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Exploring Different Types of Hurricane Window Protection Materials

by Deniz Ellard

Hurricanes and other stormy weather can damage homes, causing costly repairs. To keep your property safe, consider the best ways to protect your window during a storm.

Plywood boards are cheap and convenient to install, but they only offer temporary protection from debris. A better option is hurricane fabric, which has been laboratory-tested to be effective, and you can easily deploy and store it.


XT-E is a type of polycarbonate sheet that’s an excellent choice for hurricane windows because it’s extremely strong and flexible. It’s also very clear and tintable, so it doesn’t detract from your home or business look. It’s designed to mate with secondary optics, which offer a range of options for focusing light into narrow, medium, wide, or elliptical patterns.

These protective sheets are often called hurricane screens, fabric storm panels, or wind abatement screens. They’re much lighter than metal and aluminum storm panels and require less maintenance because they don’t rust or corrode. They’re also easy to store, saving storage space when not in use.

When deployed over your windows, doors, and lanais at hurricane time, these shutters prevent pressurization buildup that could lift the roof and cause damage. Hurricane window protection also protects against intruders and reduces outside noise. Plus, they can help lower your energy bills and insurance rates.


Plywood is one of the more common methods for home and business owners to protect windows during a hurricane. However, there are some things to consider if looking at plywood as a long-term solution.

For starters, boarding your windows with plywood sheets can be very time-consuming. You will need to measure your windows and doors so you can cut the plywood to fit properly. If you make a mistake, it could leave your windows exposed to the elements during the storm.

Additionally, plywood blocks natural light and can be unattractive in a residential or commercial setting. Plus, you’ll need to install and remove the plywood before each storm, which isn’t always convenient.

Plus, plywood isn’t as durable as other options, such as impact-resistant windows or reinforced doors. These products are tested to strict Hurricane building codes like those incorporated in Florida and can withstand debris impact and prevent window or door shatters.

Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are a popular solution to protect windows from storm damage. They come in various styles, including accordion shutters, Bahama shutters and colonial shutters, and can be made of aluminum, steel or polycarbonate. They can be mounted directly to the home or on tracks above and below a window or door.

Homeowners can also choose from panel shutter systems, usually made of plywood, aluminum or Lexan. These are more durable and offer a clear view through the glass of a home or business. They should be installed before hurricane season and stored in a safe location when not in use.

These are great for homeowners who want top-notch protection from severe weather events and potential thieves. They can be lowered from above each window or door and are easily operated by the touch of a button. They can also regulate temperature and keep out excessive sunlight, saving energy costs.

Impact Windows

Hurricane windows use a laminate or resin between the glass panes that binds them together and prevents them from breaking apart into shards that could cause injury or property damage. They also flex to endure direct force, reducing the chances of a window breaking due to intense wind pressure.

While requiring a higher initial investment, hurricane windows provide greater protection and pay for themselves in the long run. They can also save money on energy bills by improving insulation and decreasing noise pollution.

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, installing impact windows is the best way to reduce the risk of property damage from severe storms and hurricanes. However, you must be willing to put in the time and effort to install them properly. Also, be aware that HOAs may have regulations about the type of windows you can install in your home. This makes it important to consult with a professional who knows the ins and outs of HOA regulations before deciding about your new hurricane protection materials.

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