters are installed, and make a hole where you marked the window recess in the previous step.

6. Paint the plywood.

You will be reusing these pieces of plywood over and over again, so you should paint them to help the wood last longer. Just remember not to paint over the information you wrote on it telling you which window that piece of plywood is for. If you do, make sure you put that information back on once the paint is dry.

7. Put your shutters into place when your area is in a hurricane watch.

To put to shutters into place to protect your windows during a hurricane, simply put the piece of plywood into the appropriate window, and secure them with the barrel bolts.

* Be advised that taping your windows won't do much to prevent the glass from breaking. It may reduce the amount of flying shards if your window is broken during a hurricane. This is why plywood shutters are a much better solution.

Now you have a durable way to protect your windows during a hurricane. These shutters can be used for many years before they'll need to be replaced, especially if you put a couple layers of good exterior paint on them. But, if a window does break in your home due to heavy storm, all you have to do is call your local window glass replacement company and they will come out and fix it right away. Click here to find out more.