Recommended: Strengthening door and window hardware where appropriate (if hardware is historic explore alternatives). Adding temporary or permanent protection to all openings.

Not Recommended: Roll down shutters, see- through corrugated plastic shutters, accordion shutters, or modern shutters do not match the aesthetics of historic homes.

Double-hung Window Components. Image Credit: New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission.

Double-hung Window Components. Image Credit: New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission.

Windows and doors play an important role in protecting a home during a storm. They stop rain and wind from entering, keeping the interior dry and preventing the forces of wind uplift from lifting off the roof or otherwise damaging the structure. When damage is sustained inside a home, repair are more expensive compared to just exterior damage. Personal possessions can be damaged or destroyed. All openings in the exterior of a building should be secured

Recommended. Window Treatments: Operable shutters and exterior storm windows Image Credits: LDHP and NPS|Edward FitzGerald.

Recommended. Window Treatments: Operable shutters and exterior storm windows Image Credits: LDHP and NPS|Edward FitzGerald.

to withstand high winds and wind-borne debris. Prior to a storm, homeowners should remove or secure items in the yard that may become wind-borne missiles.

Broken glass in windows or doors allows rain to enter, damaging the structure, interior finishes, and contents. Latching mechanisms should be added to all windows and doors to lessen the chance of them being forced open by high winds. Windows can be protected with added storm windows, storm shutters, temporary storm panels, window films, or storm screens. Interior or exterior storm windows are available and can also help lower energy costs by reducing air infiltration in historic homes.

Recommended. Window Treatments: Operable shutters and exterior storm windows Image Credits: LDHP.

Recommended. Window Treatments: Operable shutters and exterior storm windows Image Credits: LDHP.

Shutters are a common and often distinctive feature of many native Louisiana building styles and are common on both windows and doors. Other styles imported from different climates, like Arts and Crafts bungalows or Mid-Century ranch houses, either had no shutters or had false ones permanently affixed to the side of the building. Shutters were historically used for ventilation, privacy, and to shade building interiors from the sun. They also protected glass windows and doors from breaking in a storm. Reproduction shutters can be manufactured to match historic materials and details. Modern roll-up or folding shutters attached to the exterior change the appearance of a historic

Exterior Storm Window Image Credit NPS Sarah Marie Jackson.

Recommended. Exterior Storm Window Image Credit NPS Sarah Marie Jackson.

building and are not recommended.

Temporary storm panels are preferable alternatives to modern retrofit shutters. Temporary storm panels can be made from plywood or corrugated metal and should be produced ahead of time to be on hand when a storm is imminent. Fabric storm panels or screens, impact resistant film added to glass, or woven metal screens may be less noticeable than modern shutters and detract less from the historic character of the building while still offering some protection. When installing permanent barriers like shutters or screens, it is important that they be appropriate to the style of the building.

Not Recommended. NOLA Gentilly Poorly designed shutter Image Credit NPS Edward FitzGerald

Not Recommended. NOLA Gentilly Poorly designed shutter Image Credit NPS Edward FitzGerald

Not Recommended. NOLA Broadmoor Plastic Hurricane Shutters Image Credit NPS Edward FitzGerald.

Not Recommended. NOLA Broadmoor Plastic Hurricane Shutters Image Credit NPS Edward FitzGerald.

Not Recommended: NOLA Broadmoor Metal Shutters Roll Down. An obtrusive addition which changes the appearance of this historic bungalow. Image Credit NPS Edward FitzGerald.

Not Recommended: NOLA Broadmoor Metal Shutters Roll Down. An obtrusive addition which changes the appearance of this historic bungalow. Image Credit NPS Edward FitzGerald.

References

Disaster Mitigation for Historic Structures, 1000 Friends of Florida

Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures (Third Edition), FEMA

Hurricane Resistance: Retrofitting, Storm Shutters Increase Safety, Ann Green

Additional Resources

Home Builders Guide to Coastal Construction: Technical Fact Sheet Series, FEMA

Homeowners Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your Home from Flooding, FEMA

Retrofit Description Advantages Notes Priority Installation
Building Elevation  Raise above BFE or DFE  Easier on houses with crawl spaces  More complex for houses with additions or on grade  High  Professional
Dry Flood Proofing  Walls are coated with water proof material and all openings must be closed off during a flood  Works best on masonry buildings whose foundations are built on grade  Not recommended for historic buildings and materials  Low  Professional
Wet Flood Proofing  Flooding is planned for by moving utilities and contents above the BFE or DFE  Alternative for homes that cannot be elevated  Could result in  more damage  Medium  DIY or Professional
Levees  Large embankment. Rule of thumb that for every 1 ft in height the levee must be 7 ft wide  Prevents floodwaters from reaching the house  Can be very large and may provide the perception that you are diverting water towards your neighbors  Low  Professional/ Government
Floodwalls  Wall constructed around home or property to protect against floodwaters  Prevents floodwaters from reaching the house  Can be very large and may provide the perception that you are diverting water towards neighbors  Low  Professional
Site Drainage  When the land slopes towards a building it can guide water towards the building  Grade the landscape away from buildings  Can disrupt the landscape that may  have historic plantings  High  DIY or Professional
French Drain  Typically a trench that has a slotted pipe to divert water away from buildings

 The drain is buried in the ground and will not be visible  Will have to disturb site to dig drain Medium  DIY or Professional
Porch  Reinforce structural elements and tie together from foundation to roof  Prevents porch and its elements from being washed or blown away  If the roof is an extension of the main roof and the porch pulls away from the house this can lead to water in infiltration on the interior  High  Professional
Chimneys  Repair and anchor to house  The mass of a chimney can serve as an anchor for a building  May require some repointing or reconstruction to  strengthen or stabilize  Medium  Professional
Roofs  Well maintained roofs should sustain less damage during high winds. Connections should be strengthened to tie the structure together  If your roof has reached the end of its life and needs replacement this is the time to add a water proof membrane and strengthen connections  When replacing a roof this is the best time to upgrade. Your options may be limited if your are not replacing your roof which should not be done for a roof in good condition  High  Professional
Windows and Doors  All openings should be secured  Additional or stronger hardware may be needed  May take longer to determine appropriate hardware for historic windows and doors  High  DIY or Professional
Window Films  Can be added to existing windows to hold glass fragments together during high impacts  May also provide a savings to homeowners long term by reducing energy costs  May not provide adequeate protection from wind borne debris  Medium  Professional
Temporary Shutters  Provide protection for glass against wind-borne debris  Can be pre- pared ahead of time for quicker installation when a storm approaches  Need to be installed when a storm is imminent. Homeowners should be physically able to do this themselves or have a plan for an event  Medium  DIY
Permanent Shutters  Provide protection for glass against wind-borne debris  Can be put in place before a storm and may be easier for homeowners who are physically challenged to execute  Aluminum roll down shutters stand out on historic facades. Permanently attached shutters may block egress  Low  Professional
Storm Windows  Provide protection for glass against wind-borne debris  Can be installed on the interior or exterior  Exterior storm windows are often not recommended for historic homes; Interior storm windows will protect against water in filtration but will not protect the windows  High  DIY or Professional

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
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Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
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