Hurricane Protection For Doors
With a number of record breaking hurricanes striking North America in the past few months, we’ve had many customers call in or email asking us what kind of equipment, hardware and fasteners they should buy to protect their doors during a hurricane. After some research, we set out with our fastener expert to demonstrate how to and build a temporary emergency hurricane barrier for our door. We built this door cover with materials you may have handy in your garage, basement, or workshop.
The Tools & Materials
The first thing we had to do was get the tools we needed for the job. We decided on a list (see below) of simple tools that are common and not some fancy “hurricane protection kits” that we have seen popping up. We’ve also linked them to our website so you can find out more about them.
- 1/4″ x 3-1/4″ Hex Head Tapcon Masonry Screws
- 5/16″ Magnetized Hex Driver (for easy installation)
- #8 x 1-1/4″ 316 Stainless Steel Deck Screws
- #2 Square Head Power Bit (Square drive to deter stripping)
- Impact Drill (almost any brand will work)
- Hammer Drill
- SDS Concrete Drill Bit
- Three Lengths of 2 x 4 x 8 wood (Cut to length before we started)
- 23 x 32 or almost 3/4″ Thick Sheet of Plywood
- Safety Gloves
- Safety Goggles
Now that we have all of the tools we need assembled, our first step was to cut our 2 x 4s to length. We recommend having two pieces running down each side and one piece on top to prevent anything from falling in from the top.
The 2 x 4s, our fastener expert explained, are there to add space between the door and the plywood because the handle and lock stick out too far. This means we cannot simply press the plywood against the door archway as it will not sit evenly. This method allows you to cover the door without needing to remove the hardware you will use to lock it. He then proceeded to flip the plywood on top and align the boards beneath to the edges. The Wood screws were then places around the edges of the plywood roughly 3 feet apart. He told us these screws actually aren’t very important as they are only holding the 2x4s to the plywood so we can properly install it.
The next step was to press the plywood over the door with the 2x4s facing the door. The added extra space in front of the door which in turn allowed the door knob to fit nicely. Taking the Hammer Drill and SDS Concrete Drill Bit, he then proceeded to drill 3 holes into each side of the plywood (directly through the 2×4’s). We recommends 10 or more per side. But use as many as makes you comfortable.
Now that you have your holes you can take your impact drill and hex driver to work. Use the hex driver to drive the Tapcon screws through the wood into the concrete. We recommend at least an inch and a half to two inches of length be placed into the concrete for a proper and secure hold. It is important to always comply with local building code, we also recommend researching if your town or city has specific requirements, however keep in mind that this is a temporary fix and would not be installed as a permanent hurricane shutter or guard.
Once the hurricane is over, these Tapcon screws can be removed easily with the hex driver. Then the wood fixture can be stored for the next hurricane or simply used for other projects you may have.
Albany County Fasteners wants to help make your house as safe as possible during a hurricane. Hurricanes are unpredictable and mother nature is not a force to be taken lightly. You should always follow the directions given by leaders, law enforcement and the government and evacuate or leave the area during a hurricane and go somewhere safe until it has passed.
While we have shown you a way we believe to be sufficient to protect your doors, it is impossible to know what is going to happen and we can only prepare for the worst. If the storm coming your way is strong, add additional plywood sheets or thickness to your installation to make it as durable as possible and resist penetration.