I live along the Gulf Coast. In event of a hurricane, I plan to mount
plywood over my hardie plank framed windows, and screw the plywood onto the
hardie plank. Does hardie plank require special screws, or can I just use
regular wood screws as if the frames were wood? Do I need to mount screw
anchors in the hardie plank? Thanks.
Hardie plank and Hardie panel do need special screws. Home Depot and
Lowes staff can advise you on the most appropriate types to use.
For hurricane protection, you want screws LONG enough to go all the way
through to the underlying wood studs. In practice, you will want to
drill starter holes thru the Hardie siding BEFORE mounting the plywood.
You want drill bit that are designed for concrete/hardie work (is in
carbide tipped), as a regular steel bit will burn up after one or two
When the danger has passed and you take down the plywood, caulk and
paint the holes for long term weather protection.
I have lived through a hurricane and had all my plywood
screwed into the window framing with long exterior grade
screws. All the plywood stayed in place.
large sections of the siding blew off, so I wouldn't
think of screwing into only the hardibacker siding
or trim boards if I were you.
The force of a hurricane is incredible. Even a couple
dozen aluminum siding corner pieces, which are hard
to remove with a crowbar and hammer blew off.
If you still intend to screw into the Hardi you might consider drilling the
holes oversize so the screw passes through the brittle panel and doesn't
transfer any of the stress on the plywood into the Hardi, thus, cracking it.
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