Here are a few tips to help protect your home if a storm is headed your way.
If you have enough advanced warning, trim your trees. Broken limbs and branches can break windows during a storm – and not just your own windows, but possibly a neighbor’s as well, and your insurance could be the policy to take the hit for your neighbor’s damage. Make absolutely sure you remove any dead portions of your trees, as those are the first to go when it blows.
The best way to secure your windows is with storm shutters. Don’t have those? Boarding the windows up is the next best option. And don’t just handle the surf side windows – hurricanes come at you from all directions. You might have seen others put strips of tape across their windows. Don’t bother, this literally does nothing. And make sure whatever locking mechanisms your windows have are clamped down so they don’t fly open.
During the hurricane off-season, when the risk is lower, you could consider adding hurricane window film, also called shatter resistant film to be ready for the next hurricane season. But even more effective than window film is replacing your window glass with impact resistant glass. The benefit there is not just in keeping wind and rain out to keep your possessions dry. Making sure hurricane force winds don’t enter your home can help keep your roof intact by preventing lift forces that can push out the structure. How shatter proof glass works is that a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) is sandwiched between two sheets of glass. Impact resistant glass may shatter on impact, but it will remain attached the inner membrane along with the window frame. Some insurance companies offer reduced rates on your home owner’s policy if you have hurricane resistant windows.
Even more protection is offered by bullet and bomb resistant security glass. It breaks safely and remains an integral part of the opening, so the exterior of your home remains intact. This type of window glass typically has more layers than the standard impact resistant glass. It is also more costly. It has the added benefit of being burglary resistant as well, which can come into play if looters descend on a damaged area.
Stay safe this season. See you on the beach!