Do NOT use tarps or plywood to protect windows in place of storm shutters or permanent protection solutions.
Using plywood should only be a last resort. This type of wood cracks easily under pressure, is difficult to install correctly, and is unsightly. Plywood can end up costing you more than more advanced wind mitigation solutions.
DON’T tape windows during storms.
Taping your windows can give you a false sense of security. This worst practice can actually increase the danger because homeowners might believe they are safe when they are really not. Taping your windows can create larger, and more deadly, shards of glass that can blow through your home.
Do NOT brace yourself against a door during a storm to keep it from breaking.
Strong winds are a threat to your doors and windows, and standing behind them also puts you in harm’s way. Get away from your doors and windows quickly and protect yourself as much as you can.
DON’T crack open your windows to stabilize pressure.
Opening your windows even a crack can let violent winds inside, which means that wind needs to find a way out. Pressure from hurricanes won’t get close to your home until the windows have already been broken.
DON’T forget to contact Alufab USA for all your hurricane protection needs in Fort Myers.
Over the past number of years, a variety of “Wind Abatement Screen” products have surfaced, offering homeowners various options, colors and attachment methods. While there is Florida Building Code approval for most of these products, the two concerns for most homeowners is in the areas of deflection and disintegration. As it applies to building codes, deflection is a products ability to repel a projectile without compromising the surface it is protecting. For example, a code-approved metal shutter has a higher ‘deflection value’ than a wind abatement screen, simply because the glass window behind it is less likely to be broken when a projectile hits the metal shutter.
The ‘wind abatement screens’ will withstand high winds, but offer little protection from projectiles, which will either tear the fabric of the screen, or will hit it with such force as to compromise the glass opening the screen was intended to protect. Popular on large-span openings, such as lanais, the screen product also suffers from ultraviolet damage when exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. Once sold under the premise of daily usage for sun blockage and for closing up a home during off-season, many homeowners have seen their screens literally deteriorate to the point of disintegration. Obviously, such damage would render that product totally useless at the time of a storm or hurricane.
If you have further questions or concerns about any ‘wind abatement screen’ product, please contact us.
In a short answer, NO. While plywood has been used in the past to ‘shutter’ houses, there are very real and specific issues with using plywood to protect your home, your family and your possessions.
Plywood CAN be considered a “Code-Approved” hurricane protection product, but only when installed with very specific hardware pieces and using very detailed installation methods. It’s safe to say that 99% of homeowners using plywood are not following the “Code-Approved” methods of installation.
In cases where there are no other options, plywood is regarded as a “better than nothing” solution for temporary hurricane protection, but chances are pretty good that the plywood sheets will get wet, will warp and won’t be adequate for usage a second time. Replacing your plywood with standard metal storm panels can be an affordable and much more reliable method for securing your home during a storm.