Protecting Your Windows During Hurricane Season

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It’s important for homeowners in Virginia to be prepared to face each year’s hurricane seasons. When the strong gusts of wind and pouring rain starts rolling through, your windows are your first line defense for protecting your home’s belongings and family members. One faulty window can lead to severe damage in the midst of the summer storm season.

If you do notice a faulty or damaged window, it’s important to act quickly. Any water that’s allowed to enter your home can cause flooding and moisture damage to your home’s furnishings, building materials and other belongings. The first step to preventing excessive storm damage in your Virginia home is to select high quality window products. When replacing a broken window, select a product that best seals your home to reduce the risk of potential water damage.

Once you have chosen such a product, it’s important to hire an expert to handle installation. An improperly installed window can make even the most expensive or efficient products useless. If you’re unsure of the current condition of your windows, have an expert conduct a thorough in-home inspection and make recommendations for your household and your budget.

Other window-protecting tips:

  • Prune any dead or loose tree branches in your yard. In the case of a pending hurricane or tropical storm, secure any large items that could blow over or potentially go airborne, impacting your windows.
  • Never tape off your windows before a storm. Taping over windows offers zero protection against flying debris and little added strength to the windows themselves. Once the hurricane and tropical storms have subsided, you’ll be spending whole afternoons trying to scrape the baked-on tape off the glass.
  • Never leave any windows open during the storm. It’s a myth that homeowners should keep the windows on the lee side of the storm open to balance home pressure. The truth is that because no home is built airtight, the pressure differences between indoors and outdoors won’t build up enough to create damaging explosions.
  • Hurricane shutters are an investment that can help protect your property and keep your family safe. They’re available in a range of materials and prices. Plywood shutters are the most affordable. Aluminum shutters are light and easy to install. Steel shutters offer more protection, but can be expensive.
  • If you’re in the possible path or cone of certainty for a pending hurricane, the next best step in hurricane protection is plywood. Select enough 3/4-inch plywood sheets to cover all of the windows in your home. These sheets should cover the entirety of your window frame, as you’ll screw holes, ideally at intervals of 18 inches around the frame, into your window’s framing.

What makes protecting your windows so important?
Hurricane-proofing your windows isn’t just a matter of protecting your home from flying glass shards. During hurricane-force winds, a broken window can cause unwanted upward pressure on your home’s roof. This can be enough pressure to send your roof flying, leading to the potential collapsing of your walls, and wholesale destruction of your home.

For more helpful window and glass tips and hurricane planning, contact your local Virginia window experts.