How to Board Up Windows for Hurricane: A Comprehensive Guide

Boarding up windows is one of the most important steps in protecting your home during a hurricane. Whether you are a first-time homeowner or a seasoned veteran, it is essential to understand how to properly board up your windows to prevent damage to your property. In this article, we will take you through the steps of how to board up windows for a hurricane. From gathering materials to the final check, we will cover everything you need to know to get your windows secured and ready for the storm.

Steps to Board Up Your Windows for a Hurricane

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary materials. You will need plywood, measuring tape, a pencil or pen, a saw, screws, a drill, and a ladder. Make sure the ladder is sturdy and can reach the highest window. You may also need a friend to help you maneuver the plywood.

Step 2: Measure Your Windows

Measure your windows to determine the amount of plywood you will need. Measure the height and width of each window. Make sure to measure the width and height of any window casings or moldings, so you can cut the plywood to the correct size. Mark the measurements on your plywood with a pencil or pen.

Step 3: Cut the Plywood

Once you have your measurements, it is time to cut the plywood to the proper size. Use a saw to cut along the pencil marks you made earlier. Cut the plywood so that it fits snugly inside the window frame and covers the entire window opening. Sand any rough edges to make them smoother.

Step 4: Label the Plywood

Label each piece of plywood with the corresponding window it will cover. This is important, so you do not have to guess which piece goes where when the storm is approaching.

Step 5: Install Anchors on Your Home

Use a drill to install anchors on your home where the plywood will go. Place the anchors about 12 inches apart around the perimeter of the window. The anchors should be flush with the wall, and the head should be at least two inches in diameter.

Step 6: Install Eye Bolts on Your Plywood

On each piece of plywood, install eye bolts about four inches from each corner. Make sure they are securely screwed in.

Step 7: Install the Plywood

With the help of a friend, hoist the plywood onto the ladder. Align the eye bolts with the anchors on the wall and gently lower the plywood into place. Use screws to secure the plywood to the anchors. Repeat this process for each window.

Step 8: Seal the Edges

Seal any gaps between the plywood and the window frame with a high-quality caulk or sealant. This will prevent rainwater from seeping through and damaging your home.

Step 9: Reinforce with Tape

Place duct tape or other strong tape over the plywood seams for added reinforcement. This will help to prevent the plywood from shifting during strong winds.

Step 10: Make Sure all Windows are Covered

Check that all windows are covered before the storm hits. Do not forget to cover skylights and glass doors.

Step 11: Prepare for Power Outages

Prepare for power outages by charging your cell phone and purchasing a battery-operated radio. Make sure you have enough non-perishable food and water for at least three days.

Step 12: Stay Informed

Stay informed about the hurricane by regularly checking your local news and weather updates. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Tips and Tricks to Board Up Your Windows for a Hurricane

Tip 1: Label Your Plywood

Labeling your plywood will save you time and guesswork when installing it on your windows.

Tip 2: Use a Drill with Anchors

A drill with anchors will keep the plywood securely in place.

Tip 3: Trim the Plywood

Trimming the edges of the plywood will make it easier and safer to handle.

Tip 4: Use High-Quality Sealant

Using high-quality sealant will prevent any water from seeping through and damaging your home.

Tip 5: Reinforce with Tape

Taping the seams of the plywood will reinforce it and prevent it from shifting during strong winds.

Tip 6: Cover All Windows

Make sure to cover all windows, including skylights and glass doors.

Tip 7: Prepare for Power Outages

Be prepared for power outages by purchasing supplies such as non-perishable food, water, and a battery-operated radio.

Tip 8: Stay Informed

Stay informed about the storm by monitoring local news and weather updates.

Tip 9: Get Help

Ask a friend or family member to help you board up your windows. It is safer and easier with two people.

Tip 10: Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute

Boarding up your windows should be done well in advance of the storm. Do not wait until the last minute and risk not having enough time to secure your home. In conclusion, boarding up your windows is an essential step in protecting your home during a hurricane. By following these steps and tips, you can ensure that your windows are secure and ready for the storm. Remember to gather all necessary materials, label your plywood, and reinforce it with tape. Stay informed about the storm and be prepared for power outages. Do not wait until the last minute to board up your windows. Stay safe and be prepared!

How to Board Up Windows for Hurricane: Advantages and Disadvantages


1. Protection – Boarding up your windows before a hurricane hits will offer protection from flying debris which can break the windows and cause damage to the interior of your property.

2. Easy to Install – Boarding up your windows is easy to install, even for those without any handyman experience. Typically, all you need is a few power tools, screws, and some plywood to cover your window.

3. Cost-Effective – Boarding up your windows can be a cost-effective way to protect your property compared to other hurricane prevention measures such as impact-resistant windows that can cost thousands of dollars.

4. Insulation – Plywood boards offer extra insulation to your windows, keeping your home cooler in the summer months and warmer in the winter months.

5. Deter Theft – Boarding up your windows can deter theft, which is common after a hurricane when properties are left vulnerable to looters.

6. Peace of Mind – Boarding up your windows before a hurricane hits will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on other important preparations.

7. Reusable – Plywood boards used to board up your windows can be reused for future hurricane seasons, making it a wise investment for homeowners.

8. DIY Project – Boarding up your windows is a DIY project, which allows homeowners to take control of their hurricane preparations and save money on installation costs.

9. Improves Curb Appeal – Boarding up your windows with decorative plywood creates an attractive design element, improving the curb appeal of your property.

10. Protects Your Investment – By boarding up your windows before a hurricane, you are protecting your investment in your home and reducing the likelihood of expensive repairs and replacements.


1. Time-Consuming – Boarding up your windows can be a time-consuming process, especially for larger properties which may have numerous windows to protect.

2. Not Permanent – Boarding up your windows is not a permanent solution and will need to be repeated with each hurricane season.

3. Limited Vision – Boarding up your windows limits your visibility and natural light in your home, which can be uncomfortable for some people.

4. Removal – Removing plywood boards after a hurricane can be a difficult process, especially for those with limited strength or mobility.

5. Fire Hazards – Plywood boards are highly flammable and can pose a fire hazard if not properly stored or disposed of.

6. Must be Done Correctly – Boarding up your windows must be done correctly to be effective. Incorrect installation can result in damage to your windows or not offer adequate protection from hurricane-force winds.

7. Ugly Appearance – Boarding up your windows with plain, non-decorative plywood can create an unattractive appearance on your property and may not be desirable for some homeowners.

8. Limited Access – Boarding up your windows limits your access to the outside world. This can be a disadvantage if you need to evacuate or receive help during or after a hurricane.

9. Limited Ventilation – Boarding up your windows limits air flow in your home, which can make it uncomfortable during the summer months.

10. Inconvenient – Boarding up your windows can be inconvenient, especially if you need to open and close windows for ventilation, or to let in natural light.


1. What are the reasons for boarding up windows before a hurricane?

Boarding up windows before a hurricane can protect your home or building from damage caused by flying debris and high winds.

2. What materials are required to board up windows?

You will need plywood, drill, screws, measuring tape, saw, and safety goggles.

3. Which size of plywood should be used?

Measure your windows before buying plywood to ensure you buy the right size. Typically, 5/8 inch thickness with a minimum of 4×8 feet size is recommended.

4. How do you measure the plywood for the windows?

Measure the width and height of the windows and add 2 inches to each measurement to ensure a secure fit.

5. How many screws should be used for each plywood panel?

Use 1 screw per foot on every edge and space them out every 6 inches.

6. Should you use adhesive tape to secure the plywood?

It is not recommended to depend solely on adhesive tape to secure the plywood panels. Use screws for maximum stability.

7. Should you remove windows before boarding them up?

No, leave the windows in their frames as they add an additional layer of protection.

8. How long before a hurricane should you board up the windows?

It is recommended to board up windows at least 48 hours before the anticipated arrival of the storm.

9. Should you hire a professional to board up your windows?

If you are unsure about how to board up your windows or do not have the necessary tools or equipment, it is recommended to hire a professional.

10. Should you board up doors as well?

If you have a double door or a door with glass, it is recommended to board it up as well.

11. How long does it take to board up windows?

It would typically take 30 minutes to an hour to board up one window.

12. Can boarding up windows completely prevent damage from a hurricane?

Although boarding up your windows is a good preventive measure, it does not guarantee complete protection from damages caused by strong hurricanes.

13. What should you do after the hurricane passes?

After the hurricane passes, check your windows for any damage and remove the plywood panels. Be sure to store them in a dry place for future storms.

How to Board Up Windows for Hurricane

Hurricane season can be a stressful time for those living in areas that are prone to these natural disasters. Strong winds and heavy rain can cause damage to homes and buildings, particularly to windows. If you live in an area that is often impacted by hurricanes, it’s important to know how to prepare your windows to minimize damage and keep your family safe. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to board up your windows for a hurricane.

Conclusion and Closing

Boarding up your windows may seem like a tedious task, but it can make a significant difference in minimizing damage during a hurricane. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can prepare your home and keep your family safe. Remember to stay informed about any impending storms and follow any evacuation orders from local officials. Stay safe!

Thank you for reading our article on how to board up windows for a hurricane. We hope that you found this information helpful. If you have any additional tips or suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments below. Until next time, stay safe and be prepared!