Installing plywood over windows for hurricane

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OK may be this is a little late for Frances, but a few questions:
Single story house in Miami, CBS construction, single slab foundation on piles, awning windows.
(1) What is the best way to install plywood over the windows? Should I cover the window and then drill in Tapcon to attach to the walls at the corners? or is it better to use mansory anchors, and then drill holes on the wood, fit over and fasten with nuts? This way I can reuse the anchors next time. Plywood cannot be used once they get wet.
(2) Is it better to fit one big sheet over large windows, or fit a few narrower strips vertically? I saw someone cut into strips and installed them separately, wonder why other than it's easier to install (lighter weight), assuming the same number of screws of course.
(3) Have two rear windows with burglar casing, what is the best way to protect those? Plywood won't fit over.
(4) If the window is 48" high X 36" wide, and the plywood is 60"x80", would you cover it horizontally, vertically, or cut to smaller size to fit? Which will give best protection?
Thanks in advance,
O
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On Fri, 3 Sep 2004 18:21:58 -0400, "orangetrader"

In the past I have used concrete screws to anchor the plywood to the wall. Problem is that after 3 or four times the holes start wallering out and the concrete screws don't hold anymore. While I am painting I plan to drill them all out and use lead anchors.
Your plywood will be fine if you allow it to dry before you store it. Eventually it will start to delaminate but in this use it will last you a lifetime.

I use big sheets. Don't have any scientific foundation for doing so though.

Will it fit under? Maybe you could slide it between the burglar bars and the windows and then attach it at top and bottom.

I have all of mine cut about six inches bigger than the window. Again I have no basis for this other than thats the way all the pro's did it on the area businesses so I followed suit.
Steve B.
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says...

Take a look at "Plylox Hurricane Window Clips
http://www.plylox.com /
They are for windows on brick houses.I got mine at Home Depot. Can't testify to their effectiveness, thank Good, but I have put them up once. Very easy to use.
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If you are doing this in advance, why not put a couple of coats of paint on the plywood? Should last the life of the house that way. Number each sheet to go back in the same place.
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orangetrader wrote:

Remember the purpose of these things.
1. To STOP a lawn chair, garbage can, or cat moving at 120 miles per hour from knocking out the window.
2. Because if a window goes, in-rushing wind dramatically raises the interior air pressure and there goes the roof.
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There was a story in Friday's St. Pete Times, first section, which gave real downtoearth instructions about this. I know SPT is online - you can try finding it.
It says to have the plywood four inches larger than the window and to put small holes in center of plywood to relieve the pressure. Recommends screws over each corner and then across the top and bottom every so many inches.
We used tapcon screws. We store the plywood in the garage between uses and it's lasted several years. We have put it up several times but it never got wet. We pieced several smaller pieces together (found some stray plywood that had been discarded) and it's thicker and heavier than what you buy (but free) to cover odd size windows.
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Why would exterior plywood no longer be good after it gets wet????
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I understand that. My questions still stand.
O

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On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 22:44:20 -0400, "orangetrader"

The plywood over the windows is to keep the windows from imploding on you. They will still break with the plywood over them
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I still have trouble understanding this.
The plywood covers the windows and are fixed to the exterior concrete walls using Tapcons. The windows themselves are at least four inches from the surface of the exterior wall. If a lawn chair or a flying coconut slams on the plywood at say 120 miles an hour, will it create a deflection on the plywood board in excess of four inches to cause the window itself to break? or are we saying that force alone will shake the concrete wall enough to break the window glass?
My original question was to find out what is a better way to attach the plywood, because after a few times the holes the Tapcon goes into are all over the places and I wondered if it would be better to use anchors, and whether larger sheets are better than a series of smaller sheets.
O

hour
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On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 19:36:21 -0400, "orangetrader"

A 2x4 at 120 miles per hour will shatter the plywood *and* window... :)

Anchors and larger sheets. Hit the FEMA web site for hurricane protection guides. And use 5/8" or 3/4" plywood.
Jeff

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wrote:


Just move !
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OK I did some experiment - I had my rear windows covered with plywood and before I took them off, I took out a basket of tennis balls and my racket. Now I am not a pro that serves 140mph, but I can hit 80-90 pretty consistently. I hit a bunch of tennis balls onto the plywood as hard as I can - BAM! BAM! BAM! and the window - not broken! At least at 80-90mph with a speeding tennis ball it is OK and not breaking. Not sure with a speeding coconut at 150mph however.
O

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Maybe you need to try a potato gun
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orangetrader wrote:

If I were doing it (didn't for either Charley or Frances) I would drill holes in the block and put in lead anchors. I'd attach the ply - large - with round head screws into the anchors. The holes in the ply would be way oversize to allow for jiggle room when attaching. I'd use fender washers under the screw heads.
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My in laws live in FL. Hes to old to hold up sheets of plywood so he had hinges installed. Has them put up at beginning of the seasaon. Then he folds them in place and bolts them down when needed. Takes about an hour to do the whole house. Whenever I get down there later this fall I will take them down til next year. Came in real hand this year. Kept a pine tree from coming through the living room window.
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This is Turtle.
Get water treated Plywood and wetting it will make no difference in the future. It will be wet when you buy it and just wait till it drys some before putting it up.
Some one here said about closing window too tight and not letting the window imploding , then cause roof to come off. This is very much true and don't succure the plywood covers with too thick of plywood like 7/8" plywood or imploding will take the roof off and you with it. There is alway about 3 to 300 tornados that come with a Hurrican and Imploding will happen when any of these hit your home. Windows can be replace fair easily but putting the roof back on a home is a big cost.
The window will go or the Roof. the choice is yours.
TURTLE
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...
Question: what's the concept? To allow the window (behind the plywood, at 4 or so inches?) to "go" pretty easily, so that any pressure difference can quickly equalize between inside the house and outside the window, or in front of the plywood?
(Assuming the wind, etc, can whip around behind the plywood, mounted *away* from the window?)
Putting up the plywood, and just leaving the window open?
Doors to the outside -- what about them?
Thanks
David
PS: what about picture-windows, or sliding glass-doors -- what to do about them?
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Only pro advice I have heard is to use 3/4 inch wood and space the screws no further than 16 inches. Have your ply wood stowed away labeled for which window it fits with screws started. If you have to go to the home depot you are too late.
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I moved back to hurricane country (New Orleans) after 18 years in tornado country (Atlanta) and built a "glass" house. At least it looks that way when I think about boarding up.
A new thought for kicking around. Cut the plywood to fit the window. Drill holes in the plywood every 18 - 24". Use cartop type suction cups (3") secured with 1/4" bolts. Water the cups and press hard. This spaces the wood away from the window about an inch - could be farther with spacers - and would transfer the blows somewhat evenly across the glass. To remove, unscrew the bolts and tip the suction cups.
How crazy is this?
I would rather not drill holes in the stucco all over my new house.
Jim Key

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