If you ever find yourself in a space that isn’t equipped with hurricane impact windows and doors, you should know how to board up windows to stay safe during a storm.

In this guide, we give you the basic steps you need to follow to better protect a home against a hurricane.

All you will need is some inexpensive plywood and a couple of tools to get started. Plywood is the preferred board because it has far greater impact strength than most other types of board. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to board up windows on your home – you’re going to need some help.

How to Board Up Windows in the Event of a Hurricane

Step 1: Mark the Stud Locations
To start, you need to mark the studs on the underside and on each side of every window you want to board up. If you can’t easily see these studs, use a drill to probe the siding. The reason you need to do this is that you shouldn’t be fastening the plywood to just the trim or sheathing – it’s not nearly secure enough.

Step 2: Cut Your Plywood Panels
Your plywood panels need to be a bit bigger than your windows. Aim to have them extend at least an inch or two beyond the frame of the window – this is on all sides. Cut as many plywood panels as you need. If your windows are all the same size, you’re in luck, you can use the first panel as a template.

Step 3: Mark Your Panels
If your windows are different sizes, mark each panel with a number to indicate which window it’s for.

Step 4: Collect Enough Corrosion-Resistant Screws
The screws you use to attach each panel need to be able to penetrate at least 2 inches into the framing. Lags and galvanized pan-head screws are far better than traditional nails because they are corrosion-resistant and easier to remove once the hurricane has passed. The flat heads also won’t weaken the plywood.

Step 5: Drill Pilot Holes
This is where you’re going to need the help of a second person. Get someone to hold the plywood up against each window while you drill pilot holes through each panel into the framing. Aim to space the holes about 12 – 15 inches apart. Don’t drill closer than 1 inch from the panel edge though.

Step 6: Finish the Job
Your final step is to use a drill to connect the plywood panels to each window using the screws you collected. And there you have it; you’re much better protected against a hurricane.

Prevention is Better
As you can see, boarding up your windows is a time-consuming, two-man job. What’s more, this is also not the most effective way to protect your loved ones or your home. Ideally, you want to invest in impact windows and doors before hurricane season begins. At G&R, we prioritize affordability as well as quality, making it easier for everyone to invest in hurricane protection for their homes.