Tips for Boarding up Your Windows before a Hurricane

The hurricane season in Florida starts from June and lasts until November. It is imperative that you take all the preventive measures before and during the hurricane season. Boarding up the windows of your home can considerably reduce the chance of damage caused by wind and water. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that you should use five-eighths-inch marine plywood to board up your windows. However, it is important to understand that this preventive measure provides a temporary protection against hurricanes. It is highly advised that you should use more solid and durable structures such as steel shutters, especially if you live in areas, like Florida, which are more likely to experience a high-intensity hurricane.

Other things that you will require for boarding up your windows are gloves, safety goggles, tape measure, circular saw, framing square, pencil, drill and drill bits, ¼-inch lag screws (for houses with wood frame structure), ¼-inch expansion bolts, wrench, hammer, nuts, masonry anchors, wood anchors and large washers.

1. Count the number of windows in your homes and use the tape measure to determine the width and height of each window. Add 8-inch to both the width and the height.

2. Take the circular saw and cut the board as per measurements you have taken. Wear the gloves and safety goggles while doing so to prevent the wooden splinters from piercing into your hands and injuring your eyes. Use the framing square to get a straight cut.

3. Now take the drill and use drill bits corresponding to the diameter of the screws or bolts to drill the holes. The holes should be 2-inch in from the edge of the board at every corner. Drill the holes all-around the panel by keeping twelve-inch gaps between them. For example, drill one hole at the top right edge of the panel, then measure down twelve inches and drill another one. Keep on repeating this process until you have drilled the holes around the whole board panel.

4. Position the drilled board in place firmly and use the pencil to mark opening of the holes.

5. Now secure the board on all four sides. If you are securing the board on a wooden frame house and windows measuring 3-by-4 feet or smaller, then apply plastic-coated permanent anchor. Place a washer and use the wrench to tighten ¼-inch lag screws into each hole. For windows larger than 3-by-4, use 3/8-inch lag screws. For securing the board to masonry house with windows 3-by-4 feet or smaller, apply galvanized permanent expansion anchor and use ¼-inch expansion bolts. Use the hammer to pound in the screws. For bigger windows, use 3/8-inch expansion bolts.

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