How do you prep windows for a huricane?

Cindy1961October 31, 2011

Hubby and I are moving to a new house and also in an area that is prone to more hurricanes. Where we live now, our house is really well protected and we don't get that many hurricanes off shore in New England.

Anyway, I know that if the hurricane is coming, you're supposed to put plywood over the windows. My questions are:

1: How do you put it up? Long screws?

2: What do you do when you remove it? I would imagine you would have a hole in the house now, that you really need to fill in. Do you put a wood filler or caulk in it?

3: Is there any way to make a hole that you could use all the time? One that would be water proof and wouldn't become too stripped? Because even if we seal up the holes, I'd imagine that after a few years of hurricane prep, I'd end up with a lot of little filled in holes.

Any suggestions? What we're hoping to do is to buy and prep some wood, in advance, so that we won't have to go running to the hardware store the moment they predict a hurricane. I'd rather have the stuff we need.

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The screw holes are a penalty for the protection of the plywood.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 7:23PM
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When a hurricane comes, you won't care how many little filled holes you have. We don't have that many hurricanes that I'm aware of. Why not put a cork in each hole and paint it the same color as your house?

My hurricane plywood protectors are put up with very large screws - rarely used - we stack them against a wall in the garage just in case. My house is brick and you can't see the holes the screws go in.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 8:36PM
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check out:

PLYLOX� Hurricane Window Clips

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Why not get shutters?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Before you premake plywood pieces you need to find a suitable place to store them flat so that they do not warp.

A visit to any big box store in hurricane areas will give you several methods for attachment, some more aesthetically pleasing than others.

I second the advice to simply get shutters or a panel system installed. They are not overly expensive and many are quite easy to put up and take down. I had a panel system installed and as an older lady I was well able to put them up alone.

If you are new to hurricane areas it is the putting up and taking down that is the kink in the plan and the part that you have to do over and over and over each time a storm is forcast. Finding a way to make it easy is key- if it is too difficult you will skip it when you are not certain that you will get a direct hit and you will wait too long to begin. If you lack or misplaced parts everything grinds to a halt.

An easy system makes it a very simple task to protect your home.
It is an investment that will serve you for the entire time you own your home and again, not that expensive.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 7:47AM
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I've lived in FL all my life, and plywood is pretty much the protection of last resort.

If you can possibly afford it, get some kind of shutters. If money is really tight, they make a special fabric panel now that is supposed to be adequate and you can fold it up when not in use. You'd just have the pegs to hook it onto permanently installed. The plus of this is it's very inexpensive (can get at big box stores) and you can just fold up the panels and stick them in a closet someplace. The minus is that they're so new they haven't really been tested in actual storms much.

If you are in an area with a HOA they may have requirements as to what kind of shutters you can use.

If you're in a hurricane zone, if you go to the website of your local paper or even your county's website, they usually have a list of the various types of protection available, from plywood to impact windows, and the pluses and minuses of each, along with a rough estimate of the cost.

Here's one list:

Here is a link that might be useful: shutter guide

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Shutters sounds like a good idea. I'll bet they are a little pricey though.
Most wood windows have a stop on the outside, that is a surface that would be for a storm panel or storm window of sorts. This pc. of molding is called the blind stop, as in window blind or shutter. I'd sit the custom cut plywood panel against that stop and instead of holes I'd drill & set in screw-type inserts in exterior caulk.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:15PM
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