With the looming presence of hurricane Dorian, protecting what is most precious to you is top of mind right now. This includes the home that protects your family and loved ones. We understand that security is a priority in an area that is susceptible to hurricanes and harsh tropical weather. That’s why we suggest hurricane shutters for sliding glass doors and other options for patio door hurricane protection. Have you looked into it yet?
Bracing yourself for harsh tropical weather with the proper preparation is a way of life for Floridians. Besides the normal survival steps of filling bathtubs with water and stocking up on dry goods when hurricane weather hits, having hurricane protection sliding glass doors ensures you and your loved ones remain safe. You may be wondering how to secure outside – track sliding – glass doors but don’t know where to start. You’ve come to the right place. Let’s start by exploring the risks involved with windows and doors during hurricane weather.
What are the risks during a hurricane?
Since windows and doors are some of the most important features of your home, ensuring they are secure during high wind pressures, wind borne debris, and torrential downpours can prevent structural damage inside the home. According to a study conducted by the University of Florida, homes in areas where wind speeds exceeded 120 mph, 33% of homes with unprotected windows and doors experienced at least one broken window. In the end, windows and door failures can contribute to roof failure. Your home may be more vulnerable to these elements if:
- You live in an area with little tree covering and design winds speeds at 110 mph
- You live in an area with moderate tree covering and design wind speeds at 120 mph
- Design wind speeds are at 130 mph regardless of tree covering
- If you or one of your neighbors has a tile roof, flat roof with ballast, or old shingles.
- Poorly installed windows and / or doors
Windows and doors that are unable to hold up to the winds speeds are the most frequent in older homes that are not pressure rated. If your home is exposed to a large open area such as a field, large body of water, golf course, or slope or top of a hill, window and door failure is higher during a hurricane. Older homes are more susceptible to hurricane damage because they may not be equipped with the proper safety precautions like hurricane clips and straps that secure roofing to walls. In these circumstances, well-protected doors and windows can help prevent losing your roof.
Okay, some quick thoughts about windows. Broken windows during hurricane weather is a reality if they are not protected. Keeping water from leaking into your home and causing more damage can be achieved by installing fixed glass window systems with impact resistant glass mounted into frames with adhesives. Some of the reasons for window failure are:
- Wind pressure or debris blown across the yard
- Windows including frames blown into the homes
- Water leaking through the window joints, frames, and wall cavities
Next, we’ll show you how to protect sliding glass doors in a hurricane and other windows throughout your home that are susceptible to flying debris!
Protecting your doors and windows during a hurricane
First things first. Taping your windows with a big X during a hurricane is not effective. Even though this has become a popular strategy over the years, it simply is not rational or successful. In fact, it produces the opposite effect by creating larger pieces of broken glass rather than smaller shards, which is much more dangerous.
Depending on your resources, we’ve taken the liberty of providing several different options, scaled from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best possible choice.
Hurricane fabric – 2/10
This fabric applied to the outside of your windows is meant to repel debris during hurricane weather. They are installed on a temporary or permanent basis but do not prevent repelled debris from damaging other property.
The only upside of installing hurricane fabric is its low cost. For around $15 or less per square foot, you can provide minimal hurricane protection to your windows. Know that this option still requires professional installation and planning before hurricane weather hits.
Plywood – 4/10
Putting boards on your windows is effective when planned a few days in advance of a hurricane. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself out of luck at a time when everyone is trying to do the same. The upside of using plywood is that is another relatively cheap option at around $20 or less per 4 x 8 sheet. It’s not a pretty sight but it does the job. Still, you will not see the light of day in your home until the storm is over and you take the plywood off.
Storm windows – 7/10
It is much more effective than the previous methods because it is an installed system during the off season that stays in place all year. This option requires professional installation and we know how to secure outside track sliding glass doors with this system. Although visible, if you’re looking for a particular look that matches your home decor, there are options available.
Hurricane shutters – 8/10
An extremely successful option, hurricane shutters for sliding glass doors and windows are typically made of certain materials that include steel or aluminum. They usually come in different options as well including roll down, accordion, bahama, and colonial. If you’re going for a cost effective option, accordion style hurricane shutters would be your best choice.
However, if you want an automated option that is stored in a box above your window, roll down hurricane shutters would be best. Colonial shutters are more aesthetically pleasing and less bulky but are relatively easy to manage as they come in two pieces that fold together in place over the window. Bahama shutters provide the most shade.
Hurricane windows – 10/10
This is truly your best option for protecting your family during a hurricane. Another name for these windows is impact-resistant, and they are our specialty! This is your best bet for sliding glass door hurricane protection because the glass is designed to withstand flying debris with an extra layer of protection preventing large shards of glass from entering your home. Although this option is more costly and should be done during the off season, we provide easy 100% financing so you can sleep better at night.
Protect what’s important to you
Don’t get caught unaware at the last minute. Any of the options listed above require some level of preparation and planning. However, it’s best that planning is done during the offseason.
At Signature Impact Windows & Doors, our high-quality products and services are second to none. With highly trained professionals with many years of experience, you can be sure you will be receiving the best in hurricane window installation. Our 100% easy financing options make protecting your home during hurricane season less complicated.
Whether you own a business or a residence, installing hurricane protection for your windows is a priority and one that we can walk you through. An added bonus of installing impact-resistant windows is the premium insurance discount you may be eligible to receive. Don’t wait any longer to take the next step, contact us and get protected.