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What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 08-30-2006, 01:45 PM   #1
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What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

Spouse and I are ruminating over hurricane window protection (we have a 2% deductible on our homeowner's policy). I'm inclined to trim 4x8 plywood sheets and screw them onto the outside of the windows (and on top of the PV & water-heating panels) but we haven't bought the wood yet.

She's been watching coverage of Ernesto (and Katrina documentaries) and she's noticed Florida shop owners putting up what looks like corrugated roofing. We can't tell whether it's metal or fiberglas.

If you're in Florida and the hurricane's coming, what do you cover your windows with?
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 08-30-2006, 02:31 PM   #2
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

Well, in SC we use plywood and screws. Spray paint which pieces go on which windows and doors. Fun time on the ladder, but we'd never spend the $$ on those fancy premade sectional dohickeys.
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 08-30-2006, 03:05 PM   #3
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

Depends on your budget.

To pass Dade County (=strict) standards, plywood needs to be 3/4 inch. This makes them very heavy to handle, and they need to be fastened well or they make great frisbees in the high winds of a hurricane. They are cheap but very cumbersome..

Window films (3M and others) have a place in reducing penetration by flying objects, keeping shards intact, and possibly in maintaining integrity when glass gets broken. However they do not provide definitive protection.

The corrugated panels come in a polycarbonate-like material as well as in light weight aluminum. They are strong, easier to handle but require the installation and take down for every threatened storm. If you have time, a ladder, and are modestly handy, they are a good if somewhat inconvenient option.

Permanent roller or mounted shutters make deployment easier, but they are expensive and ugly all year long.

The definitive solution is a specialized product consisting of two panes of shatter-resistant glass sandwiching a very thick film of amazingly tough film. You cannot gain access through these with a sledge hammer if properly installed, and they are sold as complete windows/doors.

Story in the paper last year about a guy who went all out. $50,000 worth of the best windows, doors, etc. Hurricane came along, knocked down a tree which fell on his roof and the house was totaled.

So, it's a matter of finding the sweet spot in term of expense v. protection. We filmed our windows, braced our roof to the joists and have a solid brick house. That's about it. Main thing is if the real deal is headed your way get out of Dodge. Houses can be fixed and are insured.

(This is the rationalization argument I'm using for the RV I am about to buy: makes a great "survival pod" when it's time to leave and the power is turned off (they do that for safety reasons shortly before the hurricane hits). Once you get to safety, no hassles about finding a hotel, power, a dog kennel, hygiene, or food.)
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 08-30-2006, 04:44 PM   #4
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

Plywood is an easy and cheap solution. Also, instead of screws/bolts into the frame, consider using these Plylox clip things if you have brick, cinderblock, or wood frames outside the windows. You have to cut the plywood accurately, but then they work great (they hold like the Dickens, go up fast, release easily, and no unsightly hardware to look at the rest of the year)

http://www.mcfeelys.com/subcat.asp?s...FRieWAodGjNFbQ
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 08-30-2006, 06:37 PM   #5
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

Having left FL last year after 19 years down there I gave this a lot of thought over those years. Tape does not work and is even dangerous according to some reading. I never "boarded" up over those years and until a couple of years ago never had a problem. 2004 we had 2 hurricanes come "close" but we were on the right hand side of both of those. We lost two trees and got some water through some "Florida Room" window frames. No kind of window protection would have solved or prevented this from happening. If I were to have installed window protection I think I would have gone with the Corragateed Steel (spelling). Thought I would have just installed some kind of channel at the top and bottom of each window where the steel would slip in and then using sheet metal screws screw though the front channel through the inserts and into the real channel. Pretty much as good as a commercial applied sytem but at a lot cheaper cost. Also much easier to store and they generally do not warp like plywood. I had about 25 windows and 3 doorways on the house and another 35 feet to cover on the "Fl Room". Most of the windows were covered with the 3M film but that stuff only is good for keeping the glass intact and cut down on the cuts if you are nearby. Pretty costly to do and opted for the "prayer" method and insurance (My deductable was 5% or about $15,000). It would have been cheaper to do it but just never saw the payoff. Would have felt stupid if we to have had a ground zero hurricane. Location south of Jacksonville FL -- last major hurricane Dora in 1960 something.
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 08-30-2006, 07:25 PM   #6
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
She's been watching coverage of Ernesto (and Katrina documentaries) and she's noticed Florida shop owners putting up what looks like corrugated roofing. We can't tell whether it's metal or fiberglas.
Both. The traditional ones were extruded corrugated aluminum. Shutter companies cut them to fit and install the mounting hardware. The owner just has to put them in place when the hurricane threatens - supposedly without needing any tools. A reasonably competent do-it-yourselfer could do his or her own.

Some companies made similar systems out of clear polycarbonate corrugated material. They mounted them with Velcro and never wind tested them. I think they got sued or went to jail. Other companies came along and used 16 mm Polycarb material that was held in with stainless fasteners to the frame/header. Those were wind tested up to 140 MPH.

Plywood can be a real pain to deal with, especially those second floor windows,because of the weight and size of the sheets the average window requires. Plywood needs to be sealed (don't forget the edges) or it will warp and deteriorate from moisture. Polycarbonate weighs about 25% of what plywood does.
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 08-30-2006, 07:52 PM   #7
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

Most people don't know this, but Floridians attach the plywood with denture adhesive.
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 08-31-2006, 11:40 AM   #8
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?
Old 09-02-2006, 01:12 PM   #9
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Re: What are Floridians using to cover their windows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Most people don't know this, but Floridians attach the plywood with denture adhesive.
I can image their advertising:

Voiceover: "Denture adhesive that withstands hurricane forces!"
Action: Old folks boxing, doing Jackie Chan moves, attaching their storm shutters.
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