If you've become accustomed to protecting your windows during hurricane season by taping an X across them, it's time to stop. This practice has been commonly advised for years, but the experts say that the notion that it helps protect your home during a storm is a myth. At best, taping your windows is useless and a waste of tape. At worst, it can actually put you in greater danger, because if the windows breaks, the chunks of glass will be larger and more dangerous than they would have been without the tape. Instead of taping your windows this hurricane season, use one of these methods for protecting your home from hurricane-force winds and flying projectiles.
For low-cost and no-fuss protection, consider having hurricane film installed on your windows. Hurricane film does what tape can't do – it holds broken glass together and stops the pieces from turning into potentially deadly flying daggers. The film can also be tinted to block UV light and keep the house cooler, so it serves a dual purpose.
Hurricane film isn't a perfect solution, though. While it may make windows less dangerous when they break, it's not going to stop them from breaking or being blown in entirely, which means that you're still risking damage to your home from incoming rain and debris.
Another option is to simply board up your windows. Installing plywood boards over each of your windows is cheap and effective, and it's something that most homeowners with basic home maintenance skills can manage without needing to hire a contractor.
The downside to boarding up the windows is that it has to be done in a hurry, when the hurricane is approaching. If the forecast is for a very active hurricane season, you'll be stuck taking the boards off and putting them back on every time another storm is headed your way, which can get frustrating after a few times. Plus, if your electricity goes out in the storm, you'll be stuck in a completely dark house, even in the middle of the day. You'll need a bigger supply of flashlights and candles if you choose to go this route.
If you like the plywood idea but would prefer a simpler way to put it into place, storm shutters might be a good solution for you. Storm shutters need to be permanently attached to the house, which usually requires professional installation, but once they're in place, they're easy to open and close as needed. While some shutters have the same blackout effect as plywood, you can now find shutters that are designed to let in the light.
Shutters are considerably more expensive than film or wood. They may also interfere with the aesthetics of the outside of your house. Storm shutters are visible even when they're rolled up, and some homeowners don't like the way that they look on the outside of the house.
One final option is to replace your windows with impact glass, otherwise known as hurricane windows. These windows are made with two panes of glass joined together, usually with a plastic sheet in between them. They're designed to stand up to heavy winds and absorb the impact of flying debris without breaking, and without blowing in like regular windows covered with film are prone to do.
Unlike plywood and shutters, these windows won't block out the light of day, and they also won't interfere with the look of your home – they look just like regular windows. They can also stay up year round; there's no need to remove or uninstall them. While they're more expensive than ordinary windows, they may help you qualify for a homeowner's insurance discount, which can help recoup some of the money that you'll be spending.
Any of these options are safer and more effective alternatives to taping your windows during a storm. If you need advice choosing the storm protection option that's best for your home and your budget, a window expert in your area can help guide you to the correct choice for you. You can discover more on hurricane windows by following the link.