Fabric Storm Panels: Hurricane Protection for Your Home
By: Joe Cuhaj
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
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
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.
Fabric storm panels are available from: