Thar’ She Blows: Hurricanes can Wreak Havoc on Windows
A hurricane watch can be exhilarating and terrifying. Whether you stay, or if you and your loved ones are evacuated, you can arm your house to ride out the storm with hurricane shutters that protect your hard-earned possessions. Be warned: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a higher than normal 2004 hurricane season from Texas to Maine, with 15 tropical storms and as many as eight hurricanes.
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Why Consider Hurricane Shutters?
It’s not enough to tape your windows against hurricane-force winds. First, it won’t work and, second, you’ll spend a lot of free time scraping tape off the windows that remain on your home after the storm season. Shutters not only protect the doors and windows from shattering in a hurricane, they keep out pressure that can rip apart your belongings, weaken your walls, and rip the roof from your house.
Not All Hurricane Shutters are Alike
You can expect to pay between $8 and $20 per square foot for hurricane shutters, depending on type, materials, and quality. Materials range in affordability and effectiveness.
There’s plywood for the limited budget, but it’s notorious for poor reliability. Aluminum is light and installs easily, but it’s not as strong as the more-expensive steel hurricane shutter, which offers the best overall protection.
Then there are different types of functioning hurricane shutters. Awning or Bahama shutters add shade and lock into place when you remove the support struts that hold them up in the dry season. Automatic roll-down hurricane shutters are easy to operate. Accordion shutters are housed just outside the window and are pulled into place when you need them. They all work, but hurricane shutters are only useful if they are installed correctly with strong anchors.