Why and How to Board Up Windows for Hurricane Protection

Wondering if you should board up your home or businesses windows in advance of a hurricane? The simple answer is yes, and as early as possible!

Unlike a tornado or an earthquake, weather forecasters can accurately predict the likely path and strength of a hurricane well in advance of the storm’s landing. This advanced notice provides home and business owners ample time to prepare for the storm. One of these key preparations is the boarding up of windows and doors to protect them from wind damage and flying debris. Boarding up doors and windows won’t prevent all damage but can help you avoid some of the repairs associated with large storms.

Read on to learn how to board up your home or businesses windows in advance of a hurricane or tropical storm.

How to Board Up Windows for Hurricanes

The key to boarding up your doors and windows effectively for a hurricane is to do it as early as you can. During hurricane season, important supplies can be hard to find, and prices may skyrocket due to the high demand. Avoid a run on key supplies, like plywood, by stocking up throughout the year. Supplies to keep on hand include:

  • Plywood
  • Circular Saw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Drill
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Window Clips

If you don’t have supplies on hand, we recommend heading to the store as soon as a storm is predicted.

After you’ve gathered the aforementioned supplies, follow these steps to board up your windows:

  1. Measure the Plywood

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) recommends using plywood that is 5/8 of an inch thick. When measuring the plywood for your windows or doors, be sure to add an additional four inches per side if your home has vinyl siding, as you’ll want to protect the windows from being blown out. After you know how much plywood you’ll need, cut out the pieces using a circular saw. It’s best to do this outside before the bad weather hits, so begin the process as soon as you know a hurricane is coming.

  1. Drill Holes in the Plywood

Using your drill, make holes in your plywood the same diameter size as the screws your using. You’ll want to drill the holes two inches from the edge of each corner of plywood and in 12-inch intervals around each panel.

  1. Mark Your Plywood

Holding your plywood up against the window you’ll be boarding up, mark where you’ll need to place your mounting screws. On the plywood panel, write which window or door it’ll be used for.

This process can be done at any time during the year. If you have time to plan, measure, cut and label your window and door covers. Be sure to store them in a safe, dry place until you need them. If time allows, consider coating your plywood with paint or sealant to waterproof.

  1. Secure Your Boards

Once you’re ready to board up your home or businesses windows and doors, use the marked panels to cover the corresponding openings. Carefully screw in each panel and check that each board is secured tightly.

Before or After the Storm, Let Glass Doctor Fix Your Panes

Whether you’re prepping for an impending storm or planning for hurricane season, it’s a good idea to thoroughly check each window for signs of damage or deterioration. If you need window or door repair or replacement before OR after a storm, you need Glass Doctor. Our local technicians are available for 24/7 emergency service. Call (866) 802-3359 or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

There are many things you can do to protect the exterior of your home -- including pruning and landscaping. Learn why pruning is vital to the health and safety of your home from the experts at The Grounds Guys. Like Glass Doctor, The Grounds Guys is a trusted member of the Neighborly® community of home services brands.