In a Hurricane, Protecting Doors and Windows is Crucial


Hurricane season is here, and homeowners in coastal regions must consider the possibility that they’ll need to protect their doors and windows during a hurricane.

If you’re looking for better protection during a hurricane, many affiliates at Glass.com are experts at these products. They can help you select the best ones for your budget.

Why Protecting Windows is Important

Taking steps to secure your doors and windows during a hurricane doesn’t just protect the doors and windows. It can also ensure that your entire home stays safe.

A broken door or window on the wall facing hurricane-force winds greatly increases the risk of roofs being blown off. This happens because a break in the door or window can cause a dramatic change in pressure inside the home. Because of that, construction researchers learned that it’s vital to use stronger glass and better hardware to prevent windows from shattering and doors from flying open.

Impact-Rated Windows and Doors

First of all, a major step that homeowners can take to protect their doors and windows is to make sure they’re impact-resistant. That means the glass, hardware and other components have been designed to resist debris that flies around during high-wind events such as hurricanes.

Laminated glass technology is behind most impact-resistant door and window products. This technique for glass fabrication sandwiches two pieces of glass together with a plastic interlayer in between. The interlayer holds the glass in place if it’s smashed by a foreign object.

Impact windows also have much sturdier frames than are seen in typical windows. They’re generally made of vinyl, wood or metal, and they may be reinforced by other materials.

Board Up Those Windows and Doors in a Hurricane

If your coastal home doesn’t have impact-resistant doors and windows – and even if it does – you might want to consider boarding them up to protect them from the storm.

Boarding up involves attaching sheets of plywood to all the openings of a home – doors, windows and skylights. Adding this extra protection can take time and costs money, but it’s something many homeowners with some basic handyman skills can do themselves. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) has put together a website that provides step-by-step instructions for do-it-yourselfers.

If you’re not comfortable boarding up your windows yourself, you can always hire someone to do it. In fact, many of the affiliates at Glass.com provide this service. Search for one in your area now.

Think Shutters for Storm Protection

Many homes in coastal areas are equipped with hurricane shutters. These are specialized products for coastal areas that get a lot of tropical storms. Hurricane shutters can be permanently installed or added on a temporary basis if dangerous weather threatens.

There are several types of hurricane shutters that homeowners can consider.

Storm panel hurricane shutters are made of aluminum or steel. They are attached around doors and windows and  are corrugated, so they overlap for greater strength. One of the main benefits of these shutters is that they are relatively inexpensive and removable.

Accordion hurricane shutters tuck beside the doors or windows when not in use. True to their name, they unfold like an accordion to provide protection during a storm.

Bahama hurricane shutters are single-piece louvered shutters that are affixed directly above windows, They can be propped open to provide shade. When lowered and secured to the wall, they can protect against tropical weather systems.

Roll-down hurricane shutters are attached above the window. Like the name says, they roll down to provide protection. They are operated manually or automatically.

Other  Hurricane Options

Recently, window coverings made from a fabric that doesn’t obscure views while offering protection from high winds have been approved for hurricane-prone areas. However, these fabric screens generally must be installed by a professional.

Window Buyer Beware

While many companies offer products that claim to protect doors and windows against hurricanes, homeowners are advised to take such pitches with a grain of salt.

First, you can’t be sure that the products even work. Second, depending on where you live, selling products that don’t offer real hurricane protection could be against the law.

For example, Florida HB 849 makes it a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act to advertise, sell, offer, provide, distribute or market any product as hurricane, windstorm or impact-resistant unless it meets the provisions for product approval in the Florida Building Code.

For example, window film products can offer a low level of protection, but they don’t meet the code requirements for impact resistance. So if you’re looking for true hurricane-resistant products, be sure to ask the dealer if they meet local regulations.

Want to Know More?

If you’d like to learn more about protecting doors and windows during a hurricane, check out the Glass.com Info Center. And if you’re ready to make a purchase for a property you own in a storm-prone coastal area, use the Glass.com door and window dealer locator. We have affiliate businesses all over the U.S. They’re ready to provide solutions to ensure that your doors and windows survive even the strongest tropical weather conditions.

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© 2019 Glass.com Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed written permission. Questions? Contact info@glass.com.

Glass.com attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.


Trey Barrineau

By Trey Barrineau

Trey Barrineau is the editor of Door and Window Market magazine (DWM). He edits and writes a wide range of content, from breaking-news items and first-person blog posts for the Web to 4,000-word, deeply researched features for print. He also manages DWM's social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. He came to DWM in December 2014 from USA Today. During his time at Key, Trey’s work has received national and regional recognition from the publishing industry. His 2016 coverage of Venezuela’s takeover of a U.S. glass factory was a 2017 finalist for the Jesse H. Neal Awards in the Best News Coverage category. In 2016, he won a silver medal from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Awards of Excellence for the Mid-Atlantic Region for a 2015 feature article on the lack of skilled labor in the door and window industry. Prior to joining DWM, Trey was a multiplatform editor and writer in USA Today's Life section from September 2000 to December 2014. While there, he won more than a dozen awards for outstanding headlines. Before that, he worked for more than 10 years covering news and sports at daily newspapers in North Carolina.

Trey is a 1988 graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. In 2016, he earned the Fenestration Associate professional certification from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). He lives with his wife Jacqui and their occasional office-dog Siri in Northern Virginia.


3 responses to “In a Hurricane, Protecting Doors and Windows is Crucial”

  1. You mentioned that impact windows have a much sturdier frame than typical windows. It makes sense that since they are mostly made of wood or metal, they’re stronger. My sister lives on the coast and she doesn’t have storm windows, but I think that it would be really beneficial if she got some in case a hurricane ever started near her house.

  2. Thanks for pointing out that we should ask the window dealers if their products meet local regulations for hurricane resistance, since some companies offer products like window film which don’t actually work too well. My husband and I just moved to an area that’s at risk for hurricanes, so I’ve been looking online for safety tips we can implement. I hadn’t considered to ask about the local regulations for impact resistant windows, so I’m glad you shared that idea!

  3. I didn’t realize that unprotected windows facing a hurricane-force wind can lead to your roof being blown off your home. With that in mind, I will suggest that my parents start looking into hurricane protection for their home like better glass and shutters. They just moved to Florida and I would really like them to stay safe.

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