Preparing for a hurricane season in the South is all about managing risk. One of the easiest ways to fortify your home against a storm is by making sure that your windows and doors can withstand just about whatever Mother Nature might throw at them.
Here are some replacement window and door options to consider when you're preparing for hurricane season.
Although a replacement door might seem like a simple household item, storm doors tough enough to stand up to a hurricane have complex structural features that make them deceptively strong.
- Flush-mounted hinges: Your storm door's hinges are critically important. One of the reasons why storm doors are often more expensive is because the hinges are built and welded into the storm door's frame. Flush mounting these hinges drastically increases the integrity of your storm doors.
- Impact-resistant glass: savage wind gusts and negative wind tunnel pressures can shatter doors during a hurricane. When looking for replacement doors, make sure that any glass panels on the door are impact resistant and multi-paned. In addition to being stronger during a storm, they will also be more energy efficient.
Most of the same features you find in storm doors, you'll also find in storm windows (impact-resistant, multi-paned, etc.) However, the best storm windows have some additional features that help them withstand a hurricane's ferocity.
- Gasket Sealed: When whipped by hurricane-forced winds, rain can have piercing effect on widow casing and seals. Thus, storm windows are reinforced with gasket sealing. These rubber seals effectively create a vacuum-like suction where the window's jamb meets the window casing. In addition to preventing rain from seeping in during a hurricane, the gaskets will also add energy efficiency to your windows.
- Shutter Grooves: One of the most cost-effective solutions for hurricane-rated windows can be shuttering them before a major storm. Although you could pay a contractor to trick out your windows with plywood before a storm, this can be expensive and also damaging to your window casings. Many of the best storm windows are slightly recessed to accommodate a groove for adding storm shutters to your windows. These shutters can be made for a variety of materials (steel, aluminum, wood, etc.) to be quickly and easily put up before a major storm hits. If you have the option of shuttering your windows you can opt for slightly less stout windows, which can save you thousands of dollars.