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Posted by PureCabo Luxury Villas on 08/16/2016

The Importance of Hurricane Shutters

The Importance of Hurricane Shutters

Though modern monitoring equipment helps us to prepare for hurricanes and evacuate to safe places, it does not change the fact that hurricanes cause much damage to physical properties, including transportation and communication systems.  Furthermore, in some cases even the most sophisticated equipment yields mistakes, as was the case in September 2014, when Hurricane Odile hit Baja California Sur, mainland Mexico, and the southwestern United States. Odile was initially forecast to curve out to sea and therefore, only minor weather alerts were communicated. In fact, the hurricane made an unexpected trip toward Baja California Peninsula causing major destruction in many areas of Los Cabos, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, and more.

What You Can Do

Hurricanes start in the ocean, bringing intense wind power to populated areas where physical buildings are sitting ducks for its striking power. During intense hurricanes, wind causes tremendous amounts of pressure against windows and walls. Glass windows have to withstand the pressure in order to retain their structural rigidity.  If compromised, even small debris like flying stones or metal objects travelling at high speed can easily shatter unprotected windows, causing buildup of wind and pressure inside the building, and eventual structural damage. Additionally, there is also a chance that negative pressure from wind flowing over building can lift the roof, and this combined with windows allowing wind to penetrate the interior, subject the roof to pressure from both inside and outside the structure. In this case, roof failure is almost inevitable.

One of the most effective preventive measures you can take is installing hurricane shutters over the windows.

Hurricane shutters are available in a variety of materials, ranging from fabric to steel, and when installed go a long way toward protecting your home and belongings.  Cost and degree of installation difficulty, including whether a professional installation is necessary, are important factors in choosing the material used in construction. 

Hurricane shutters are not always expensive, and you can actually make them on your own using plywood materials. This is not generally recommended, as plywood cannot provide sufficient protection against strong winds, but it can provide minimum protection to prevent overwhelming damages. If you choose to install plywood, it is recommended to use at least 5/8-inch plywood and fasten it to the building with barrel bolts or lag bolts. The most recommended, though costly material to use is steel, however, installing steel hurricane shutters is a job best left to professionals. There are many different types including, but not limited to:  automatic roll down, accordion, awning, and Bahama style.

Another viable option, maximizing protection while minimizing cost is Hurricane Fabric.  Los Cabo Hurricane Protection is a company in Baja California SUR that has years of experience and a wide array of clients in their portfolio including villas, resorts and hotels.

Let us not forget that material is only part of the overall quality. Proper installation is also an important factor to strengthen rigidity of the construction. For this reason, you should always consider hiring professionals to handle installation. The cost increase for hiring professional service is more than made for with the promise of a safer home and better protection for your belongings. As always, do your due diligence by asking for recommendations for the best contractor, checking the company’s references, and requesting details from previous projects.

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