If you live in an area prone to storms, you know the damage strong winds can cause. It's not just a matter of the wind forcing itself through the tiniest cracks, causing a draft. The wind picks up debris and hurls it against your windows. Once the glass breaks from the force, the interior of the home gets damaged from the debris and even water. Minimize the damage to your house by protecting your windows during big storms.

Weather-Proofed Plywood

If your area experiences big storms only intermittently, plywood panels can be a good option. Any contractor should be able to fabricate the panels to the direct specifications of your windows. They must fit very snugly so they don't blow off. They're further secured with barrel bolts. You can store them easily and only bring them out when a storm with high winds is being forecast. Just make sure the plywood is thick enough to withstand being pummeled with debris.

Permanent Shutters

A more permanent option is having storm shutters installed. You have several different options. If you're especially concerned with aesthetics, consider stylish shutters such as Colonial or Bahama. Colonial shutters are the traditional ones that attach at the sides. Bahama shutters are attached with a horizontal hinge, allowing them to be opened at an angle from the top. Awning shutters are similar to Bahama ones except they consist of a fitted metal panel instead of louvers. They still affix to the top.

Rolldown and accordion shutters can be a little sturdier. Rolldown shutters consist of PVC or metal louvers that roll down from the top of the window along a set of tracks. Accordion shutters are similar except they are attached to the sides of the window, so they roll into the center.

Impact-Resistant Glass

Another permanent method for protecting your windows from storms comes from the windows themselves – impact-resistant glass. You can either have your house retro-fitted with impact-resistant windows or have contractors install films to your existing windows. When debris hit the window, the glass may still break. However, the coating keeps the glass from caving in, thus protecting your interior.

Fabric Shutters

A relatively new product is the fabric storm shutter. These are typically made of hurricane fabric, a very strong but flexible nylon. Home improvement expert Bob Vila likens the fabric to the type used for car airbags. Like the plywood panels, fabric shutters are custom made to fit your house's windows with an anchoring system. These fabric shutters are relatively easy to store when not in use.

Keep your home from getting damaged in the next big storm by protecting your windows. For more information, contact a business such as Active Hurricane & Security Protection.