When a raging storm with high winds rolls through town, you'll often be left with cracked or broken windows. Repairing windows after every big storm gets burdensome, and if your windows continue to break, you are also left constantly dealing with water damage from any rain that comes in your cracked windows. Thankfully, there are updates you can make to increase your windows' ability to withstand high winds and driving rain. Here's a look at three such upgrades.

1. Storm Shutters

Storm shutters are like doors that close over your windows. They are mounted on the exterior of your home -- one shutter on each side of the window. When a storm is rolling in, you can close the shutters, and they serve as a physical barrier between your window and the outdoors. Storm shutters may be made from wood or from wood composite materials. Wood ones look more natural, but composite is more resistant to moisture, so it's a great choice for rainy climates. These days, you can even find automated storm shutters that you can close with the touch of a button or even with an app on your smartphone.

2. Impact Windows

If you need to replace your windows anyways, consider having them replaced with impact-resistant glass. This type of glass is similar to that found in a car windshield. It is made to be extra sturdy so it won't break when a wind blows in, and if it does break, all of the little pieces of glass remain stuck to the plastic sheeting that covers the window. Impact windows are sometimes sold as hurricane windows, but even if you don't live in an area that gets hurricanes, they can be a great choice for storm protection.

3. Impact Window Film

If your windows are still in good shape and you don't want to pay to replace them prematurely, then this option may work well for you. Impact window film is a sticky film you can apply to the outside and inside of plain windows to make them more resistant to wind and other sources of damage. The film is clear but tough. The result is windows that are about as safe as actual impact windows. Applying the film can be difficult and requires a lot of precision, so make sure you ask a few friends to help and plan on spending a day or two on this task. 

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