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How Windows and Shutters Can Protect Your Home During a Hurricane

Many Florida homeowners fear hurricanes--for good reason. Storms with wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour are justifiably frightening. Hurricanes form in the Atlantic and move westward, straight to your bungalow.

One of the greatest concerns is that hurricane-force winds will shatter the windows in your home and carry in flying debris. So, many wise Floridians take precautions against this hazard by protecting their windows with hurricane shutters or hurricane windows.

Here's a look at the different kinds of hurricane shutters commonly used:

  • Storm panel shutters: These shutters are made of aluminum or steel and are bolted to the walls of the house.
  • Louvered shutters: Colonial louvered hurricane shutters are permanently attached to both sides of a window. Fold both sides together to close them before a storm.
  • Accordion shutters: Unfolded like an accordion, these shutters are attached permanently next to the windows.
  • Roll-down shutters: These shutters are stored in boxes above the windows. When you need them, just roll them down, either manually or by pressing a button.
  • Bahama hurricane shutters: They prop open above the windows, providing shade during times of calm weather. Just lower them when you hear the hurricane warning.

Hurricane windows are typically more expensive than hurricane shutters, but they offer several advantages. They're permanent, can protect the house when you're not there, and, unlike most types of shutters, don't need storage when not in use.

A licensed contractor should install your hurricane windows because he/she must replace the frames as well as the windows themselves. And, the important role played by hurricane windows often justifies the cost of having a professional perform a sturdy installation.

Whether you're thinking of installing hurricane windows or shutters, don't procrastinate. If you wait until you need them, it may be difficult to complete the installation in time for the next storm.