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Can Hurricane Screens Protect You?

Windows are one of the most vulnerable parts of your home to hurricane damage susceptibility. If you don't take precautions, this powerful storm can burst into your home and cause outrageous damage. So much so that it could threaten your health and well-being. Thankfully, there are storm screens that you can install on windows to protect you and the things that matter the most.

How do Hurricanes Affect Windows?

A hurricane is a large rotating storm system that typically forms over warm ocean waters and can bring high winds, heavy rains, and flooding to coastal or near-coastal areas. These storms are categorized into different wind speeds. A category five hurricane, the highest category, reaches wind speeds at and above 157 miles per hour. Intense pressure from rapid, abrupt winds can cause windows to crack and ultimately shatter. Once a window is breached, there's no stopping a hurricane from wreaking havoc on the interior.

Even if the winds aren't heavy enough to break a window, such as the maximum 95 miles per hour winds of a category one hurricane, they are strong enough to carry and hurl debris around. A stray branch, rock, or another object can be picked up by the winds and shot through the air like a missile. If the wind doesn't break your window, then the debris will.

What Happens When Your Window is Breached?

If a hurricane somehow smashes through your windows, either through wind power or loose debris, you and your home are in immediate and serious danger. Heavy wind and rain can damage a home interior by causing water to leak through the roof or walls, which can damage the paint, wallpaper, and flooring. Down the line, it can also cause mold and mildew to grow, which can damage the structure of the house and cause health problems for the occupants.

An immediate risk that a storm can cause to your own home is flooding. If hurricane winds break your windows, heavy rains, storm surges, and rising water from outside could enter, and fill up your home. Flooding can significantly damage the home's structure, lead to mold growth, and result in long-lasting electrical problems. The wide-ranging threat caused by flooding can ultimately lead to complete integrity failure and potential collapse, posing a risk to life.

Despite the frightening strength of a hurricane, there are tools that you can apply to your windows to better defend your home.

What is a Hurricane Screen?

Hurricane window screens are an adaptable, sturdy, and affordable way to protect your home from the risks of a powerful hurricane. While storm shutters are exceptionally good at protecting your windows from damage, they also are unsightly and usually block the sun. Hurricane screens are much more aesthetically pleasing and don't detract from the beauty of your home, meaning you can proudly set these screens up for many kinds of storms without being a permanent eyesore.

Hurricane window screens are made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, and fiberglass. They're crafted with a polypropylene monofilament woven into a thick blanket of material to produce a tough geotextile fabric. Sometimes they are constructed of Kevlar, a material renowned for its ability to withstand the impact of bullets. You can count on it to protect your home from flying debris hurled by the heavy winds.

Hurricane window screens can be set in place temporarily by straps and buckles, or permanently through systems that roll up and down over a window. If you live in an area where hurricanes are frequent during the season, investing in a permanent system might be best for you.

The average cost of hurricane screens ranges from $20 to $30 per square foot, with the total depending on the number of windows and additional area you wish to cover. The total cost can rise if you wish to include motorized or UV deflecting options.

Are Hurricane Screens Effective?

Hurricane screens are tested in several areas, from wind to debris resistance. They must meet very strict standards of resistance, including being able to handle a 2" x 4" being thrown at it at 34 miles per hour. They're a sure method of protection that can handle most of what a hurricane throws your way.