Be Ready for Hurricane Season Hurricane Window Protection
There’s nothing more ominous than the sound of hurricane-force winds rattling your windows on what started off as a warm Texas evening. While homeowners can’t control the weather, they can control a home’s vulnerability level. The “weakest points” in any home are its windows.
That’s why good hurricane protection often begins where your walls end. It’s time to get serious about hurricane window protection.
Hurricane-Rated Windows: Why It’s Time to Consider Storm Windows for Your Texas Home
Hurricane windows are designed to prevent wind breaches by creating a stronger, firmer barrier against gusts. Your average hurricane window on the market will consist of a frame that’s designed with vinyl or aluminum to prevent cracking and splintering caused by force.
Hurricane-rated windows also feature a special interior glass that is strengthened through heat to prevent breakage and splintering. This is important because many standard windows contain glass that can crack or splinter during high winds. Unfortunately, this can send large chunks of glass flying through your home.
Hurricane-rated windows also use air-filled gaps between the two window panes for durability.
How Are Hurricane Windows Rated?
Calling a window a hurricane-rated window isn’t just a marketing technique. Typically, manufacturers use something called the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to measure a specific window’s resistance capabilities. Under the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, hurricanes are assigned ratings from 1 to 5 based on maximum sustained wind speed. Here’s the scale:
- Category 1: 74 to 95 miles per hour.
- Category 2: 96 to 110 miles per hour.
- Category 3: 111 to 129 miles per hour.
- Category 4: 130 to 156 miles per hour.
- Category 5: 157+ miles per hour.
The next factor used to determine a window’s hurricane resistance is something called design pressure (DP). DP is the rating given based on how much pressure a window can take without breaking. A higher DP means that a window can sustain higher wind speeds.
A hurricane window with a DP of 45 or higher is designed to sustain a Category 5 hurricane.
However, factors like the window’s design, size and placement can impact performance in a storm. Casement windows are known for being much more durable than other types of windows.
Hurricane Rated Windows Are Not Perfect
It’s also important for people to realize that “no window” is safe in a storm. While having hurricane-resistant windows in your home has the potential to greatly boost your safety, these windows can’t eliminate all risk. Having hurricane-rated windows won’t make it safe to linger by your window while a storm is happening.
You’ll still need to seek appropriate shelter in your home even after you upgrade to hurricane-rated windows.
What’s more, having hurricane-rated windows won’t give you a pass on storm preparation. You should still be making plans for general hurricane protection just like you would for hu.
Next, take a look at ways to fortify your home during a storm aside from upgrading to hurricane-rated windows. Keep in mind that the benefits of all of these tips are amplified when you have secure, hurricane-resistant windows in place.
Fortifying Your Home’s Windows for a Texas Storm
If you’re one of the thousands of people gearing up for your first storm season in Texas after moving to the Corpus Christi area, there are some basic tips to know to prevent as much storm damage as possible.
Keep in mind that nothing is a sure thing when Mother Nature is involved. However, storm preparation can help you to avoid injuries and damage.
Plywood boards are considered the tried-and-true pre-storm tools for keeping your windows safe from “blowing out” in a storm. Ideally, boarding up your windows will help to keep wind and moisture out of your home.
Plywood boards can help to protect your home or business in the short term by creating strong barriers. However, they don’t offer permanent storm protection. Think of them more as emergency add-on features.
The downside to plywood boards is that they are difficult to install. After making precise measurements for your window, you’ll then need to screw or nail each board into place. This is definitely not a job for one person!
Plywood boards also block natural light, visibility and access for a quick emergency exit. Lastly, boards require storage when they’re not being used unless you want to repeat the process of buying, measuring and cutting new boards every time a storm rolls in on the radar.
If you’re looking for a permanent, more aesthetically pleasing alternative to plywood boards, hurricane shutters can be considered. Many homeowners actually combine hurricane shutters and hurricane-rated windows for extra peace of mind. The big advantage here is that you’re getting a permanent storm defense.
Hurricane shutters also happen to be attractive. Many people actually incorporate Bermuda shutters and louver-style shutters into their home designs.
While they are permanently mounted to your home, storm shutters don’t have to be lowered until a storm is on its way. That means you’re getting access to fresh air and natural light.
Don’t Do This One Thing If You Want to Keep Your Windows Safe in a Texas Storm
If you’ve never lived in the South before, you may have wondered why people place big “X” marks in tape across their windows when storms are coming. No, they’re not sending secret messages. It’s their hurricane window protection.
A taped “X” is actually a technique that people use to fortify their windows during storms. The only problem is that it doesn’t work.
In fact, experts warn against using tape on windows during storms.
According to officials with the National Hurricane Center, taping windows before a storm actually increases danger while providing a false sense of security.
It turns out that taping windows before a storm can actually cause larger, deadlier shards of glass to come flying through a home if a window is breached. While the tape won’t preserve your window, it could hold it together “just enough” to create those larger chunks of glass that create big hazards.
Getting Serious About Hurricane Window Protection
If you’re looking for permanent hurricane window protection that you can count on to already be in place before the next big storm rolls around, hurricane-rated windows provide the biggest benefit.
While these windows can “make or break” your home’s chances of remaining untouched by a storm, they can also provide benefits all year long.
Getting new hurricane-rated windows installed can greatly increase energy efficiency at your home because these windows are designed like the ultra-efficient double-pane windows on the market today. That means you’re getting storm protection with the energy savings of eco-friendly double-pane windows built in!