Glass doors and windows are some of the areas most prone to damage during a hurricane, a high-force windstorm, and other types of extreme weather events. If your windows get impacted by storm debris thrown at high velocity, they can easily break and shatter dangerously inwards, potentially causing injury to anyone sheltering inside. Not only that, but water and more storm debris can easily enter your home or business through a broken window and cause extensive (and expensive) damage to the interior of your property and its contents. That’s why it’s extremely important not to overlook protecting your windows during hurricane and storm seasons.
How to Protect Windows During Hurricane and Storm Season
1. Security Window Film
Security window film is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to fortify your windows against storm damage. These films are made of a pliable Mylar coating that is applied to the inside of your glass windows and doors to reinforce them against impacts from flying debris like rocks, branches, and anything else picked up and hurled by high-velocity winds. When a hurricane or storm causes a glass door or window to shatter, the security window film will hold the shards of glass together and prevent them from shattering unpredictably inwards.
In addition to being an effective layer of defense against storm damage, these types of window films also provide many other benefits. For example, you can choose to install tinted, mirrored, or colored films to add a layer of privacy to your windows or change their appearance. Security window film also blocks out 99.9% of the sun’s harmful UV rays that can damage your skin and cause things like carpets, upholstery, artwork, photographs, and other prized possessions to fade.
2. Laminated Safety and Security Glass
Another effective way to protect your windows during a hurricane or other extreme weather event is to retrofit them with laminated safety and security glass. This type of glass is composed of several layers and contains a formidable thermoplastic interlayer that makes it up to 100 times stiffer and 5 times stronger than standard safety glass. When retrofitting in place of your existing glass, laminated security glass provides a similar protection level to replacing your windows with storm windows, but at a fraction of the cost.
Flying storm debris and high winds are no match for Riot Glass safety and security glass. Even when faced with repeated high-force impacts, it will retain its strength and structure and protect your existing glass from shattering. This strength also makes it a very efficient all-around security upgrade for your home or business that can protect against a wide variety of threats in addition to storm damage. Since the security glass is fitted permanently into your glass door and window frames, you get 24-hour protection all year round.
3. Storm Shutters
Storm shutters are one of the most traditional storm window protection solutions, especially in hurricane-prone areas. There are many different styles of storm shutters, but they are typically made out of corrugated steel or aluminum. Common types of storm shutters include accordion, colonial, Bahama, and roll-down shutters. Each variety has its unique features and benefits, and all are effective at protecting your windows during hurricane and storm season.
The downside of storm shutters is that you have to manually lower them over your glass windows and doors when a storm is coming. If you don’t anticipate the storm or you aren’t home when it hits, your windows and doors will remain unprotected. They must also be permanently attached to your home or other business, detracting from the curb appeal of your property or decreasing your visibility.
Boarding up windows and doors with plywood prior to a storm is one of the cheapest solutions, but it also requires the most work on your part. You have to store enough plywood on your property to cover all your windows and doors and anticipate a storm well in advance, so you have time to board up your windows. Depending on whether you’re fixing the plywood to wood or masonry, you have to use either heavy-duty anchors and screws or expansion bolts to attach the plywood to your walls.
It’s important to know that you have to secure the boards to the walls and not your window or door frames. For this, you’ll need boards that are about 8 inches wider and taller on each side than the glass you want to cover. Then, you’ll have to take all the boards down again and store them after the storm is over. Though plywood does protect your windows during a hurricane or storm, it is not the most convenient or permanent solution for storm-proofing windows.
5. Hurricane Fabric
Hurricane fabric is a flexible fabric, similar to the fabric of a trampoline. The stretchy fabric can cover your glass and bounce many types of storm debris away from your windows. The downside of hurricane fabric is that, although it can protect your home or business’s windows, the debris it bounces away can damage other property in the area, like a car parked outside.
Though not as effective as other storm window protection methods, there are some benefits to using hurricane fabric. For one, it’s very easy to install, take down, and store. It’s also cheaper than other methods of protecting your windows during hurricane and storm season. If your budget is tight and you aren’t concerned about having the highest level of storm protection, you could consider this option.
So, what’s the best way to protect windows during hurricane and storm season? We suggest using laminated safety and security glass or security window film to add an invisible and durable layer of protection to your glass windows and doors. These solutions allow you to retain all your visibility and provide 24-hour protection, 365 days a year against storm damage and other security threats.
Contact Riot Glass today for more information about our storm window protection products and services.