The windows in your home not only supply security while allowing fresh air and natural light to filter in, but they are also essential to keeping energy costs down and they contribute to the overall value of your home. During a windstorm, here are some ways you can protect your entire home as a real estate investment. These tips can reduce the chance of broken windows that can lead to interior flooding and other structural damage.
Install Impact Resistant Window Film
If you own real estate property in areas that are prone to high winds such as the East Coast (North of Georgia), West Coast, and North Central Regions (Michigan, Illinois, Ohio), window film will make your windows more resistant to shattering. Window film can also serve double-duty, making it more difficult for a burglar to break your windows and gain access to your home.
Clear Your Yard of Debris
It is typically not the wind that shatters windows, but debris from the yard that is thrown at the home. Remove branches and tree limbs, outdoor furniture and any objects that can be picked by the wind. Any medium-sized or heavier objects can become projectiles including garden tools, grills, sports equipment, and bicycles.
Close Your Windows
High winds from hurricanes are often part of low pressure systems. In the past, it was suggested to open a few windows to allow the home's interior to equalize in pressure. Current practices suggest that your home's interior pressure will equalize on it's own, because no home is completely airtight. It is best to close the windows to limit interior damage due to extremely high winds.
Thick Plywood in a Pinch
If your home does not have shutters and the weather forecast calls for sustained and powerful wind gusts, nailing plywood over your windows is the next best option if your home does not have storm shutters. You only need to consider boarding up your home if the winds are forecast to be straight-line winds and you only need to protect the windows that are directly facing the direction of expected high winds.
These tips can help keep you and your family safe indoors during a windstorm. Review your home insurance policy on a regular basis. As climatic activity increases, you may decide to add insurance that will cover damage due to heavy wind or rain.