During a storm, unprotected window glass can be broken by high winds and windblown debris. Once penetrated, window and door openings allow rain, debris, and wind into the home causing damage. Wind can raise interior pressure significantly and major structural damage may occur. The roof may detach from the structure and leave the home open to weather conditions and further damage. One method of protecting window openings is to install permanent impact resistant shutters. The installation of permanent impact resistant shutters is the most reliable means of protection; however, there are other methods which include using temporary wood or impact resistant polycarbonate covers or replacing existing windows with impact-resistant windows.
Permanent hurricane shutters may be installed at anytime because windows are easily accessible from the exterior of a house. Precut shutters of metal or impact resistant polycarbonate can be purchase with the tracks for installation permanently mounted on the home. When needed, the shutters can be quickly installed using a few simple tools. Cost will vary by design and feature, but expect to pay more than the cost of replacement windows — up to $50 per square foot for operable permanent shutters that are impact rated. Shutters should have the capability of being opened and closed from within the house, without electrical power, in order to provide maximum benefit. Consult with your contractor about this and other safety features that can be incorporated in your next remodeling project.