Duct v. masking tape during hurricane

(Sorry, this is my week to start lame GQ threads. I promise I’ll stop after this.)

Our property manager here on the Big Island of Hawaii is going nuts over the impending hurricane (he has his reasons, but that’s a different post). A few weather events back, he put masking tape over all the windows, then found it was a bitch to remove.

This time, he wants to use duct tape.

Does anyone actually think that removing duct tape adhesive from glass windows is going to be easier than removing masking tape adhesive? Seems to me it would be harder.

Also, what about the relative merits of each – I would think that duct tape would be stronger, even if harder to deal with later.

In my experience, taping windows, especially a big X, is pretty much a waste of time. It might offer a little protection on older windows, but modern glass is desined to break up into small pieces w/o creating sharp shards like older glass would do. If he must use tape he should consult a local hardware/home center, I believe there are new tapes that can be removed easier, w/o leaving much, if any, residue.
IMHO duct tape is going to be a bigger mess than masking tape.
He might also look into these new window films that are designed to reflect heat. They should also do a fair job of holding the glass together in the event it is broken. They would be a more permanent solution.
BTW, I’ve lived in hurricane prone areas for a number of years out of my life, I’m familiar w/ the problem of trying to remove masking tape.

That’s called tempered glass. It’s not new. It’s been used in car windows for many years. It’s often used on commercial windows but rarely those used in residential construction. Tempered glass is much more expensive than plain old plate glass.

I think you’ll find it has become common in newer homes, certainly in large windows and sliding doors. I still maintain that putting a big X of tape on windows does little to help, I think it’s more psychological than practical.

Painter’s blue tape should peel right off.

Simply put, Duct Tape is going to make a gummy mess on the glass. Masking Tape will also make a mess, but not nearly as bad.

Naphtha, wick lighter fluid, does a very good job of cleaning off sticky residue from masking tape and other adhesives on nonporous surfaces like glass and it dries with no residue.

Yep. All the glass in the replacement sliding doors I install are tempered, as are many of the picture windows (non opening) and very large sliders, single hungs, and double hungs.

However, I do find quite a mix of tempered vs non in what I remove.
Boarding up is better than taping up. If you must tape, try the blue tapes, they’re meant for glass use and are an easier release. Goof Off 2™ and a razor scraper make short work of tape on glass problems.

Well, squish my ignorance! I never knew this - useful!

Down here in Hurricane Country we use plywood or pretty much nothing at all. Do make sure all loose items are removed from your property. And make sure you have plenty of water, some batteries and at least 3 days of food (that can be eaten uncooked if necessary) set aside in an inside room. Books and puzzles might also not be a bad idea. Some block ice for a cooler also might make things easier for a few days if necessary.

But green painters tape will actually stick.

The forecast is calling for something like 60 mph winds. You probably don’t need to tape your windows at all for that.

And some homes have actual functional shutters. A few older ones in my neighborhood have tall windows & shutters to match–tropical style. And a new cottage on my street has real shutters–which were nailed shut with stained-to-match wood when too many Houstonians fled before Rita. (Living fairly inland & having seen many a storm, I stayed at home & watched the mess on TV.)

Shutters wouldn’t stop a direct hit from a Force 5 storm, but work great most of the time.

Tried to edit my post, but the fucking thing keeps timing out.

On further review, the sources I just perused say taping windows is not only ineffective, but it takes away time for more important preparations.

Tell your property manager to forget the tape and make sure nothing leaks, secure loose items, etc.

Don’t expect tempered glass, it could be a deadly assumption. Two winters ago a man died at a motel pool in the area. He pounded on the hallway glass to get his families attention. He bled to death before making it to the hospital by ambulance, when the window shattered into slivers.

Masking tape is crap after it gets wet. Masking tape will not protect anyone from a window that breaks. I don’t think duct tape would be worse for removing the adhesive. It would hold together at least when removing it wet. It could possibly stop a window that was cracked from falling all over, because of the interwoven fibers. The masking tape is more of a marking tape, as in don’t walk through here, we installed the glass. The easy remove painting masking tape only is that way for a short time. It would be even more useless for holding shattering glass. The only safe way to protect windows and persons is with a hurricane shutter. The second best way available to people is well secured plywood.

Just another vote against taping, it won’t help. I live in FL and have steel shutters for all my windows, plywood works, but not the real thin stuff. Limbs and other objects can be blown right through it.

I duct taped before lovely Hurricane Rita and Lordy what a PITA that was to get off. CW now states that all you’re doing should it shatter is insure that great big pieces will be flying through the air rather than little bity ones. Another vote for plywood or just making sure you stay away from the windows when winds and debris are an issue. Spend the time prepping in other ways, ie securing outdoor furniture, hoses, trim branches and limbs away from the structure, so trees won’t be toppled, etc.

Taping windows is useless.

Thanks, everyone. It turns out that the property manager bought a huge amount of duct tape and left an offering of duct tape at my front door this morning - even though, as An Arky says, the weather here isn’t so bad after all. At least he didn’t put the duct tape on THIS house. Whether he taped the other two on the property, I don’t know. I’m not sure I want to. It is his problem to remove it, anyway.

I’ll make use of all the good information/ideas above when I talk to him about how to prepare for hurricanes in the future.

I’ve never taped windows but will throw in a second mention for “Goof Off” for getting the sticky residue off surfaces.