High winds and heavy rain are a part of life year-round in South Florida. Hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, is the most dangerous time of the year. These storms can cause extreme damage to buildings. Windows and doors take the first beating from hurricanes, and sliding glass doors security requires particular attention.
Without proper protection, windows and doors are easily damaged by high winds (some exceeding 120 miles per hour) and airborne debris. This leads to property damage, water damage, and risk of personal injury. If the winds are high enough, they can raise air pressure and destabilize the walls and roof of the structure, with devastating results.
Sliding glass door security is of particular importance due to their size and structure. To minimize hurricane damage, take steps before the storm to protect your sliding glass doors and home.
Here are the steps to protect sliding glass doors in a hurricane.
Hurricane protection: sliding glass doors
Install high-impact resistant glass doors. This is the most important and effective step to take when preparing your home for hurricanes. For many homes and buildings in South Florida, building codes already require hurricane-tested glass and windows. High-impact glass, known simply as impact glass, is crafted with a plastic film between two panes of tempered glass.
Even if your home isn’t in an area with strict building codes, impact glass is the safest and best choice. Its composition means it is very resistant to damage, but even in direct impact, won’t shatter, so it’s much less hazardous than traditional glass. In addition to maximum storm protection, impact doors offer the added benefits of extra security and soundproofing.
In addition to installing impact glass, there are other steps to take to protect sliding glass doors in a hurricane. Whether you have impact glass installed or not, here are two additional protective steps to hurricane-proof your windows and doors.
How to secure a sliding glass door
This option is quicker and more cost-effective than installing impact glass. Applying a hurricane film to your glass doors helps protect it from shattering if it’s hit by flying debris in a storm. The plastic coating is applied directly to the glass doors and doesn’t affect their appearance. However, hurricane film is no substitute for impact doors: while it does prevent dangerous shattering, hurricane film does not reinforce the frame, so it won’t protect the window from being blown from the frame.
Installing hurricane-proof shutters is a permanent solution for storm protection. These shutters are available in roll-up and accordion designs and are permanently attached to the home exterior. Storm shutters are made from translucent or perforated materials to let light in and can be made from aluminum, aluminum-wrapped foam or reinforced fabric.
For many people, imagining hurricane preparations conjures up images of homeowners nailing pieces of plywood over their windows. This can be done to protect windows and sliding glass doors from an impending hurricane or to help mitigate further damage after impact. Plywood is not as secure as other options and is more labor-intensive, especially during particularly active hurricane seasons. Furthermore, no light penetrates the plywood, creating a very dark and gloomy ambiance during a storm.
South Florida’s unforgiving climate demands a special focus on sliding glass door security. It’s imperative that residents take proper precautions for their windows and doors to minimize damage and ensure not to invalidate their homeowner’s insurance policy.
At Ocean Impact, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality, affordable hurricane windows and doors and installing them with the utmost professionalism and care. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us today for an estimate.