Honestly? No. Plywood has been used for years to protect homes, family, and possessions in the event of a hurricane. It is lightweight and inexpensive. However, there are some very real and specific problems with plywood shutters. If possible you will want to find a stronger, longer lasting application for your home. Real hurricane shutters will last longer, offer better protection, and meet standard building codes.
Why Do I Need to Cover my Windows During a Hurricane?
The recent hurricanes have impacted thousands, and many residents were not prepared. During a hurricane or tropical storm, covering your windows is more than just helpful. It protects the exterior envelope and has the potential to keep your home intact. Any break in that envelope and the pressure from the window could blow the roof off your home. Protecting your windows and doors is your best bet. Unfortunately plywood doesn’t meet the South Florida Building Code. If at all possible you will want to find other hurricane shutters that do.
How to Properly Install Plywood Shutters
Ultimately, if plywood is your only option, then it is better than nothing. Plywood shutters installed correctly can offer a high level of protection against wind and debris from a hurricane as long as you follow the right installation methods. But don’t wait until the last second to run off and buy some plywood and hardware. You need to prepare early and follow specific instructions.
The majority of homeowners using plywood shutters do not take the time to install them properly. Instead they just nail plywood to the exterior of their home and expect it to hold up. While this method might work for smaller storms, it will not be adequate protection in the event of larger hurricanes.
Start by measuring each window so you know the size of the openings you need to cover. There are two good ways to mount plywood shutters. The most effective way is to cut 5/8 or 3/4 inch thick plywood to fit snugly inside the window frame. That way wind is not as likely to get underneath and tear the plywood away. Another method is to cut plywood, allowing for a four inch overhang on every side.
In addition to plywood, you also need to purchase the right hardware. You will need anchors, barrel bolts every 18 inches, and washers. The size of your window and the masonry of your house will dictate the types of hardware you should use. You should also keep in mind that some property damage will occur during installation and removal of plywood shutters.
Once you test the plywood to make sure it is the appropriate size and mounts properly, mark each piece so you know where to install it in the event of a storm. Seal or paint the plywood to help it last longer, and store the bolts and the plywood in a dry, accessible place.
Real Hurricane Shutters in Bradenton Beach, FL
Instead of relying on plywood for protection, call the experts at Armored Dade Windows and Shutters. Our main focus is to help protect our neighbors. We offer high impact windows, storm doors, and a variety of hurricane shutters in Bradenton Beach, FL. You are sure to find a product to suit your needs and budget. And with free consultations and estimates, what do you have to lose? Call us today at 941-798-9010 or come by 8112 Cortez Rd. West, Bradenton, FL. 34210.