Tornado Season – How to Protect Your Windows

Welcome to tornado country, Dorothy! Tornados and storms with high-speed winds can sometimes cause detrimental damage if you’re not prepared. Broken windows and shattered glass is not something you need to worry about on top of possible flying debris! In this article, you’ll learn about how to prepare your windows for the fall and winter seasons so you can weather any kind of storm.

If you want to get a head start on protecting your home, look at your pre-existing storm windows. Ensure that they don’t have any damage (cracks, chips, leaks). If your storm windows are damaged, you might be able to get them repaired. Check out Kryger Glass for repairing and replacing your storm windows. 

No more asking, “How do you secure windows during a storm?” The steps you can take to protect yourself and tornado-proof your windows include: installing storm windows, plywood barriers, storm shutters, hurricane fabric, or security window film. 

Learn more about what materials can stop a tornado to prevent window damage by reading on! 

Storm Windows

A storm window is an extra set of framed glass that goes on the interior or exterior of your home’s windows. They are an inexpensive alternative to replacement windows, offering homeowners a way to save on utility bills without breaking the bank. Exterior storm windows also provide protection to your home’s windows in case of damage from a storm or tornado. 

Pros

  • They trap in heat and cool air, saving you money on utility bills
  • Replacing storm windows after a storm is easy – just bring in the window to your local window repair and replacement company. Find out how to do this here.
  • Storm windows are cheaper to replace than mounted windows

Cons

  • They need to be maintained and checked for leaks and damage
  • Wear and tear is common over time

Plywood Barriers

Plywood is a strong and sturdy material that you can use for extra protection during a tornado. Plywood is cheap, durable, and easily replaceable. It acts as a barrier between gusting winds and your windows. 

Pros

  • Easily accessible – plywood can be found at most hardware stores
  • Inexpensive – ranging from $5-$45 per 4×8 foot sheet depending on your demographic area
  • Replaceable – buy extra to store in the garage in case a storm destroys a sheet
  • No need for professionals to enter your home – plywood installation can be DIY!

Cons

  • Takes time to put up and prepare beforehand
  • Physical labor is involved, and some heavy lifting is required
  • The plywood needs to be hammered into your window frames, causing some cosmetic damage
  • Lighting inside the home will be affected – be prepared with candles and flashlights

Storm Shutters

Storm shutters are not always for decoration like you may have seen – shutters can serve an important purpose that helps to protect your windows during a storm or tornado. Storm shutters can be made from several different kinds of material, including aluminum, steel, wood, or hard plastics. 

Pros

  • Can be aesthetically pleasing and able to be painted to add flair to your home
  • Can open and close on demand
  • Ideal for hurricane protection

Cons

  • Costly – expect to pay upwards of $200 per window, depending on the type of shutters you choose
  • May require professional installation, an added cost 
  • When rolled down, the light in your home will be affected

Impact-Resistant Windows 

High-impact windows are made from a special material that aid in the protection of your home and aims to avoid broken glass. These windows are generally made with two sheets of tempered glass and held together with polymer chemicals and then heated to secure the two panes together, adding an extra layer of protection against high winds and debris. 

Pros

  • A popular option in the Midwest, sold at most hardware stores
  • Looks like a regular window and doesn’t compromise the lighting inside your home
  • Protects against wind and debris

Cons

  • Costly – expect to pay anywhere from $300-600 for each window
  • Professional installation is strongly recommended – proper fitting of these windows is essential for your safety

Extra Tips

If you’re new to the area and just bought a home in tornado country, you might be asking what you can do, or what to expect during tornado season. 

  • Locals in your neighborhood might be willing to offer you and your family some advice on what to do during a possible tornado, and the steps you can take to protect your home. 
  • Look at neighboring houses and notice possible double-paned windows or shutters. 
  • Have a storm readiness kit in case of flooding or broken glass – tarps, battery-operated lighting, towels, etc. 
  • Check for local storm shelters in your area
  • Always have a plan of action for you and your family

Whether you’ve just moved into a tornado heavy area, or you’re trying to replace or repair a damaged window, we hope this article has helped you prepare for possible storm damage. Remember that your safety is important, and these extra measures are worth the investment in your life! 

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