During hurricane season, you need to be ready to protect your home if a storm is approaching. If you are going to be using hurricane panels as your hurricane protection option, then you should know how to properly deploy the panels. Installation for panels can take one to two hours to a full day depending on your home, as well as your physical capabilities, so it’s important that you allow for proper time to make sure your home is ready in the event that a storm is approaching.
Benefits of Choosing Hurricane Panels
Hurricane panels can be a great choice for hurricane protection. Hurricane panels are removable so you can attach them in front of the windows as the storm approaches. Panels can be made from steel, aluminum, or polycarbonate to withstand the wind and debris from the storm. Storm panels are an inexpensive option when compared to other permanently installed hurricane protection. Since the panels aren’t as intricate to make as other options they will be more budget-friendly. They also don’t require any additional functionality that other options do, such as motorized storm shutters, further reducing costs for you. Some people choose to leave panels up from June to November, which is the length of hurricane season, to avoid having to fully deploy them numerous times throughout the season. Depending on which material of panels you choose, one of the main benefits is that they can let in light during the storm, which is especially helpful once the power goes out. If you want this added benefit, it’s important to choose panels that are made from clear corrugated polycarbonate or woven polyurethane. There are a variety of styles to choose from so you can find panels that match your home and needs. Storm panels can improve energy efficiency since many panels can act as insulators that trap cool air conditioning in and prevent the warm Florida sun from entering the home.
Precautions to Take Before Installing Hurricane Panels
It’s always a good idea to wear protective gloves when dealing with your hurricane panels. Storm panels, especially metal ones, can be heavy. Some are treated with a protective oil coating and can cause allergic reactions. Keep in mind that the storm panels may have sharp edges and corners so not only do you need to wear protective gear, but you need to be extremely careful when handling them in order to not get injured. A two-story home will require that you have the proper equipment and ladders so you should know how to properly use all the equipment before you begin.
Install Panels Early
You want to make sure that you have plenty of time to install your hurricane panels. It’s a good idea to practice installing your panels and be prepared, especially if you have never deployed your hurricane panels before. You should install all the panels before hurricane season begins to familiarize yourself with the installation process. This will give you a better idea of how long it is going to take based on how many windows you have in your home and how many panels you actually need to install. It also provides you with the certainty that you have all the hardware needed for installation. This can help decrease stress and anxiety as the storm approaches to know exactly how long the process should take.
When to Put Up Your Hurricane Panels
Hurricane panels and other protection should be put up when your local government authorities inform you that there is a hurricane watch in effect for your area. Typically, this means a hurricane is about 48 hours away from making landfall. Keep in mind that a hurricane watch isn’t the same thing as a hurricane warning and the watch is issued when it’s believed that winds will be greater than 74 MPH in a specific area within the next 48 hours.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Put Up Hurricane Protection
Some people choose a wait-and-see approach when it comes to deploying hurricane panels or hurricane protection. This could be due to a lack of time or the hassle and difficulty of properly deploying some forms of hurricane protection. Some panels can take more time to deploy, especially if you have a large home. However, if you wait too long, then there are a lot of risks. The most obvious is that if you do in fact wait too long, then you won’t be able to fully deploy the panels before the storm starts. Deploying hurricane panels while there are high winds present can be dangerous. There is usually a lot of flying debris, and it can create trip and slip hazards. If the storm landfall is coming, then you may not be able to finish your deployment. If you don’t finish proper deployment, then your home will be exposed to the elements, and you won’t have adequate protection.
If you want to hire someone to deploy the shutters, you could also run out of time and may be out of luck. Those that hire contractors to do their installation may not be able to find someone to do it with short notice or if they do find someone they can charge exorbitant rates. Contractors may also not want to take on the job at a certain point out of fear of getting hurt in the storm or not being able to finish the job.
Have the Hurricane Panel Hardware Ready to Go
Installing your hurricane panels will be a lot harder if you don’t have your hardware ready to go and this can add more time to the installation process. Hurricane panels that include hurricane shutter tracks can make deployment easier. However, if your panels don’t have tracks, then you want to make sure that you have the correct number of fasteners handy to help reduce the burden of attaching them to the home. This makes deployment faster and easier.
Deploying Hurricane Panels
First, review your files and the instructions provided by your manufacturer to prepare for deployment. If you have metal or polycarbonate panels you may need to install the bottom track at the bottom of the doorway or opening. Next, slide each panel up in the top track as you line it up at the bottom. Secure the panel and place each extra panel overlapping as you slide them up. After you have all the panels placed, you then want to tighten the hardware snugly and firmly by hand. Be sure not to overtighten them. You don’t want to use a power tool to tighten it as this can cause damage to the panels. If your panels were installed without a track, then you must secure them directly to your home. The bolts or wingnuts should be firmly in place so that the panels are not rattling.
Getting Hurricane Panels Professionally Installed
Panel deployment needs to be done by an able-bodied adult. If you don’t have the ability or time to do the installation, then you can hire someone to deploy your hurricane panels for you. To achieve proper installation, it’s recommended that your hurricane panels get professionally installed. Initial installation of hurricane shutters should only be done by a licensed contractor and can typically be required. However, when it comes to hurricane panels, if you have the ability and time to do so, then you can deploy your own panels before the storm. Don’t wait until the last minute before you start contacting professionals to purchase and install the panels.
Contact Home Safety Solutions
If you are looking for the right hurricane panels for your home, contact the experts at Home Safety Solutions. Once you find the right panels, our team is here to help with your installation! Contact us at Home Safety Solutions today.