Eight Simple Ways to Protect Your Windows During a Storm
Broken Windows During Storms
During severe storms and hurricane-level winds, your home is vulnerable to damage. Strong winds often cause patio furniture and other debris to fly across open spaces, which can make contact with your home and wreak havoc its exterior. Glass windows are especially vulnerable, which is why being cut by broken glass is one of the most common injuries experienced during storms. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can protect your home and your family from broken glass when the next storm rolls through your area. Here are eight methods for protecting your windows and your home from damage:
Plywood is the most effective DIY method for protecting your windows from harm. At just a couple of dollars per square foot, plywood is an affordable, practical option for boarding up windows before an incoming storm. By boarding up all of the windows and glass-pane doors in your home, you can protect the glass from lawn furniture and other debris that is bound to get caught in the storm. If debris hits your home, the plywood offers adequate protection to prevent your windows from breaking. Be sure to install the plywood on the outside of your home, as it can actually prevent the glass from breaking on impact. Although it is a last-minute solution, it can be effective in preventing damage to your home. The more you prepare, the better. Try to have your plywood pre-cut to fit all of your required windows, and then ensure that the screw anchors are already in place to speed up your installation time.
2. Hurricane film
Hurricane film is a thin layer of clear plastic that covers your entire window. If hurricane-force winds throw debris through your window, the hurricane film will capture the shattered pieces and keep them together, preventing shards of glass from flying through your home and becoming dangerous. While hurricane film cannot protect your windows from being shattered by debris, it can make the clean-up process much simpler, and it protects your home and family from glass debris. This film can be left on your windows year-round, so you only have to install it once. As an added bonus, hurricane film blocks out ultraviolet light, which can help keep your home cool in the summer and block UV rays that fade carpets, fabric, and paint. This simple method is the perfect DIY solution for preventing broken glass from spreading across your house and yard.
3. Storm shutters
Storm shutters offer a more complete, long-term solution to broken windows, but they can be an expensive initial investment. Most have a roll-up or accordion design that allows you to permanently attach the shutters to your home and simply pull them down for optimal coverage when necessary. Storm shutters often allow light to go through the window, keeping your home illuminated during the day.
4. High-impact glass
Although it is an expensive investment, high-impact glass can withstand significant force,making it ideal for windows in your home that are especially vulnerable to wind and debris damage. High-impact windows are often designed with two panes of tempered glass with plastic film in between them. Although they look like standard windows, the extra layer of glass and film provides significant structural integrity that can withstand more force than standard glass windows. However, these windows are not very energy efficient, so your utilities and heating bills could rise after installation.
5. Keep your curtains and blinds closed
During a hurricane or storm, it is important that you keep your windows and blinds closed after setting up any other preventative measures to protect your windows and your home from damage. Keeping your curtains closed will help capture the glass and other debris if your window is broken by the storm. In this case, your curtains will help shield your family from broken glass and other debris, and it will contain the damage to a smaller area, making clean-up much easier.
6. Don’t forget exterior doors with glass
Many people spend a significant amount of money on high-impact glass, storm shutters, and other preventative material to protect their windows, but they completely ignore their glass-paned doors. Doors are just as vulnerable to storm damage as windows, and it is important to protect them in the same way. Opt for plywood, high-impact glass, hurricane film, and other protective measures for your glass doors. For larger sliding doors that are common with backyards and back decks, plywood on the exterior is the most practical option.
7. Remove threats on the property
Not only is it important to protect your windows from the incoming storm, but you should also prepare your yard. By securing all lawn equipment, storing as much as possible in a safe place, and ridding the area of other debris, you can effectively reduce the number of objects that can damage your home. For those in more rural locations, be sure to clear your yard of vulnerable trees that could fall in the storm and hit your house. These threats can cause significant damage, so it is best to prepare for them in advance and remove the risk entirely.
8. Don’t tape your windows
It is a common myth that taping a large “X” on your windows will contain broken glass or even prevent a break entirely. Although tape can secure glass together in a similar way to hurricane film, a simple “X” is not enough to effectively contain glass shards. Actually, this method can be more dangerous, as it can cause larger shards of glass to stick together, turning them into a massive projectile that can seriously injure anyone in its path. Forget the tape; focus your time and money on other preventative measures that offer better results.
At Smart Choice Windows, we offer comprehensive installation and renovation services to make sure you get the perfect windows for your Toronto home. For more information about our window and door services, call us at 416-877-8508 or contact us here.