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Should I Open My Windows During a Hurricane?

Posted by Jimmy Hawley on Apr 29, 2015 2:30:00 PM

Being prepared is the best option for any natural disaster, and hurricanes are no exception. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about hurricane protection and preparedness.

Should I Open My Windows During a Hurricane?

For example, one of the biggest myths is that cracking your windows during a hurricane will stabilize the pressure in your home. However, the last thing you want to do in the middle of a hurricane is to open your windows.

Here's some reasons why you should keep your windows tightly sealed during a storm:

Opening your windows during a storm allows wind, water and debris to enter and cause interior damage to your home.

Even cracking your windows can have detrimental effects on your home, allowing in wicked winds, rain and storm debris. In fact, respected sources such as the National Weather Service advise tightly sealing windows during a hurricane as one of their core safety action steps.

For starters, opening your windows during a storm will only increase the likelihood of moisture and flood damage. Even a few inches of water in your home can result in thousands of dollars of costly repairs. If you don't already have a flood insurance policy, the price tag will likely be even higher.

Additionally, when your windows are open, flying debris is more likely to enter your home. This will not only cause damage to the inside of your home, but it can also cause injury to yourself or your family.

Opening your windows during a hurricane or tornado can cause large-scale structural damage to your house.

When air enters your home with a significant amount of force, it will need a way to exit. If the wind is strong enough, it may blow the roof off of your home! How? Wind travels over top of your home at extremely high speeds. Combine this with additional wind inside your home, and you're causing an effect that's similar to the force that allows airplane wings to generate lift.

Even if your roof doesn't blow off, opening your windows can still cause extensive damage the interior structure of your home. Houses aren't airtight— with openings all throughout for wind to travel— possibly causing neighboring windows or doors, even entire walls, to blow out. Hurricane windows which are tightly sealed should be safe, but for optimal protection, find a room in your home without windows, such as a bathroom or closet, and don't come out until the storm has passed.

The damage caused by opening your windows can also affect your neighbors’ homes.

Not only would a “fly away” roof— or part of your roof— threaten all your home’s contents and your family inside, but nearby properties may be affected. If part any piece of your home, let’s say a door or shingles, collide into your neighbor’s home, the damage could spread beyond just your lawn.

Taping or padding your windows during a storm is pretty much useless.

Up until the 1980s, the National Hurricane Center advised putting masking tape on your windows as additional protection against storms. After a series of tests, the official government advice was modified, finding it did little to protect against storm damage.

Interior padding of any sort won’t help either, as if the window is comprised, winds and pressure are sure to blow it away. The best way to add extra protection surrounding the windows is to add hurricane shutters to the outside of your home, ones which have been rated for storm strength— and definitely not something you built from scratch. Instead, take these steps to hurricane proof your home, such as reinforcing your roof and beefing up your doors.

Keeping your Windows Tightly Sealed

When a hurricane hits, the last thing you should do is open your windows. Always keep your windows tightly closed during a hurricane.

Opening your windows during a storm is not only costly, but it can be incredibly dangerous to your home and your family. Unfortunately, even tightly sealed windows might not be enough to protect you against a hurricane— if they aren’t storm-rated.

How secure are your windows?  Protect your home with specialized hurricane shutters or impact-tested glass.

It’s never been easier with Storm Solutions. We have a guide to help you measure your windows and get a quick estimate today. Download the guide today!

DIY Impact Window Pricing Kit

Topics: Hurricane Preparedness