If your house is in an area prone to hurricanes, there is no other: you must invest in a professionally designed and installed protection system. Covering windows with plywood or triplay boards is not a suitable solution.
There are different systems available, each with its own characteristics and advantages. Later in this article, we will explain the main options but first we must consider your specific needs and priorities.
1. Do you live all year in the property?
If you live in this house throughout the year, it is very likely that you will find yourself in it in the days before the arrival of a hurricane, and you can make last-minute preparations and install it yourself.
If it is your holiday home, you may consider an option that allows you to leave your property completely closed and protected during your absences. Or even opt for a system that can be activated remotely via a cell phone! (Later we return to this option).
2. What kind of spaces do you need to protect?
Windows and doors obviously, but you also have to take into account patios, terraces, balconies, bedrooms, corridors and other openings. A reliable and responsible provider will provide you with a professional evaluation at no cost, and will recommend a solution that provides optimal protection at a reasonable cost.
3. Do you have enough space to store a deployable system?
Some options are permanently installed, or require very little storage space. However, others require adequate storage space. Before requesting removable aluminum or polycarbonate panels, for example, it should be taken into account where they will be stored when not in use.
4. How necessary is to consider security?
If your house is located within a closed residencial development and it is safely throughout the year, it is likely that you are not particularly concerned about theft and acts of vandalism. However, any home may be at risk if left unoccupied for long periods of time; and in the days after a hurricane, the risks of looting are high.
Some systems offer high protection against theft; others little or none. It is necessary to determine if this risk is an important consideration in your case.
5. Ease of installation
None of the main systems is difficult to install, and in almost all cases the installation requires only a screwdriver and a ladder. However, some materials weigh more than others, so assembly may require two people.
In addition, if your house or apartment has windows at the top, it is necessary to consider who will place the coverage and how. Do you have a ladder that reaches? Or are you afraid of heights? In these cases, a good option is to acquire an operable system with remote control.
6. Are you claustrophobic?
Among the main options available in the market, there are two that allow you to view outside during the storm. Others block the light completely, and therefore leave you completely dark inside your home. If you have not experienced a major hurricane, you may not appreciate how important this point can be.
One of the most disturbing aspects of a hurricane is the deafening noise it causes – the howling of the wind, the crash of structures and vehicles, the creaking of trees and lampposts, and the rumble of the impacts of objects flying in the wind . It can be scary. For many, being able to see out during the hurricane significantly reduces anxiety.
7. Do loud noises alarm your family members or your pets?
This is another very important factor of the material used. Some materials, such as aluminum, can make direct impacts sound worse than they really are. At the other end, the fabric of the anticyclonic canvases acts as a sound absorber, and reduces the noise of bursts and impacts of objects by more than 95%.
8. Is the price a factor?
Actually, this question hides another more important one. The real question is: can you pay for the repair of the damage caused by a hurricane?
If a window or a door gives way to the onslaught of wind and debris, it is very likely that as the storm stops, you have lost many belongings and furniture. You could even lose everything.
The interior or exterior walls are also not without risk, as is the ceiling.
Needless to say, in such a situation, anyone inside the house is in danger of losing their lives.
No good system is cheap, but they are not as expensive as you might think. In any case, regardless of the fact that they protect you from the extraordinary costs of repair and cleaning after a hurricane, all protection systems pay for themselves in other ways. On the one hand, they increase the value of your property and are a great attraction when the time comes to sell. In addition, most insurers will apply a discount to your disaster insurance cost if you have a professionally installed protection system.
These are the main considerations to take into account when deciding which solution suits your property and your circumstances the best.
Any prestigious provider will review all these issues with you and make recommendations based on the type of property you own, your lifestyle and your budget. Companies like Huracán Sin Peligro, with many years of experience and hundreds of installations under their belt, will evaluate your property and its risks, and will make a proposal with recommendations and a quote – all without cost.
What are the most recommended systems?
They are made of a flexible material, similar to Kevlar, which offers total protection, since the objects that will impact the canvas literally bounce. This material has been tested with hurricane winds of category 5 and even more intense. The screens are translucent, so you can clearly see everything that is happening outside. Each one will be tailored to the opening it will protect. Storage require little space, and are very easy to install. Another benefit: they reduce the sound almost to zero.
Although they are custom made and offer maximum protection, they are less expensive than most aluminum solutions.
Find more information and photographs of the anticyclonic screens here.
Aluminum roll down shutters, European type
These aluminum shutters are extremely strong and very easy to operate, as they remain permanently installed. The aluminum shutter is rolled up and stored in its permanent container on doors and windows.
They are equipped with an electric motor, so they can be operated from inside the house. Even these systems allow you to open and close the shutters remotely if you are outside the city.
In the closed position, they completely block the light, and offer excellent protection against theft and vandalism.
See more details of the Aluminum roll down shutters, European type by clicking here.
These panels can be purchased in polycarbonate, galvanized steel or white aluminum. They are light, very easy to install and in the case of polycarbonate, they are transparent. This material is 200 times stronger than glass, but is very light, extremely resistant and not prone to impact dents, unlike aluminum.
They are not designed to be installed permanently, so it is necessary to consider a storage space for them. That said, they are relatively thin, and can be stacked together.
See more information about storm panels here.
Any of these systems will offer great protection to your property and your family. You can choose a system, or a combination of two or more.
In any case, it is very important to contact a professional to evaluate your property and offer you their recommendations. All these systems are custom made, so you have to take into account the delivery time; If a hurricane has already formed and is moving towards you, it is too late to ask for a protection system like these. The hurricane season has already begun, so don’t delay!
If you live in a hurricane zone, there are other things you must do to keep your family, pets, possessions and property safe.
You will find some useful tips on our blog.