How Do You Protect A Door From a Hurricane?

Hurricane Protection for DoorIf you’re wondering how to protect a door from a hurricane, there are a few ways, and they all involve preparing well in advance of the storm. Once you’re protected though, you won’t need much time to make sure you’re hurricane ready each season. You’ll need to shop in advance and install hardware to make the installation easier, but your home will be protected during the storm.

Check for Loose Bolts or Hinges

You need to make sure that your exterior doors are secured to the house’s wall frame, not just the door jamb. As a side benefit, securing your doors will keep you safe from burglars too. Short hinge screws should be replaced with longer screws that will anchor the door more securely. The door that is secured to the wall frame will take more of a beating and remain standing. If you have double French doors, the barrel bolts should be at least one inch. The doors will rattle in the wind and might shift. Longer bolts will keep the door bolts seated in their slots. If you have the required length of bolts and screws for the hinges, circle the house to be sure that none of them are loose. This can happen over the course of a few months with heavy traffic.

Plywood Barriers

Often, you’ll see people on the news slapping masking tape across windows and glass doors. This will keep the glass from flying into the home, but it does nothing to protect the doors.¬†You’ll want something tougher and more durable to protect your doors. It’ll cost a few dollars per square foot to buy a piece of plywood at the home improvement store. This should be done long before hurricane season since you’ll have to buy the plywood and install it. Once you buy the wood, you can install anchors around the doors to easily and quickly install the wood before a hurricane hits. The plywood should overlap the door’s edges by six to eight inches for full protection. The plywood will protect your doors from flying debris better than flimsy masking tape. After each season, you can store them in the garage or basement until the next hurricane.

Sliding Glass Doors

During a hurricane, you’ll have to worry about more than the front exterior door. If you have sliding glass doors, you’ll have to cover those as well. Buying plywood to stretch across one or two sets of sliding glass doors can be expensive. Instead of buying plywood, you can replace the glass in them with high-impact glass. These doors are made with two sheets of tempered glass with an insert of plastic between them to reinforce the glass. You won’t have to worry about them before a hurricane. They can be left up all year since they look as beautiful as regular sliding glass doors. They can be costly, but they will protect your home in every storm with no extra work on your part. If you don’t want to replace the glass in your existing sliding glass doors, you can buy storm shutters installed over the doors. FEMA recommends that you check your local building codes before installing permanent shutters on your home.

Clear Yard Debris

The biggest way to save your home is to remove debris from the yard before the storm. Outdoor furniture can become a projectile when winds howl at over 100 miles per hour. Kids toys should be taken indoors. If the object can’t be removed, try to cover it as best you can or strap it down to the ground. Check the trees around your property. Loose branches should be taken down before they can be ripped down and thrown by the wind. You may not be able to control the debris from your neighbor’s yard, but you can protect yourself as much as possible by removing the hazards in your own yard. All movable objects can be stored in the garage until the end of the storm.

If you’re wondering how to protect a door from a hurricane, you’ll have to choose the solution that works best for you. Plywood coverings are the best choice, since they’re inexpensive and only require installation. Longer screw hinges will help keep your door seated in its frame. If you have sliding glass doors, you’ll have to decide whether you want to buy long sheets of plywood or install metal shutters from a company. The choice is up to your budget and your ability to perform the work yourself. Contractors can be hired for much of this preventative work on your home too.

Related Resource: Install Hurricane Shutters