If you are going to get hurricane force winds at your house you may consider cutting a few screens out of your enclosure. However, It may be better to wait until the wind is above 20 at your house before you cut any screens out. The storm could shift and you may not need to do anything.
The most efficient way to remove screens (to prepare for a storm) is to take one screen out (screens at eye level) on each short side of the of the enclosure and two out on the back (longer wall side) of the screen enclosure. You may feel that you need to remove more sections.
Sometimes it may be advisable to remove the screen doors before a hurricane. Screen doors do not have strong locks and often fly open during a storm and rip off the frame. In that case, you can remove the screen door and replace it after the storm. Check your screen doors.
If the screen material on your enclosure is more than 7 years old then they will very likely blow out. The average life of screen is 7-10 years. The more sun exposure the screen has, the faster it deteriorates.
Rarely do you need to need to cut screens out of a porch (average 10X40 covered patio.)
No need to take the spline (rubber spline that holds the screen in) out.
DO NOT GET ON A LADDER DURING THE WIND !!!!!!! NEVER PUT YOURSELF IN DANGER.
The reason for taking screen out is to allow wind to blow through the enclosure. If the wind gets caught in the enclosure and has a hard time getting out, then it could lift the enclosure off the grown or even tare it off the house.
You need to answer a few questions before you decide to remove screen sections/panels.
- How much exposure to the winds does your enclosure have? (are you on a lake, a golf course, 5 acre lot or any large open area). These things increase your wind exposure.
- Do you have other houses or trees (how many) around or near your pool enclosure. These things create a kind of wind barrier and reduces your wind exposure.
- Was your leni or pool enclosure build before 2014? The Florida Building Codes have been upgraded in 2014, 2010, 2007, 2004, 2001. With every upgrade the requirements for screen structures were increased to be able to withstand hurricane type winds. Generally, the older your enclosure, the weaker it will be. But this is not always necessarily true because many enclosures were built much stronger than code required at the time of the build.
- What type of screen is in your enclosure? Regular 18/14, 20/20 or a heavier mesh. The heavier or tighter mesh, the more resistant it will be in the wind, (more difficult it will be for the wind to blow through one side of the enclosure and out the other side.)
- How tall is your enclosure? The taller the enclosure the more exposure it will have to the winds. The wind increases the higher you get from the ground. The wind is less on the ground.
- How many screen side walls do you have? 1, 2, or 3? The more screen walls you have, the more exposure you have.
- Do you have rusty screws or bolts?
- Is the enclosure securely attached to the house?
- Do you have additional bracing on your enclosure?
- How large is your screen enclosure? The larger the enclosure, the more exposure to updraft or downdraft you can get.
- How tall is your house? The taller your home, the more updraft or downdraft it can create on your enclosure
- Generally, determine the amount of exposure your screen enclosure has and determine if you need to remove any panels or sections. Keep in mind, the screens that you remove, you will need to replace after the storm.
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