In September 2022 Hurricane Ian tore through Southwest Florida. This category 4 hurricane brought with it powerful 155 MPH winds, which along with devastating storm surge caused massive damage to homes, structures and everything else that stood in its path. While IAN is just one example of the damage that a hurricane can cause it is not the first and certainly will not be the last. This is especially true if you live in an area like Southwest Florida that is prone to hurricanes and severe weather. And while you can’t stop hurricane season in Florida you can prepare your home to limit the damage of a storm.
What kind of damage can a hurricane cause to a home?
Some hurricanes cause more damage than others. This can be because of different reasons. Regardless, every hurricane has the potential to cause damage to your home and property. Even tropical storms and category 1 hurricanes have the ability to cause a lot of damage. This is because hurricanes can cause wind related damage as well as damage from flooding and storm surge.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a helpful resource to learn about potential wind damage caused by each category of hurricane. The scale provides the sustained wind speeds of each category along with the potential damage those winds can cause. It should be noted that this scale only relates to damage caused by wind. It does not take into account things like flooding, storm surge, etc.
The Saffir-Simpson scale describes a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 95 MPH in the following way: “very dangerous winds will produce some damage.” On the other hand, it describes a category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 157 MP or higher as “catastrophic damage will occur.”
What damage can hurricane force wind cause?
Hurricane force winds have the potential to crack or break regular glass windows and doors. The wind can also pick items up, such as debris and other objects, and throw them at your home. This, of course, has the ability to break your windows, doors, and other vulnerable openings, such as screened in lanais.
In both cases, broken windows and doors can lead to more serious damage and issues.
First, broken windows allow water to get into your home. Windows and doors act as a barrier to the outside elements. When intact they prevent rain and falling water from entering your home. But if they get broken there is no barrier to stop water intrusion. This may cause immediate issues, such as moisture and water pooling in your home. But it can also cause long-term issues, such as water damage, mold and more.
Second, broken windows also allow wind to enter your home. Again, when intact your windows and doors act as barriers to outside elements. However if they get broken significant hurricane force winds will have the ability to get into your home. Wind can cause damage and break things inside. In extreme situations this may cause your home to become pressurized. And this can lead to serious damage, such as structural issues and roof damage.
How do hurricane shutters protect your home?
Hurricane shutters help protect your home from powerful hurricane winds. They do this by acting as an impact resistant barrier. In other words, they protect your windows, doors, and other vulnerable openings of your home. Hurricane shutters can withstand up to a category 5 hurricane. Specifically, they can take the impact of category 5 hurricane winds and the impacts of flying debris.
As we detailed above, hurricane force winds can cause damage to your glass openings themselves by breaking them. Wind can also cause more serious damage to your home, such as water damage or your home becoming pressurized.
Hurricane shutters prevent this type of damage by ensuring that your windows, doors, and other vulnerable openings will not break. And this in turn, limits the amount of damage caused by powerful winds during a hurricane.
Answers to similar questions you may have:
How much does it cost to put up hurricane shutters?
Are hurricane shutters cheaper than impact windows?
Are Hurricane Shutters worth it?
What are the best type of hurricane shutters?
What is better impact windows vs hurricane shutters?
When should you put up hurricane shutters?
What are the easiest hurricane shutters to install?
Can I install my own hurricane shutters?
How do you hurricane proof an existing house?
What happens if you don’t have hurricane shutters?
Are hurricane shutters burglar proof?
Do I need hurricane shutters on all windows?