Windows and doors are especially susceptible to wind damage and flying debris, including shards of glass, which can be especially dangerous. To protect your home from storm damage, it is smart to cover or reinforce your glass. Here are some popular options:
To protect your home and family from shattered glass during a severe storm, window film provides a measure of protection. Window film is typically inexpensive, easy to install and can be left on your windows year-round. Some window film may provide additional UV protection as well. While window film keeps glass from shattering, it does nothing to prevent your entire window frame from blowing in during a tornado or severe windstorm.
Plywood window covers are a cheap and effective way to protect your windows during a severe storm, such as a tornado. To adequately protect your home, select boards that are 5/8th inch thick and 8 inches wider than the area you are covering. You’ll want to make sure to use heavy-duty screws and anchors, expansion bolts or pre-installed clips to secure the plywood over your windows. The downside to plywood is that it must be installed as the storm is approaching. Since plywood window covers block the natural light, if you lose power during the storm, it will be very dark inside your home. Other alternatives to plywood, including panels made from aluminum, plastic, fabric, steel and other composite materials.
Storm shutters, also known as hurricane shutters, provide excellent protection against severe wind and flying debris. Because storm shutters are permanently attached to your home and simply roll into place, they are easier to deploy than plywood covers. While storm shutters may require a substantial initial investment, having storm shutters will typically reduce the cost of your homeowners insurance.
High Impact Glass
A common solution for homeowners and building owners who want to protect against storm damage is high impact glass, also known as laminated glass. High impact glass is made from two panes of tempered glass separated by a plastic film. Even though high impact glass will still crack or break when hit, it will not shatter and remains intact. Car windshields are typically made from high impact glass, but it can also be used for windows or doors. As an added bonus, high impact glass windows are always in place and can reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance premiums.