Protecting your home from the devastating effects of hurricanes is of utmost importance for homeowners residing in hurricane-prone areas. One effective method of safeguarding your property is by installing Lexan panels. These transparent, durable panels provide an excellent barrier against high winds, flying debris, and heavy rain. In this article, we will delve into the benefits and installation process of Lexan panels for hurricane protection.
Understanding Lexan Panels
What are Lexan Panels?
Lexan panels, also known as polycarbonate panels, are made from a thermoplastic material called polycarbonate. This material is incredibly strong, impact-resistant, and transparent, making it an ideal choice for hurricane protection.
Advantages of Lexan Panels
There are several advantages to using Lexan panels for hurricane protection:
- High Impact Resistance: Lexan panels can withstand strong winds and flying debris without shattering, providing superior protection for your home.
- Transparency: Unlike traditional storm shutters, Lexan panels allow natural light to enter your home even when installed, maintaining a bright and airy atmosphere.
- Easy Installation: Lexan panels are lightweight and easy to install, making them a convenient option for homeowners.
- Cost-Effective: Compared to other hurricane protection methods, such as storm shutters or impact-resistant windows, Lexan panels are relatively affordable.
- Durability: Lexan panels are resistant to UV radiation, ensuring they won't yellow or degrade over time.
Choosing Lexan Panels
When selecting Lexan panels for hurricane protection, it's crucial to consider their thickness. Thicker panels provide greater strength and impact resistance. The recommended thickness for Lexan panels used in hurricane-prone areas is typically between 0.75 inches and 1 inch.
Ensure that you choose high-quality Lexan panels from reputable manufacturers. Look for panels that meet industry standards, such as ASTM D3935, which ensures the panels' durability and performance.
Installing Lexan Panels
Prior to installing Lexan panels, it's important to prepare your home:
- Inspect the area where the panels will be installed, ensuring there are no obstructions such as plants or furniture.
- Clean the windows thoroughly to ensure optimal adhesion.
- Measure the dimensions of each window accurately to ensure a proper fit.
There are two common methods for installing Lexan panels:
- Direct Screw Method: This method involves attaching the panels directly to the window frame using screws. It provides a secure and permanent installation.
- H-Channel Method: The H-channel method involves installing aluminum channels on either side of the window frame and sliding the Lexan panels into place. This method allows for easy removal and reinstallation of the panels.
Sealing and Reinforcement
To enhance the effectiveness of Lexan panels, it's crucial to seal any gaps or openings around the edges. Use a high-quality silicone sealant to ensure a watertight seal. Additionally, consider reinforcing the panels with aluminum bars or brackets for added stability.
Maintenance and Care
Cleaning Lexan Panels
To maintain the clarity and effectiveness of your Lexan panels, regular cleaning is essential:
- Use a mild soap solution or a commercial plastic cleaner.
- Gently clean the panels using a soft cloth or sponge.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners or rough materials that may scratch the surface of the panels.
If you need to remove the Lexan panels when hurricane season is over, proper storage is important:
- Clean the panels thoroughly before storing.
- Store the panels in a dry, cool, and protected area to prevent damage.
- Avoid stacking heavy objects on top of the panels, as this may cause deformation.
Investing in Lexan panels for hurricane protection is a wise choice for homeowners in hurricane-prone areas. Their durability, transparency, and ease of installation make them an effective and cost-efficient solution. By following the installation and maintenance guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure your home is well-protected during hurricane season.