With hurricane season swiftly approaching and many homes right in the path of these monsters, you are probably stocking up on supplies such as hurricane shutters to protect your home.
Hurricane shutters can be ordered through local stores or online, or you can make some of your own. If you opt to make some of your own, here are some basic tips for you to remember so your homemade hurricane shutters will hold up through the storm:
1. When purchasing the plywood for your hurricane shutters, make sure that you get at least ¾ inch or 5/8 inch exterior plywood that is sturdy and has no cracks, cuts, or other imperfections in it. The stronger the plywood that you use, the better protected the vulnerable parts of your home will be.
2. Make sure that you purchase 3 inch, or larger, heavy duty bolts to secure the plywood to the outside of the windows. If the window is a smaller one, you will only need four bolts to secure it to the outside of the window. If the window is a larger one, you will need six to eight bolts to ensure that the plywood is secure and won’t have any place to come loose. Try to place the bolts about every two feet, if possible.
3. Make sure that the plywood is cut to the correct size to fit the window. Measure each window and make the appropriate cuts to ensure that the wood will fit snuggly into the window frame. Mark each piece of wood as it is cut so you will know the following: which window it goes on, and the top, bottom, front, and back of each piece of wood.
4. When you are screwing the bolts to the wood, make sure that you measure exactly where they need to go on the wood by holding the piece into the window and marking where the bolts need to go, both on the window and the frame. This way, you aren’t making last minute adjustments when you don’t have the time.
5. When drilling the holes for the bolts, make sure that you use a drill bit that will ensure a snug fit for the screws. If the hole are too large, the screws won’t fit properly and all your work will have been for nothing if the shutter comes loose during the storm.
6. Once you have completed the measuring, cutting, and placing the bolts on the pieces of plywood, you can always waterproof them or varnish them to keep them from deteriorating during the water and wind that is sure to come with the storm. This will also save you some money in the long run, as you can reuse these hurricane shutters again if they are not damaged too much during the storm.
Just remember that no matter what type of wood, bolts, and varnish you use, a hurricane shutter is only as good as you make it. The more time that you can devote to ensuring that you have a great fit for each window, the better these homemade hurricane shutters will be, and the better the interior of your home will be protected.
So, take your time and make sure that you do everything right so you will be able to rest easy knowing your home is protected from the storm’s fury.
Jerry Cahill is a writer/publisher and webmaster. Recent website on hurricane shutters