If you’ve ever driven through your neighborhood in the day or two before a hurricane, you probably noticed something: everyone has their own go-to way of securing their home for the storm!
Some swear by classic aluminum shutters; others kick back and avoid the frenzy with the built-in protection of impact windows; and still others double up by adding tape to their windows for added support.
Who’s right? Who’s wrong? While there’s no definitive answer, some protective measures are better than others in terms of cost, security, and prep time—and in today’s blog, we’re ranking them from best to worst.
Best: Impact windows and shutters
As you may have guessed, impact windows and shutters of every type (from standard aluminum covers to accordion and colonial shutters, that can be put to use in minutes) top off our list.
Why? Quite simply, they offer the best protection around—which is all that matters when you’re trying to protect your home from potentially damaging winds.
The reason there’s no clear, undeniable “top of the heap,” is that these measures are generally only separated by convenience and access to materials. Proper use of any of these systems will help keep your home safe during the storm—and of course, on the other hand, improper use (such as not securing all of your windows, only partially covering a window, etc.) will negate the benefits. If you’re choosing between impact windows, removable shutters, and “built-in” options like accordion shutters or shutter awnings, you just have to consider 1) the look of your home and 2) the amount of work you can (or can’t) put into hurricane preparation every year.
Compared to the sturdy options listed above, plywood may not be quite as attractive of a choice—but to leave it out entirely would be wrong, since it’s the go-to system for many families who don’t have shutters or are in a pinch, time-wise or financially. In these cases, it is of course always better to cover your windows with something instead of nothing!
Taping your windows to prevent them from breaking into a hundred tiny pieces certainly seems like a great idea—but NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says to pass on this well-intentioned step. Doing so can make you feel safer than you really are (since tape doesn’t offer any significant protection against debris), and can also take up valuable time that could be better used shopping for supplies, checking in on friends and family, etc.
We hope that today’s blog helps you choose the right storm protection option for your home. When you choose strong, secure measures like shutters or impact windows, you’re keeping your home and family safe while investing in a much-needed peace of mind. That’s more than most windows can say!