Windows are one of the most vulnerable parts of your home during a hurricane, tropical storm, or other bad storm. Traditional glass surfaces are prone to being broken by wind-borne objects. So the question becomes, how do you protect windows during a hurricane? In this article we give four of the top hurricane window protection options for 2021.
If you are deciding between impact glass and shutters then make sure to check out our guide on hurricane windows vs. storm shutters.
How do you protect your windows for a hurricane? Hurricane Window Protection Options
At it’s core, protecting your windows for a hurricane means putting an appropriate layer of protection in between your glass and objects that might break it. This could mean, and for some folks does mean, covering their windows with anything from plywood to boards before a storm.
While wood is an option, it is difficult to put up, can be unreliable and does not look very attractive.
This guide covers four hurricane window protection options that are designed specifically to protect your home’s glass. All of these optioned are engineered to install easier, and they look a lot better while on your home.
The four options we’ll cover below in more detail are:
- Impact windows
- Hurricane shutters
- Hurricane fabric
- Storm panels
These are four of the most popular options, and they are also the best options we can think of.
1. Impact (Hurricane) Windows
Hurricane (impact) windows are by far the easiest hurricane window protection option on our list for 2021.
The reasons why we think they are one of if not the best option to protect your windows?
First, they replace your traditional glass windows with an impact resistant window. In other words, its just like having regular windows. This means you can, for the most part protect your windows from wind-born objects 24/7 without the hassle of installing additional protection before a storm.
Second, you can’t really tell they are there. They look like regular windows (maybe even better than you old ones). So your house looks exactly the same as it did before you installed the impact resistant windows.
In turn, the convenience and ease of use of hurricane windows make them our top choice. The fact that you don’t have to worry about degrading the style or look of your home is a big bonus.
2. Hurricane Shutters
Hurricane shutters is a broad term. We use it to describe a range of impact resistant window shutters that are able to protect your glass windows during a hurricane, tropical or other bad storm.
There are several types of hurricane shutters, including accordion shutters, bahama shutters, colonial shutters, clamshell shutters, and roll down hurricane shutters. They all have one main function, to protect the vulnerable spaces of your home, such as windows and doors, from flying objects.
Why do we like hurricane shutters enough to rank them as our second best option? Because there are so many different styles of hurricane shutters. There is surely a style to match your needs, budget, and style of your home.
Hurricane shutters are typically more affordable than impact windows, especially options such as clam shell shutters.
We discuss each of the different types of hurricane shutters below:
- Accordion Shutters: accordions are permanently installed shutters and can be opened, closed, and locked with ease, both inside and outside the home
- Bahama Shutters: Bahama (also called Bermuda shutters) are a stylish option that can enhance the look of your house and offer easy to use protection for your windows
- Colonial Shutters: colonial shutters protect your home while giving it a bit of southern style and charm
- Clamshell Shutters: clamshells are an economical and easiest to use types of hurricane shutter
- Roll Shutters (roll down shutters): roll down shutters are super convenient and can be opened and closed with the touch of a button or crank handle
3. Hurricane Fabric: flexible window protection from hurricanes
Protection for your home comes in the form of many different shutter material options.
Hurricane fabric is a solid alternative to hurricane shutters, impact windows and hurricane panels.
What sets it apart? It is made of super strong, flexible and light-weight DuPont KEVLAR®. This means it is easy to install and is flexible enough to work for egress and other more complicated applications.
It is also a more economical choice than some other hurricane window protection options. So if you want something that is flexible, light-weight and economical, but still protects your home than hurricane fabric might be right for you.
4. Storm Panels: the most economical hurricane window protection
Storm panels are usually included on any list of hurricane window protection options. The reason? While it’s true these panels are heavier and more difficult to install than some other protection options, they are also typically the most economical option. Because of this they are a great option for those looking for an affordable window protection option.
They are also really strong. They are literally panels of strong metal.
These are some of the reasons why storm panels are so popular in areas like Florida where mostly everyone has some form of protection.
Storm (hurricane) panels are corrugated panels. They overlap each other to protect a home’s glass surfaces. The panels are installed before a storm, and then they are removed after a storm. Some folks who do not live in a house year-round also leave them up for extended periods of time for hurricane and security protection.
Hurricane panels are typically metal or aluminum. Panels are also offered in clear plastic so you can let the light in.
It is true that putting up panels does require a bit of time and energy so keep that in mind.
Learn the process for installing panels here.
Conclusion: what is the best window protection for hurricanes?
We have given our four best hurricane window protection options for 2021. No matter what your budget or preference, one of the options above should meet your needs.
Here is a breakdown:
- If you are looking for 24/7 protection without changing the look of your home then impact windows are probably the best option .
- Hurricane shutters may be the best option if you want to enhance the style of your home (Bahama or colonial shutters) with an easy to use option. Shutters, such as clamshell shutters are also a good option for the budget-minded homeowner or builder.
- If you want a flexible, light-weight option then hurricane fabric might be your best bet. Hurricane fabric installs easier than options like hurricane panels because of its lighter weight. It might also the only option for some complicated installations, such as installations with egress.
- Looking for the most economical option? Storm panels are most likely right for you.
Cost is a component that should be taken into account so make sure you learn about the cost you should expect for different shutter options.
Hopefully this article was helpful.
Get the best quality protection for your home in Southwest Florida
If you need more information you can learn more about all your hurricane protection options on the Eurex Shutters site. If you need window protection for your home, including hurricane shutters in Fort Myers, Cape Coral or anywhere in Southwest Florida then we would love to help.