We are starting to come to the end of hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. A moderate hurricane draws millions of miles of air and can produce trillions of gallons of rain each day. Nearly two hundred hurricanes made landfall across the United States through the twentieth century, the majority of them striking in Florida. Not all storms develop into hurricanes, though ten tropical storms in a row became hurricanes in 2017, more than ever before. Not only can a hurricane generate unfathomable amounts of energy (seven trillion watts for hurricane Irma), but they frequently leave tornados in their wake. As we roll through the final weeks of this potentially devastating storm season, it’s a good time to consider options for the most vulnerable elements of your property, especially any sliding glass door systems.
Vulnerable Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are the most vulnerable parts of any property sustaining the high winds and driving rain of a hurricane. Most property owners can effectively secure doors and smaller windows, or the installed door windows are already prepared to be hurricane proof or hurricane resistant. But larger windows and sliding glass door systems are another matter. Even a minor compromise to sliding glass door systems can lead to increased wind and water penetration and, ultimately, rampant damage. There are effective ways to secure sliding glass door systems in the event of a hurricane, however. Read on for a few tips that will keep sliding glass door systems secure during the most devastating of storms.
Install Sliding Glass Door Systems That Utilize High Impact Glass
The most important preparation that can be made is to install sliding glass door systems which utilize high impact glass windows. There is no more important or effective step to take than installing impact resistant sliding glass doors from a qualified U.S. windows and doors manufacturer. For a number of properties in Florida, building and housing codes make hurricane proof doors and windows mandatory.
If the sliding glass door systems that need to be secured haven’t been installed with hurricane proof windows, there are still some less effective but helpful precautions that can be taken.
Boarding Windows and Doors
Boarded-up windows and doors are likely a familiar trope from films and television shows with prominent storms and hurricanes. While it isn’t practical or always effective, using plywood or other spare lumber to secure windows and doors against wind, rain, and airborne detritus is an inexpensive last resort for protecting property from hurricane damage.
While storm shutters are effective against hurricanes and other dangerous storms, they are permanent and often considered and an eyesore, impacting a property’s curb appeal. They’re manufactured from aluminum or reinforced materials, are widely available in a number of forms and installed with relative ease. Storm shutters can be relatively transparent, an advantage over boarded windows.
Easier to install, cheaper, and more versatile than boarded windows or storm shutter, hurricane film is a protective coating applied to windows, doors, and sliding glass door systems to keep them from shattering in the event of a damaging impact. It is also non-intrusive and has only a marginal effect on the appearance of your doors or windows. It does nothing to reinforce the structure of sliding glass door systems, however, and isn’t nearly as effective as hurricane protection as sliding glass doors manufactured with high impact glass.
Floridians are used to preparing for hurricane season. And they’re used to focusing on the vulnerable parts of their properties and taking the necessary precautions. When it comes to sliding glass door systems, however, no precaution is as effective as expertly installed impact resistant sliding glass doors and sliding glass door systems. Be sure that your new construction is ready for Florida’s hurricane system by using a glass door system from a reputable hurricane proof windows manufacturer.