Hurricane

Don’t have shutters or hurricane-impact windows? You may want to do this instead

If you don’t have shutters or hurricane impact windows, using plywood to board up your windows is the next step.
If you don’t have shutters or hurricane impact windows, using plywood to board up your windows is the next step. AP

Some homes have shutters. Others have hurricane-impact windows.

But what can you do if your home has neither?

The answer is simple: Buy some plywood and board up your windows.

While this might seem like an ominous task for the average person, it’s not as difficult as you would think.

To help, we’ve condensed Lowes’ three-minute tutorial to eight steps.

Just be sure to check with your homeowner association or the local building codes before doing anything.

  1. Count and measure windows: Know how many windows you have then record the height and width of each window casing. If you plan on using tension clips, subtract .25-inches from both figures. If you plan on using nails, add 10-inches to both figures unless there’s a window sill which requires adding only 5-inches to the height.
  2. Get plywood: Take measurements to a local hardware store and an associate will determine how much plywood you need based on the number of windows. If the plywood is not rot resistant, water sealer may need to be purchased for extended use.
  3. Choose attachment mechanism: You can attach the panel with either nails or tension clips. If you choose nails, skip to the bottom. Remember — clips work only on wood, stucco or brick surfaces with recessed window openings.

  4. Cut and label plywood: Trim it to fit each window frame then name each panel based on its corresponding window.

  5. Apply water sealer: Again, only use if the wood isn’t rot resistant.
  6. Attach tension clips: With the rigid side facing toward you, use a hammer to attach the clips along the edges of the plywood. Clips should be no more than 24-inches a part. Two by two panels only need two clips.
  7. Place plywood in casing: Push the plywood into the casing, ensuring that the clips are grip the surface.
  8. Removal: After the storm, push the plywood into the casing while simultaneously lifting out the clips’ tension legs on one side. The plywood should come right out.

Nails:

  1. Choose type of nail: You have three choices — concrete screws, anchor screws with wingnuts or lag screws with anchors.

  2. Cut and label plywood: Trim it to fit each window frame then name each panel based on its corresponding window.
  3. Apply water sealer: Again, only use if the wood isn’t rot resistant.
  4. Mark holes: Use a writing utensil to mark holes at least 1.5-inches from the edge of the board. Then make similar marks around the board every 12-inches.
  5. Locate window frame studs: Use a stud finder to find the studs around the window then align the holes on the board so they’ll hit the center of the studs.
  6. Make holes: Drill through each of the marks holes through each of the marks.

  7. Align board/ attach screws: Place the board up against the window and drill through the holes into the surface.Then drive screws into each hole.
  8. Removal: After the storm, remove the screws then the plywood.

Requires a drill, masonry bit and stud finder

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.
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