Hurricanes have the power to destroy anything in their path when it comes to home exteriors, windows, doors and landscaping. The key to preserving your home or business is to properly board up windows prior to evacuating for a storm. Simple materials such as plywood and aluminum can affect how your property handles a hurricane.
Strong hurricane winds can force shingles from roofs, shatter windows and door glass, rip shutters from your exterior and allow water to enter your home. Even if your home or business has impact-resistant windows, you want to cover these openings to prevent debris or water from causing damage.
Quick fixes such as tape are ineffective during a storm, so the process of boarding is the safest and most effective emergency management practice.
Plywood is an affordable material suitable for preventing glass blowouts during a storm. This material is readily available at local home improvement stores, but having extra supplies in storage is a smart move, especially for fast-moving hurricanes or when local stores sell out. Plywood boards for damage control should be at least 5/8″ thick for best results.
When working with plywood, find home wall studs surrounding windows. Cut boards to appropriate sizes by measuring windows just past wall studs (approximately 2″ past) for mounting. Boarding windows for a hurricane is typically a multiple-person job, so Beacon Restoration crews are useful for quick turnaround times. Call us if you need support.
Mark boards with information regarding the room it will protect and which side faces up because this will help make future storm prep easier. When installing, have one person hold a board of plywood against a window and drill holes into studs. Drill screws into framing studs every 12″ to 16″ for a secure attachment.
Depending on the severity of the hurricane, you can stack more than one plywood board for mounting, but keep in mind you will need longer screws to reach framing. Beacon Restoration recommends using a stud finder tool throughout the boarding process for accurate placement.
Aluminum sheets take longer to install initially but they may provide better protection and they’re quick to reattach. Tracking systems enable you to reattach impact-resistant covers easily. Supplies can be cut to custom dimensions or purchased as kits to fasten to brackets along your home’s exterior.
The process for installing aluminum panels is similar to plywood. Begin by measuring window dimensions to decide if stock panels are compatible or if you need custom cuts. Locate the studs of your window framing, and use a level to mount bracket systems.
Find the center of each section of your window frame, and drill tracking to studs. Drill holes may be pre-installed if purchasing a kit, or you can create your own every 6″ alongside the tracking.
Place aluminum panels from left to right, and use wingnuts to fasten sheets across your windows. Aluminum panels can be removed from the tracking by loosening wingnuts once the storm passes. Aluminum panels are a wonderful alternative to plywood if you don’t mind placing a bracket system to your home’s siding.
Beacon Restoration serves the state of Florida during natural disasters. If you are planning to board your home prior to a hurricane, our crews are on-call 24/7/365 for emergency services and restoration projects. Contact Beacon Restoration today for immediate assistance regarding fire, water and storm damage. Call us at 407-428-1932.