As hurricanes become more frequent, so too does the promotion of cheaper protection alternatives rise. There is an ever-expanding list of low-quality items that get promoted as adequate hurricane protection. Having quality hurricane protection is paramount, and there are many risks to using cheaper alternatives. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of adequate hurricane protection and the dangers of alternatives.
Understanding the Importance of Hurricane Protection
Many people think that hurricane shutters only protect windows, but proper shutters can also help protect your roof. One of the dangers of a hurricane is the windborne debris that goes along with it. Objects can hit the home and cause openings for gusts to enter. When the wind has an entry point into the home, it can create positive and negative pressure. Once the wind gets inside your home, it seeks a means of escape. Since the entry point will continue taking in winds, the roof will typically be the first area that gives, and the roof may blow off your home. When you have proper hurricane protection, such as hurricane shutters, the potential openings are blocked, keeping the wind from entering your home.
The Dangers of Using Plywood
For many years, plywood panels have been a favored form of protection. The material is affordable and lightweight, making it easy to install. Compared to hurricane shutters, though, there are several drawbacks. Plywood doesn’t provide the level of protection needed. If debris hits the plywood during high winds, then chances are it can split and buckle and still allow the debris to damage your home. Nailing the plywood to the outside of your home can also damage it and allow for rain to leak through.
Boarding up doors and windows is typically not a one-person job and requires plenty of cutting and measuring. Even a small measuring mistake can prevent the plywood from covering the door and window completely. Plywood can completely block natural light and visibility. It is unfit to be a permanent solution and is also aesthetically unappealing.
The Dangers of Taping Windows During a Hurricane
There is a dangerous myth that taping windows can help provide hurricane protection. Instead, putting tape on your windows during a hurricane can be more dangerous than leaving them bare! Putting tape over windows won’t do anything except cause the glass to shatter into bigger pieces if it is hit by flying debris. While it’s never great to have a window break during a storm, it’s better to have it break into smaller pieces since this is less likely to cause injury. Taping windows will just waste time that you can use putting up real hurricane protection.
Dangers Of Using Trash Bags Over Windows
Using trash bags to protect windows during a storm comes with the same dangers as using plywood and tape. They offer little if any protection, and present dangers such as leaving windows vulnerable to breakage into large pieces.
Dangers of Opening Windows During a Storm
If you don’t have any hurricane protection, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is opening your windows during the storm. When the wind comes in through an open window, it immediately seeks an exit route. If it is unable to find one, it will damage the interior of the home while simultaneously building pressure that may lead to the roof coming off.
Dangers of Leaning Against Doors and Windows During a Storm
Intense winds will put a lot of pressure on the windows, and you aren’t able to counteract that pressure by leaning or pushing against the windows. Leaning against the windows will expose you to a greater risk of injury. Instead of trying to fix or save the window, it is better if you just stay away from it.
Choosing the Right Hurricane Protection
There are many different types of hurricane protection that you can choose from to properly protect your home during these storms. If you need help choosing the right protection for your space, professionals are always here to help.
Storm panels are made from aluminum or corrugated steel and are stored until needed. This can be one of the more economical storm protection options available. Fabric panels are an alternative to storm panels and can be easier to store and handle. Rolling shutters are panels that roll up and down. They will be permanently stored above the window and then can be deployed automatically or manually. Accordion shutters are panels that are permanently installed beside the doors and windows. They allow for easy installation and deployment.
When it comes to adequate hurricane protection, you’ll want to secure every window and door in the home and not just those facing the water. When a hurricane makes landfall, winds can come in different directions and speeds. A window with either no protection or alternative protection can be just as dangerous as the unpredictable wind direction and speed that threaten it with breakage.
Even just one unprotected window can be enough to build pressure in the home and cause substantial damage.
Keeping Hurricane Protection Up to Date
Since it’s so important to have hurricane protection, many people think it’s best to leave shutters up all year. This, however, can be a costly and dangerous thing to do. Shutters should always be properly stored, no matter their method of deployment. Deployed shutters can get in the way of rescue workers and lead to fire destruction. Since storm shutters are designed to withstand high-intensity winds, they are also capable of keeping firefighters from entering the home to extinguish a blaze. Hurricane shutters don’t improve security and can invite burglars if they’re always deployed since they give the impression that no one is home. If a burglar knows there isn’t a storm on the horizon, they may assume the home belongs to a snowbird who is out of town. Most shutters will block your view and so limit your ability to catch suspicious activity in real-time. Any shutter that is constantly open will have a shorter lifespan.
Some shutters are intended to act as a permanent fixture over the window, and if that is the case, they will be made from stronger weather-proof materials. When not in use, shutters that fold up or hide away should be stored in a protective housing to guard them against other weather elements. Hurricane shutters are designed to protect against winds during a storm but not so much long-term exposure to the elements, especially the sun. To save money, you want to make sure that you properly store your shutters. This will afford you the maximum return on your investment and hurricane protection for years to come. You will have a lot more maintenance to do on shutters that stay up year-round, and even ones that stay up throughout hurricane season when there are no storms inbound. If shutters are made from metal, then long-term exposure can lead to corrosion or rust. Plastic shutters, too, can crack from sun damage.
Contact the Experts at Home Safety Solutions
Adequate hurricane protection is an absolute must. Avoiding alternative hurricane protection can not only protect your home but save your life.
Understandably though, it can be overwhelming to find the right protection for your space. If you are confused about all the options, be sure to contact the experts at Home Safety Solutions and get prepared before a storm is forecasted to hit your area!