Hurricanes are serious and require proper preparation to protect yourself and your loved ones. We’ve all seen the news reports of homes destroyed, communities devastated, and lives lost. This force of nature can wreak havoc on your property. Most recently, Hurricane Ian came and caused a lot of damage in Florida.
As a resident of the Sunshine State, you know that hurricanes are a part of life and that it’s important to be prepared. In today’s blog post, we will share some tips on how to prepare your windows and keep them safe as the hurricane season approaches Florida.
#1 Install Impact Resistant Windows
One of the most effective ways to protect your home from hurricane winds and flying debris is by installing impact-resistant windows. These windows are designed to withstand high-speed winds and flying objects, which are common during hurricane season in Florida.
Though at first glance they look just like regular windows, unlike traditional windows, impact-resistant windows are made with multiple layers of glass and an interlayer (usually made of vinyl) that helps prevent them from shattering. This means that even if a window is hit by flying debris, it is less likely to break and cause damage to your home or injure someone inside.
While impact-resistant windows may be more expensive than traditional windows, they can provide significant long-term benefits. Even if your window gets hit by a hail or any other object, it will develop a crack, but the interlayer will protect the inside glass from breaking, keeping your interior home safe from damage.
At Southshore Roofing & Exteriors, we have experts that install high-quality, impact-resistant windows that offer enhanced protection against hurricanes and other forces of nature.
#2 Ensure That The Windows Are Properly Sealed
If you do not have the time to install new impact-resistant windows, then you have to ensure that you keep your existing window system up to date. One way you can do this is to ensure that the windows and doors of your home are properly sealed.
Normally, sealing is done at the time of new window installation, however, due to time constraints, temperature changes, and several other reasons, the seal tends to weaken. Due to this, it is important to inspect your windows regularly.
Why is it important to inspect the seals? Well, during a hurricane, powerful winds create immense pressure both inside and outside your home. If there are any gaps or cracks in your windows or around your doors, these winds easily find their way in, increasing the risk of damage to your property. This can even compromise the structural integrity of your home.
#3 Lock All The Windows And Doors
This one should be pretty obvious, but many homeowners believe that opening the windows during a storm or a hurricane is a good idea. There is a common misconception that opening windows will equalize the pressure system and prevent damage to the home. However, this belief is inaccurate and can put your home and safety at risk.
Locked windows and doors also provide a barrier against flying debris, a common hazard during hurricanes. Flying objects can shatter windows and cause significant damage or injury inside your home. So make sure you seal your windows and keep them firmly shut as you prepare your home for Florida hurricanes and storms.
#4 Install Hurricane/Storm Shutters
Storm shutters or hurricane shutters are also an effective way to protect your windows from hurricane damage. These protective coverings are designed to shield your windows from strong winds, rain, and flying debris accompanying severe storms and hurricanes. Installing storm shutters is a proactive step that can significantly reduce the risk of window damage and enhance the overall safety of your home.
Storm shutters don’t need to be installed each time a hurricane is approaching. Once they’re in place, they permanently stay near the windows and can simply be rolled down or shut over the window for use whenever needed. Additionally, these shutters come in a range of colors that can enhance your home’s curb appeal. You can choose a color that complements your siding, and create a visually appealing look for your home’s exterior.
Several types of hurricane shutters are available, so consult with professionals who specialize in storm shutter installation to determine the best option for your home.
#5 Cover The Windows With Plywood
In the above section, we saw how storm shutters can be a good idea for protecting your windows. However, they can be on the expensive side, so for a more cost-effective option, you can use plywood to cover the windows during hurricane season
While it may not provide the same level of convenience or aesthetic appeal as storm shutters, properly installed plywood can offer valuable protection against wind, rain, and flying debris.
Use exterior-grade plywood that is at least 5/8 inches thick for optimal strength and durability. Sand any rough edges and consider applying a protective coating, like paint or sealant, to enhance weather resistance.
Do keep in mind that covering windows with plywood is a temporary solution and it is better to go for a more robust solution such as installing storm shutters.
#6 Keep Trees on Your Property Trimmed
This tip does not involve windows, it has more to do with the surroundings itself. If you are a homeowner with several trees around your home, you may be a bit more vulnerable to hurricane damage.
Trimming trees around your property is vital in preparing for hurricanes. While trees contribute to the beauty of the landscape around your home, they can become hazardous during a storm if not properly maintained.
Trimming trees helps reduce the risk of branches breaking and falling during high winds. Overgrown or weak branches can also become projectiles, causing damage to your property and windows, and even posing a threat to personal safety. Proper trimming ensures that the trees are more resistant to the impact of strong winds, minimizing potential damage during a hurricane.
#7 Take Note of Your Surroundings
In addition to trimming trees around your property, securing outdoor items is another crucial aspect of preparing for a hurricane. Powerful winds can pick up and propel objects with tremendous force during a hurricane. Unsecured items like patio furniture, grills, garden tools, and even potted plants can turn into dangerous projectiles, potentially damaging your home, vehicles, or neighboring properties.
By securing these items in place, you reduce the risk of property damage and help protect the safety of yourself and others. Move lightweight furniture indoors, such as into a garage or storage area, if possible. For heavy stuff that you cannot pull inside easily, it is best to anchor it down.
#8 Stay Informed
Staying informed is a fundamental aspect of preparing for a hurricane. As we know, hurricanes occur frequently in states like Florida, so it is best to be conscious of day-to-day weather reports.
Monitor local weather reports and heed evacuation orders or advisories. If severe weather is approaching, it’s best to prioritize personal safety and follow recommended evacuation procedures.
#9 Create A Plan
Last but not least is to create a plan for your household on how you’ll handle the upcoming hurricane season. More often than not, a hurricane can be very harsh and cause extensive damage to more than just your windows. All the tips we have covered in this blog post should be part of your plan in some way.
Creating a plan is crucial to safeguarding yourself, your family, and your property during a storm. A well-thought-out plan ensures that everyone knows what to do, where to go, and how to stay safe in dire circumstances.
In your plan, you should cover aspects such as evacuation routes, establishing emergency communication methods, and designating meeting points. Remember to include important contact numbers, gather essential supplies, and stay updated on local emergency instructions. By having a plan in place, you can increase your readiness and effectively respond to the challenges posed by a hurricane.
Install Quality Window Systems In Your Tampa Home
No one wants to face a hurricane, but who can control the forces of nature? What you can control is your part in ensuring that your home is reinforced, and able to withstand a harsh storm, along with keeping your family safe.
This involves preparing your windows and other aspects of your home, such as installing a high-quality roof and durable siding.
If you are looking to enhance your home, or need repair and replacement services after a hurricane, then look no further than the team of SouthShore Roofing & Exteriors. We are a professional roofing company serving Tampa and the surrounding area, and we also offer window installation services as well. Visit our website, or contact us today at (813) 400-3329, to know more.