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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Window Protection & Hurricanes: Popular Myths Debunked

Whether you live in a coastal region, or in an area where you might be affected by strong, gale-force winds, it's always a good idea to plan ahead before tropical storm season begins.

According to NOAA, the Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.  The Eastern Pacific hurricane season ends on the same date, but begins a month earlier on May 15.  Now is the time to educate yourself about hurricane preparedness - especially when it comes to window safety.

Below are some popular myths about windows & hurricanes - and why not a single one of them is accurate.

Myth:  Applying tape to a window will keep it from breaking.
Reality:  Adhering any type of tape to a window will not keep it from breaking or shattering, nor will it protect it from large projectiles and debris.

Myth: Leaving a window slightly open during a hurricane equalizes pressure, thereby minimizing damage.
Reality:  Leaving a window open during a hurricane actually does quite the opposite.  When gusty winds blow over the roof - while entering the window opening simultaneously - the odds that the roof will lift off (like an airplane wing), increase exponentially.  Once the roof is removed by these dueling wind forces, the walls may fall outward, leveling the home or building.

Myth: Adding hurricane film to the window will prevent the window from breaking.
Reality:  Unless the film is anchored into the frame, hurricane film will not prevent glass breakage.

Myth: Mobile homes are safe as long as they have storm shutters. 
Reality:  This type of dwelling cannot tolerate more than light hurricane winds to begin with.

Myth: The only windows and doors that need to be protected are those facing the ocean.
Reality:  In hurricane zones, wind and debris can change speed, intensity and direction in an instant.

Hurricane storm barriers like the ones featured above, remain
on windows all year long.
Myth: Waiting until the last minute to put up plywood shutters is fine, as long as they are fitted to the windows properly.
Reality:  Plywood shutters should be prepared before a hurricane is even predicted in your area so all that's needed is a screwdriver once a warning is posted, as there is an element of planning involved.  Although Miami-Dade tested & certified hurricane storm barriers/hurricane screens are your best bet for window protection, experts also recommend using 3/4" marine plywood and drilling screw holes 18" apart all the way around.

Myth: Leaning against a window or glass door will prevent it from breaking/shattering.
Reality:  No matter where you live - whether inland or by the coast - standing near windows or glass doors during a violent storm with high winds is never a smart idea.  You could be hit with projectiles or other flying debris that may cause serious injury.

To learn more about hurricane window screens, CLICK HERE

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