Written By: Brad Campbell | February 15, 2021
The belief that taping your windows during a hurricane will help keep them intact is a MYTH, and a dangerous one.
You should absolutely NEVER tape your windows before a hurricane. Keep reading to find out why.
Debunking the Dangerous Belief That Taping Glass Prevents Storm Damage
We’re not sure how exactly people started getting the idea that putting tape on your windows before a storm, in an “X” pattern or otherwise, can prevent them from shattering or somehow make them safer.
What we can say with confidence is that under no circumstances is doing this a good idea. In fact, putting tape on your windows can actually make them more dangerous during a hurricane.
Putting tape over window glass does nothing to make it stronger, but it can cause the glass to shatter into bigger, more dangerous shards if it’s impacted by flying storm debris. It’s better to have a window break into smaller pieces that are less likely to cause injury.
Obviously, we’re not advocating for leaving your windows unprotected during a hurricane, but if your only options are leaving them clear or putting tape on them, definitely leave the tape in the drawer.
Reasons not to tape windows to prevent storm damage:
Now that we’ve shattered that myth, let’s take a look at some real hurricane protection methods that you can use to protect your glass and prevent storm damage.
Proven ways to protect your existing window glass during a hurricane:
Before we continue, it’s important to know that the two options above are for protecting the glass itself and are not meant to replace the strength of other hurricane mitigation barriers like plywood boards, storm panels, or hurricane shutters.
That being said, they are both effective options for preventing glass from shattering dangerously inwards as well as for keeping windows intact to reduce the likelihood of further water and wind damage to your property.
Safety and security window film is a pliable Mylar coating that is applied directly to any existing glass that you want to fortify against impacts.
These types of window films won’t prevent the glass from breaking due to an impact from storm debris thrown at it by hurricane-force winds, but it can prevent the broken shards of glass from flying inwards.
Unlike taping your windows during a hurricane, this method of reinforcing your windows DOES make them less dangerous to anyone sheltering inside. It can also help broken windows retain their shape to continue blocking wind and rain.
Laminated security glass is another, even stronger, option you have for reinforcing your property’s glass against storm damage. This type of glass consists of a thermoplastic interlayer and two outer layers of glass that make it highly impact resistant.
It’s strong enough to remain completely intact after some impacts, and if it does crack it won’t shatter inwards. The security glass laminates will retain the shards of glass and their shape to greatly reduce the probability of injury and interior storm damage.
In many cases, security glass panels can be retrofitted into your existing framing, making them a very cost-effective solution when it comes to storm damage mitigation. The panels look and feel like standard window glass, so you won’t notice a difference.
There’s no magical quick-fix to save your windows during a storm, and taping glass before a hurricane is something you should never do.
Instead, invest your time and resources in real security glass products and other storm damage prevention barriers that actually work.