If you live near any coast on the Gulf, you know you will have to face a hurricane at one time or another, and most likely many times. Hurricanes in this area are known to exceed 100 miles an hour, and the storms can last for hours. After the storm itself, there is often additional rain and sometimes related tornadoes. Trees are uprooted, windows are blown out of houses, awnings are ripped to shreds and roofs are blown away.
Anyone who lives in such an area has long ago learned how to deal with hurricanes and protect themselves and their property. One of the most important things they do is to board over their windows and doors.
Protective sheets of plywood stop glass from being broken and exposing the house to flying objects and high winds. This protects the furniture and rugs in the house. When a hurricane threatens, most lumber supply stores and home warehouses are incredibly busy selling this kind of lumber. People who have not been through this before have to rush to these stores and buy plywood, particle board or other materials to cover their windows.
The prices may be jacked up during this period because they are in short supply. But everyone pays anyway because they are desperate to protect their homes. The homes also look awful with this wood over the beautiful windows, but that is not a concern at this point. Once the storm passes, the boards have to be taken down and a place has to be found for them for the next inevitable storm. Some people have decided upon a better way to prepare for a hurricane. They have installed protective shutters and storm windows in their home. They have the wonderful advantage of protecting a home when necessary, during a storm, but looking decorative when they are not needed. The cost for storm shutters is a one time cost, instead of plywood that may have to be bought over and over. Closing storm shutters is easy, rather than dealing with nailing boards in place. This is not a pleasant task anytime, and less pleasant when heavy winds make it more difficult. After the storm is over, the shutters are simply opened up to the air once again.
There are few different types of storm shutter protection. Exterior storm shutters are made into an attractive architectural feature, but when they are needed, they close up over the windows and protect from the high winds of a storm or hurricane. They can also be used to close up a house when the owner is away. Storm shutters can be made at home by a good do-it-yourselfer. Another choice is storm shutters manufactured and installed. They are made of wood, plastic or heavy vinyl. They are available in many styles such ats louvered, panel or board and batten. They come in a wide variety of colors as well. They are very easy to install and add a lovely exterior note to a home when they are opened, while affording protection when they are closed. Rolling shutters are made of aluminum or heavy vinyl and can be lowered for sun shading or closed for storm protection. These are an easy project for anyone to manage for their home, and look attractive.
If you are interested in making shutters yourself, you can make them in a tongue and groove pattern. Measure your windows’ height and width. Assemble the tongue and groove boards and attach them together. Cut them about one half inch shorter than the height of the window you are making them for and paint them to match the exterior of your house. Hang them with strap hinges, that can be obtained in a decorative motif.
Hailstorms, heavy rains, tornadoes and other windstorms such as hurricanes are no picnic to endure, but if you install storm shutters and windows, you and your family will “weather" these events without any problems.
Peter Wilson's detailed articles can be encountered on a lot of web publications with reference to hurricane repair and storm protection. You can find his work on storm windows at http://www.replacement-windows-tips.com and many different sources for storm windows tips.