Best Alternatives To Boarding Up Windows Against Hurricanes


When it comes to safeguarding your windows from the destructive force of hurricanes, many homeowners immediately think of boarding them up. However, there are alternative methods, such as impact-resistant windows and hurricane shutters, that not only provide effective protection but also maintain the aesthetic appeal of your home. In this article, we’ll explore an alternative to boarding up windows for hurricane protection for your family.

What is a Boarding-up a Window?

Before delving into the alternatives, it’s essential to grasp what boarding up windows entails. Boarding up windows typically involves covering them with plywood or similar materials to prevent access and enhance security. While it may be effective, it can often detract from the visual appeal of your home. Before delving into alternatives, it’s important to understand the conventional method of boarding up windows. Boarding up windows typically involves using materials like 5/8-inch thick plywood, as recommended by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH). This practice helps prevent access and enhance security, but it often diminishes the visual appeal of your home.

A man currently working on setting up a boarding-up window.

Is Window Boarding Necessary for a Category 3 Hurricane?

The question of whether window boarding is necessary for a Category 3 hurricane is a crucial consideration for residents in hurricane-prone regions. Category 3 hurricanes bring 111-129 mph winds, causing flying debris and structural damage. While the decision to board up windows depends on various factors, such as the location and construction of your home, it’s generally advisable to take precautions. Window boarding can serve as a protective barrier against the potential impact of airborne objects and debris, reducing the risk of shattered glass and subsequent interior damage. It’s a prudent step in safeguarding your property and, more importantly, the safety of occupants during such a powerful storm. However, individual circumstances may vary, so consulting with local authorities and following their recommendations is essential to make an informed decision tailored to your specific situation.

Why Opt for an Alternative Method to Boarding Up Windows for Hurricane Protection?

When it comes to hurricane protection, opting for an alternative method to boarding up windows makes even more sense. Hurricane conditions demand swift action, and traditional boarding methods can be time-consuming and physically demanding during such stressful situations. Hurricane shutters, impact-resistant windows, and reinforced glass offer superior protection with quick deployment. They are specifically designed to withstand the forces of a hurricane, reducing the risk of structural damage and keeping occupants safe. Moreover, these alternatives can enhance the aesthetics of a property, seamlessly blending with its design while ensuring peace of mind during hurricane season. In the face of a hurricane’s destructive potential, choosing an alternative method for window protection proves to be a more efficient, reliable, and visually appealing solution.

Steel hurricane shutters mounted for Florida's pre-disaster window protection as an alternative to boarding up windows

Best Alternatives To Boarding-up Windows For Hurricane Protection

  1. Hurricane Impact Windows: Hurricane impact windows, also known as laminated or safety glass, consist of multiple layers of glass bonded with a durable interlayer. This construction makes them highly resistant to impact and prevents shattering, even in severe weather conditions. Impact windows offer excellent protection against both hurricanes and intruders, all while maintaining the beauty of your home.
  2. Security Shutters: Security shutters are robust, retractable barriers that cover windows and doors. Crafted from materials like aluminum or steel, they create a physical barrier against extreme weather and unauthorized access. Whether manually operated or motorized, security shutters provide both protection and peace of mind without compromising aesthetics.
  3. Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels: Transparent and ultra-strong, polycarbonate hurricane panels are a modern alternative to traditional boarding up. These impact-resistant panels effectively safeguard your windows from hurricane-force winds and debris while allowing natural light to filter through. Their transparent design ensures that your home’s appearance remains intact.
  4. Accordion Shutters: Accordion shutters are another durable choice for hurricane protection. They are permanently attached to the sides of your windows, providing quick and easy deployment when needed. Accordion shutters offer excellent protection while blending seamlessly with your home’s exterior.
  5. Impact-Resistant Film: Impact-resistant film is a transparent layer applied directly to your windows. While nearly invisible, it significantly strengthens the glass, making it highly resistant to shattering during hurricanes. This solution also helps protect against UV rays and reduces glare.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Aside from considering and choosing alternatives to window boarding, it’s crucial to prioritize various maintenance tasks to enhance property security.

A wind mitigation inspection is a highly recommended maintenance measure for enhancing hurricane protection. This inspection assesses structural features and identifies areas to fortify against strong winds and reduce hurricane-related damage.

Reinforcing door frames and upgrading locks can significantly improve your home’s security against hurricanes. Reinforced frames and high-quality locks provide an additional layer of protection against break-ins and strong winds during hurricanes, while a post-storm inspection can be scheduled to assess the extent of damage and plan for necessary repairs and improvements.

Preparing your home prior to a storm or hurricane is crucial. Installing security alarms and surveillance systems can be a valuable asset in safeguarding your property. These systems not only act as a deterrent to potential threats but also allow for remote monitoring, enhancing your overall peace of mind.

Overhanging tree branches can pose a significant risk during storms, potentially causing damage to windows and roofs. Trimming branches near windows and the roofline minimizes hazards and prevents costly repairs.

These measures collectively contribute to a safer and more secure property environment, minimizing potential threats and damages.

When Do I Call A Professional?

While opting for an alternative to boarding up windows, it’s crucial to recognize when professional assistance becomes necessary. Experienced professionals should perform complicated installations, such as impact-resistant glass or security shutters, to ensure proper function and safety.


Many homeowners commonly use boarding-up windows as a method to protect against damage or trespassing during hurricanes. However, there are more visually appealing and effective alternatives available, such as impact-resistant windows and hurricane shutters. Enhance security while preserving property aesthetics through alternatives and maintenance measures like inspections, door frame reinforcement, security systems, and tree branch trimming. Remember to seek professional assistance when necessary to ensure proper installation and optimal security measures. For residents in Miami, FL, and surrounding areas, Infinity Inspection Services can help with home inspections, providing an additional layer of protection and peace of mind during hurricane season.