“You should crack open your windows to equalize pressure.”
We hear this statement a lot from homeowners who are seeking storm protection advice. We’re here to tell you that opening windows during a hurricane is a very bad idea. When you’re in the middle of a storm and hear the winds blowing outside, the last thing you want to do is let those powerful gusts inside. Afterall, when fierce winds are allowed in, they are going to look for a way out.
The worst scenario that we see over and over from raging winds inside the house are roofs being blown off of buildings. This is due to the fact that during a hurricane, wind travels over the top of your home at extremely high speeds. If you allow additional wind inside your home through open windows, you’re causing an effect that’s similar to the force that allows airplane wings to generate lift. Your roof will act like those wings and rise into the air.
In addition to wind, opening your windows may let in water and dangerous debris – all of which can cause significant damage to your home and possibly yourself. Even a few inches of water in your home can result in thousands of dollars in damage. If you don’t already have a flood insurance policy, the cost may be much higher.
“Taping up windows prevents them from breaking.”
No. No it does not. In reality, taping does nothing to maintain the strength of your windows. And sure, it might prevent tiny shards of flying glass, but it could also produce a much bigger and scarier problem: giant shards of flying glass! We caution all of our customers against this age-old practice. Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security.
If you don’t have storm protection installed on your windows and doors, skip the tape. Your next best solution is to board up your home with plywood sheets.
“It’s just a lot of wind.”
Hurricanes are huge, meteorological vortexes and they are rightly feared for their far-reaching, tenacious onslaughts of wind.
But the wind is only one of three impacts that hurricanes deliver. The other two involve water and a lot of it! Torrential rains often dump six to 12 inches or more, leading to flash flooding. Storm surge — a sudden rise in sea levels from wind-driven gusts push ocean water inland.
Never underestimate the power of raging hurricane winds here in the Lowcountry. If your doors or windows are bending to the pressure of the wind, don’t try to hold them back by yourself. The smartest move is to get yourself to safety.
“I only need to board up windows and doors that are facing the wind.”
This is a BIG mistake. Hurricanes are enormously powerful rotating storms that can also trigger tornados. There is no way to predict from which direction the twisting winds will be hitting your home. Be mindful, it’s the things that get lifted by the wind that pose the most danger to your windows… small rocks and other debris can easily become projectiles with force enough to crash through walls. If you’re boarding things up, don’t skip any windows.
“It won’t hit here.”
Each year, heavy rains, strong winds, floods and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes affect much of the United States, including both coastal and inland areas. Hurricanes can make it pretty far inland before they dissipate and leave a lot of serious harm in their wake. Don’t think that because your property is not waterfront that you won’t be affected. Inland surges are often far-reaching and quite damaging.
Although all of us hope we will not be affected by a hurricane, it is always safer for you, your family and business to be prepared. Contact us if you have concerns about installing hurricane protection such as hurricane shutters or impact windows. If you do find yourself in the midst of a turbulent storm, keep your windows and doors closed and be prepared with flashlights and plenty of water. Additionally, go into a room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet, and don’t come out until it’s safe to do so.