How to board up your windows ahead of a severe storm

Living808

It’s supposed to be a busy hurricane season, so make sure you plan ahead and are prepared.

Experts say windows are weak links in your home’s defense against storm winds, so in today’s ‘Fix It Friday,’ we learn how to board them up.

“It’s more for protection of flying debris. Around Hawaii we tend to store things around our house and things can fly so we want to protect ourselves from especially the bigger windows,” said Paul Onaka of the construction company Lend Lease.

First, measure your windows so you know your size and “identify also what type of material you’re screwing into so you have the proper fastener,” Onaka said, noting that different materials, like concrete and plaster, require different types of fasteners.

Using a ledger will help, especially if you are boarding windows by yourself.

Choose plywood that is solid, but not too thick. Onaka is using 5/8-inch-thick sheets today.

Leave three inches of overlap on each side of the window and use cleats to seal the panels together.

“Hurricane professionals say they don’t really recommend using tape because it actually causes the glass to break into larger pieces instead of dropping in smaller pieces,” Onaka said. “A lot of your large windows that are tempered glass which they’re made like an automobile, when they get impacted, it’ll shatter in a million pieces so it doesn’t hurt you.”

The boards can be saved and used again.

If you choose not to board up your windows, Onaka recommends applying some sort of window film for protection.

You can shop for all of your hardware needs at Ace Hardware.

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