The tremendous power of a hurricane can turn a home inside out and leave it in ruins. With storm protection, you can minimize the potential for damage and save on home repairs later. After all, you can never be too prepared when it comes to a hurricane.
The devastating damage to your home by a hurricane is caused by the vast amount of wind and flying debris. Objects may hit your windows or doors causing openings for gusts to enter creating negative and positive pressure. Once inside, the wind looks for any area to escape. Since the entry point will continue to have wind coming in, the roof is often the area that gives first, and can actually be blown off of your home. By covering the windows and doors, these openings are blocked from the wind entering your home.
There are several types of storm protection solutions, and choosing the right product for your home or business can be overwhelming. Below, we discuss the benefits of each storm protection product and give advice on the options you have to keep your home and your family safe.
Covering your windows and doors with plywood should only be a last resort alternative to actual storm shutters. They are heavy and difficult to deploy. They can also cause damage to your home as you have to screw or nail them directly into the structure.
Pros: Protects from flying debris and easy for DIY’ers. You can find the materials at any home improvement store.
CONS: Extremely time-consuming to install, heavy, and require a helping hand. The installation creates weak-point damaging holes in siding and bricks, and they are not storm-rated.
Storm Panels are made of corrugated steel or aluminum. They are stored away until needed and are attached to window exteriors with a system of tracks and bolts.
Pros: One of the more economical shutter systems, storm panels are strong and protects from most flying debris.
CONS: Panels require a larger space for storage. They can be bulky to handle, depending on the size of windows and the number of stories on your home.
These innovative lightweight fabric panels add trampoline-like cushion to windows and doors to repel flying debris. Panels are anchored to the edges of windows and doorways to a pre-installed fastening system, making them easy to deploy.
Pros: Lightweight fabric panels are easy to be installed and removed, then rolled up and stored in a compact space.
CONS: They will need to be attached to anchors manually.
With the push of a button or the crank of a handle, these louvered panels roll up or down. They are permanently housed above nearly any span and can be deployed in mere moments.
Pros: Roll-down shutters are extremely easy to raise and lower. They also can be used to secure a home when away.
CONS: Automatic rolling shutters are more convenient to operate but can be slightly more expensive.
Housed on the sides of doors or windows when not in use, these retractable shutters unfold like an accordion to protect your home’s openings during a storm.
Pros: Accordion shutters are quickly and easily deployed in the event of a storm. They are permanently fixed to the house and do not require storage.
CONS: On the downside, they add some bulk to your window or door jam.
Storm-rated Colonial Shutters
This style of storm protection beautifies as well as protects your home. Colonial shutters attach to the window’s sidewalls and can quickly and easily be closed and secured.
Pros: Colonial shutters are an attractive solution that adds to the aesthetic of your home. They are offered in a wide array of custom colors and designs. Lastly, they can be easily closed in just a few seconds by just one person.
CONS: They do not allow light to come into your home when in use and can be a more expensive option.
When it comes to choosing storm protection, it’s important that you do your research. Choose an option that you feel confident in, one that will keep you and your family safe should a hurricane head your way. Storms are unpredictable, so it’s imperative that you are prepared at any given moment.