How To Install Hurricane Impact Resistant Windows

The high winds caused by hurricanes can easily send flying debris into the windows of your home. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you should install impact resistant windows to protect the glass from shattering when debris hits them. Here is how you can install impact resistant windows to protect your home and belongings during a hurricane.

What You Will Need:

  • Impact Resistant Windows
  • Utility Knife
  • Drill
  • Pry Bar
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • 2" Self-Drilling Screws
  • Level

Remove Old Windows

On the interior side of the home, take a utility knife and cut through the paint and caulk around the window – this will help you to remove the window and limit any damage to the interior walls and paint. Remove the molding from around the window. If your windows have sash weights, you'll want to cut and remove them from inside the window frame.

Go outside and remove the caulking and molding from around the exterior of the window, and then go back inside to remove the inside sill. You may also have to remove the board below (called the apron) the sill as well. Take your reciprocating saw and cut the nails holding the window in place. Remove any insulation, and take out the windows. Go back outside and have a helper pry the window out toward you. Grab the window and set it aside.

Install Impact Resistant Window

You may have to reinforce the frame before you install a impact resistant window. Ordinary window frames typically aren't strong enough to hold the heavier impact-resistant window (so before you install the window, check the manufacturer's recommendations on how strong the frame is suppose to be). Take your new window and place in the frame opening. You can hold the window in place with shims. Check the window with a level to make sure it is placed evenly into the frame. Drill 2" self-drilling screws into the inside of the window and frame (space the screws about 8 – 12 inches apart). Make sure you caulk the outside well-enough that high winds can't penetrate around the window at all to keep the window from failing under the pressure of high winds.

If you are concerned about your ability to install hurricane windows, call your local home improvement company that specializes in offering this service to do it for you – just make sure you do it before hurricane season starts in case a storm comes your way.