Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Fabric Storm Panels: Hurricane Protection for Your Home

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To minimize damage to your home during a hurricane, windows and doors should be boarded up with 5/8” plywood or covered with approved storm shutters. However, putting up plywood or storm shutters is time consuming and may require more than one person to lift heavy panels into place. Taking the time to board up your home when a hurricane is approaching and evacuation is imminent is not always wise. That’s where fabric storm panels come in.


Fabric storm panels are available in several colors

About Fabric Storm Panels

Fabric storm panels, also known as wind abatement screens, are touted as an effective alternative to traditional plywood or shutters. They consist of a strong, lightweight layer of woven fabric that is coated with a geo-synthetic PVC material. This reinforced material is then used to cover windows and doors, providing a barrier from flying projectiles and wind blown rain.

You might find it hard to believe that fabric can provide sufficient protection against storm debris hurtling at over 100 miles per hour, but coverings are available that meet or exceed state building codes in Florida and Texas as well as the standards set by ASTM International for hurricane protection.


Grommets and bolts are used to secure fabric panels to windows

Advantages of Fabric Storm Panels

Fabric storm panels have many advantages over traditional plywood or metal storm shutters, including:

  • Lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Can be put up and taken down quickly by one person.
  • May fold or roll up for easy storage.
  • Translucent material allows light to illuminate home.


Fabric panels allows you to see out and light in

What’s Available

There are several fabric storm panel systems available, such as:

  • Grommet – The easiest to install for the do-it-yourselfer. The material is fastened to your windows or doors with grommets. Panels are easy to put up and take down and roll up for storage.
  • Rolling Screen – Permanently attached device located above your windows or doors that can be lowered at a moments notice either manually or by electric motor.
  • Slide Screen – Panels slide into brackets that are mounted to your home.
  • Strap and Buckle – Straps and buckles are sewn into the screen and fit around eyehooks or are strapped to columns. Allow easy exit in case of emergency.


Straps with buckles secure fabric panels to columns

Bottom Line

Fabric storm panels can protect your home from flying debris in the event of a hurricane. They are lightweight, easy to install, and allow light to enter your home in the event of a storm.

Check out our Hurricane Help page for more information.

Further Information

Fabric storm panels are available from:

Photos courtesy of Storm Catcher, a product of Storm Smart Industries, Inc.



Please Leave a Comment

13 Comments on “Fabric Storm Panels: Hurricane Protection for Your Home”

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  1. Veronica Villegas Says:
    September 25th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    ImpactShield offers the same technology at a lower costs, and tighter weave, which withstands wind speeds brought about by a Category 5 Hurricane. It also offer a consumer friendly website… I love this product and think it’s more competitive than Wayne-Dalton’s Fabric-Shield, which was developed AFTER impactshield…

  2. Meridith Anzulis Says:
    September 26th, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Fabric is the newest segment of the hurricane protection industry, but grommets and strap-and-buckle systems are old technology…they cause pointloading to the fabric and are potential failure points. StormWatch, makers of fabric hurricane shutters, has developed a proprietary border clamp that is 4X stronger than grommets, and not subject to UV degradation as the stitching is on straps. Additionally, StormWatch products are the most attractive products out there, check out the photo gallery on our web site: http://stormwatchinfo.com. All of our products are approved for use in Miami-Dade. We also offer a CLEAR (yes, clear!) fabric shutter for windows.

  3. Robert Gorman Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Greentings all! Ths impact statments made by the above comments are slightly misleading. The continuous contact of a clamp system on fabric is a sure fire failure if the screen has a windload on it while recieving an impact. All lab impact testing is done without a windload–but objects don’t fly withot wind behind them. The lowest cost fabric is made by http://www.HurricaneFabric.com was tested at 80 PSF with a 120 PSF structural load. The fabric with impact tests the highest is AstroGuard http://www.HurricaneProtection.net and is about $6.00/ per square foot installed.

  4. Jeremy Volk Says:
    February 20th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I am very interested in selling your product immediately! What can I do to become a reseller/installer? I live in an active hurricane region and believe this product is a great solution. Does this product reduce the cost of home owner hurricane insurance?

  5. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    February 23rd, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Hi Jeremy,
    We do not sell storm fabric, but you can click on the links in the article and contact the companies who do.

  6. Glazing Says:
    March 28th, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Galzing and paneling ideas are coming up due to unfavorable climatic conditions to save home doors and windows from storms.

  7. Tom Roberts Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Boy I loved seeing the two comments above from http://stormwatchinfo.com and http://www.HurricaneFabric.com nothing beats good old competition. I think I will stay away from the two of you above and keep doing research on who offers the best hurricane protection.

  8. Mark @ HPC Says:
    August 25th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    As a licensed specialty hurricane protective’s contractor and certified installer I’ve worked with many (if not all) the above products. Regardless of price – some are better then others. My personal opinion (for what it’s worth) is stick with ‘Storm Catcher’ for over-all quality, customer service and reputation. Storm Catchers (Storm Smart) variety of hardware solutions and function are among the best we’ve run across with the new technologies in fabric wind abatement systems. We’ve tried them all (including Force-12) and found this hurricane fabric company’s applications most appealing to for our clients and our own specifications (strength, aesthetics, longevity, obsolescence, defects, warranty, automation, and price). We pride ourselves on researching new and improved hurricane protectives products. Our cliental seeks protection for the complete envelope of the home and seldom does any one product meet that demand. Its often a combination of products that meet the challenge and storm catcher defines many of those areas like large back lanai enclosures. No – I don’t work for Strom Catcher but as a professional in the hurricane protectives industry I can recognize a better product when I see one.

  9. Mark @ HPC Says:
    August 25th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I respectfully disagree…with Veronica’s post
    …and would question with great concern ANY hurricane shutter product (to date) that claims to “withstand a Category 5 Hurricane.” Yes, I recognize it’s only a ‘wind’ claim not structural, but with such over-the-top misleading statements you can present an equally questionable concern of trust.

    Clients trust our expertise and knowledge to provide the best level of protection for their home and family without hyperbolic exaggeration.

  10. Rob Gorman Says:
    November 26th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    If you want to see the fabric that Storm Watch uses (armor screen also) failing on video during independent tests. Please visit YouTube and google storm watch failures! Fun for the entire family. And of course fraud on their part stating that their screens can pass an impact test.

  11. Suzie Lynch Says:
    April 19th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Can I put these fabric materials up now and leave them for the entire season while I snowbird away? Or, will the sun weaken them?

  12. nick gennarelli Says:
    June 29th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    looking names and addresses for fabric window covers for storms live in south carolina.

  13. Peter Lohman Says:
    May 4th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    A Word about Hurricane windows.
    Many people are aware of the benefits of hurricane glass, such as noise reduction, safety, and hurricane protection. But what many are not aware of are the downsides of making the investment at this time.

    Hurricane glass has been sold for decades in cities like Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, and in fact, the largest market for hurricane impact glass is New York–It’s just not used for hurricane protection.

    Companies like PGT and their Winguard line, or Cardinal, Therma-Tru, or Astor have been marketing their glass for hurricane protection for years around hurricane prone regions. This glass has not held up well compared to other products and is very expensive for the level of protection achieved.

    All these products allow for water intrusion, which does enough damage to your home to no quite reach your deductible in most cases, but leaves you paying thru the nose for repairs.

    Most insurance companies do not cover the replacement costs for these windows and only allow for the value of a regularly priced window. So when these windows go through a storm–most insurance companies won’t pay for their replacement, without a separate insurance policy, just to cover the glass.

    All these products warranties are void after the product goes thru at cat 1 or higher hurricane–so don’t think these companies are going to pay for replacement.

    The idea of hurricane protection is to allow the hurricane protection to take the brunt force of the storms impact–and not your expensive windows. So don’t purchase them, unless you have the extra monies to buy protection for this investment.

    They also failed miserably during hurricane Wilma, which was the 1st widespread test of hurricane glass. Wilma, if you remember, was not a strong hurricane.

    The United States hurricane testing standards are also pathetically low (who trusts government minimums anyway) at 35 MPH for the Miami Dade large missile impact test. All attempts to raise the minimum standard have been blocked by the hurricane glass manufacturers as they realize their products could not withstand impacts at 50 MPH.

    So you’re at risk, so they can make more money. Sound like America? Spot on.

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