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What Is a Window Board?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The term "window board" refers to a wooden board that is affixed over the face of a window, usually in preparation for protecting the window from extremely inclement weather. Areas that experience frequent hurricanes are most likely to require the need for a window board, and a homeowner or renter will need to secure the boards to the home before a storm hits for optimal protection. High winds can propel debris at high enough speeds that a window board will be necessary to prevent the impact on the window's glass.

Various types of wood can be used for a window board, but less expensive plywood or particle board is commonly used because many sheets of the material will need to be purchased in order to cover all the windows and doors in the home. The process of installing a window board can be difficult and dangerous, especially if the windows are on the second level of the home or higher; the boards must be installed from the exterior of the building, which means the installer will need to climb a ladder to position the wood properly. The installation process usually requires two people, since plywood or particle board can be quite heavy and difficult to lift.

Bay windows are one of the most difficult windows to board.
Bay windows are one of the most difficult windows to board.

In areas in which hurricanes or other natural disasters happen often, professional businesses may offer board-up services. These professionals will come to a home before a storm hits to install a window board on every window, and once the storm has passed, the business will come again to take the boards down. This service can be expensive, especially in the days leading up to a storm, but for people who cannot install a window board on their own, this service can be invaluable. Another advantage of using such a service is the ability to have a professional assess the best way to hang the board. Hanging a window board can be difficult, and doing it improperly can lead to damage to the home.

Boarding up a bay window can be especially difficult, and several boards will probably be necessary to complete this job. Other windows that do not feature wooden frames may require special screws or mounts that will affix to the metal frame without damaging it. The wood must be thick enough to withstand debris propelled at high speeds, so the board can be quite heavy. Damage to window frames is likely if the wood is installed improperly, so some installation companies will use special equipment or techniques to help prevent this damage.

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    • Bay windows are one of the most difficult windows to board.
      By: george kuna
      Bay windows are one of the most difficult windows to board.