Protecting Your Windows

If you board windows properly, you stand a better change of protecting your home from the storm. This may help reduce the chance that dangerous glass shards will fly through your house.

Storm shutters provide the best protection, but are pricy and usually need to be installed by a professional. Boarding up windows when a storm is on the way, can help, too. Make sure doors have several locking mechanisms so they don’t fly open; deadbolts are best. And it’s important to secure windows and doors at all sides of the home-not just the 1 facing the body of water where hurricanes could form - because hurricanes can swirl in any direction.

Boarding Windowsgetting plywood.jpg
Prepare for boarding by purchasing sufficient plywood-either 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch. Also, purchase enough 1/4 inch machine screw anchors; you will need at least 6 anchors per sheet of plywood. Keep in mind that plywood, anchors and screws will be in heavy demand just before a hurricane. Stock up early.

Cut the plywood to fit each window and sliding glass door. Mark each panel to identify the window it will fit. Next, sink the anchors into the exterior walls around each window. Drill holes into the plywood; the holes should match the position of the anchors on the wall. Now you are ready to put up the board, matching the holes to the anchors. Tighten the screws through the plywood and into the anchors. The wood should be flush against the wall and firmly in place.

The downside to plywood is that it must be put up at the last minute, when a hurricane is approaching (working with a friend or neighbor will help speed up the process for both of you). Plywood also blocks light coming into a home, so it will be very dark inside if power is lost. Pre-installing screw anchors around openings speeds up installation. More expensive than plywood are panels made from steel, aluminum, plastic, reinforced fabric, or composite materials.

View YouTube video instructions on boarding your windows.