Window Safety And Protection During Hurricanes And Storms
Property damage from a storm can be unavoidable, no matter what you’ve done to safeguard your home. Floods, fires, and roof damage can all happen despite your best efforts. One thing you can do, whether a storm is on its way or you have time to plan well in advance, is protect windows and glass doors.
Shattered windows and doors pose a danger due to the broken glass, obviously. Then there is also the water, debris, and other objects that can enter your home – sometimes at high speeds.
There are some common misconceptions about window protection, though. Techniques you’ve heard about may be of no help at all, or could even expose you to more damage when a storm rolls through. It is critical to review window safety practices for storms and high winds.
Here are some “Do’s” and “Don’ts”:
- Use storm shutters or plywood to cover your windows. Having storm shutters installed on exterior windows will provide an effective barrier in the event of a hurricane or thunderstorm. Storm shutters typically come in an accordion or roll-down style that can be quickly deployed when the forecast calls for high winds. Look for aluminum or fiberglass shutters to protect your glass underneath. If you do not have storm shutters installed, plywood boards that are at least 5/8-inch thick can provide a safe barrier if attached properly to your exterior window frames. Attaching plywood can involve some labor and quick planning before a storm, so this option may not be for everybody.
- Install storm windows and doors. Storm windows and doors are often made with polycarbonate plastic or tempered glass to provide strong impact resistance during storms. Storm windows and doors can also provide year-round benefits, by adding a level of security and making your home more energy efficient.
- Install high-impact glass or window film. High-impact windows include a layer of plastic film between two sheets of tempered glass. This design makes your windows perform much like a car windshield, allowing the window to break into a spider-web pattern without shattering into shards. For the same reason, high-impact glass windows are also an effective deterrent to break-ins. They are sometimes referred to as “riot glass” because they can keep vandals from getting through. If you don’t have this type of window installed, you can add a layer of impact-resistant window film, or “hurricane film” to help hold your window together during severe weather. While these products do not make windows “hurricane proof”, they do provide some added protection.
- Clean up your yard and porch areas before an approaching storm. It is easy to forget, while focusing on windows and doors, that your yard may be full of items that can turn into high-speed projectiles during a storm. Kids’ toys, yard tools, porch umbrellas, and the like can all be picked up by the wind and sent right through a window under certain conditions, causing serious damage. Take time to make sure your yard is cleaned up and secured when a storm warning is issued.
- Tape your windows with duct tape. Taping the inside of your windows in an “X” pattern with duct tape is an “old wives’ tale” that has been debunked as ineffective. Experts say this does nothing to prevent breakage and can even lead to a greater danger: large pieces of glass, taped together and flying through your rooms.
- Open windows to “equalize pressure” inside your home. Another myth is that opening windows before a hurricane or high-wind event can counteract the extreme changes in air pressure brought from outside. Experts advise that air pressure actually equalizes on its own, and opening windows only invites more wind, rain, and debris into your home.
- Lean against or place pressure against windows from inside during a storm. If the forces of a storm are strong enough to break glass, your body weight will not be effective to counter that force. This also puts you at risk of severe injury if the glass does shatter.
What to Do if Your Windows and Doors Are Damaged During a Storm
Whether you’ve taken the steps recommended above or haven’t, your property may still suffer damage from a storm that must be corrected by your insurance company. Make sure to notify the insurer as soon as damage can be documented, and follow all steps to get compensated for your loss. Preventative measures such as storm shutters, window boarding, and high-impact films can lessen your damages, but a lack thereof should not be a barrier to recovery from your insurance company.
Make sure you get all that you deserve after your property is damaged in a hurricane or storm. A law firm with experience in these matters can guide you through the process and secure a result that is fair.
Contact Our Daytona Beach Property Damage Claims Attorneys
Property damage due to hurricanes and high winds can be expensive. To get the most out of your claim and avoid paying out of pocket, reach out to Bundza & Rodriguez. Call or contact our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online today and request a consultation to protect your rights in filing a claim.