Vacant Property

Vacant Property Board Up

There is a wealth of information online describing how to board up property in preparation for an approaching hurricane, but very little exists providing details distinguishing vacant property board up. The purpose of hurricane board up is to protect the subject property from the effects of high winds. The reason for vacant property board up is to secure the property and therefore, the methods used to board up windows of a vacant property is different in several respects.

Board Up Accessible Openings

Board up windows through which an intruder could gain access. Windows can be readily broken and offer easy access to vandals, squatters and scavengers who will cause damages and create liabilities that are far more costly that a window board up. Although seemingly more secure that windows, doors are easily accessed with minimal force making door board up essential to security in vacant properties.

Tension Window Board Up

The tension window board up method is commonly required by the property preservation and REO industry. Rather than simply screwing a board to a window frame, the tension method of window board up requires 2”x4” lumber and carriage bolts to ‘pinch’ the plywood between the inside and outside of the window frame. Since screws are not used, there is no damage to the window frame. The tension method also offers enhanced security as there are no screws that can be removed and carriage bolt heads are convex and offer no purchase to a wrench.

Tension Window Board Up Instructions

1. Remove and dispose of any the broken glass remaining in window frame or that has fallen to the ground/floor.
2. Measure and cut 5/8″ plywood to cover the entire window opening.
3. Take out removable window panes and store in a closet, or open top and bottom of fixed panes so four carriage bolts can pass through from the exterior to the interior of the property.
4. Cut 2”x4” lumber long enough to extend approximately 6” beyond the interior window opening on either side.
5. Measure to align plywood with 2”x4” lumber and drill holes appropriately sized for your hardware to pass through.
6. Push the carriage bolts through the 5/8″ plywood:
A. If the panes were removable the plywood can be passed from inside the building through to the exterior. Grasp the bolts to hold the 5/8″ plywood in place over the window opening. This can be done by one person without the use of a ladder.
B. If the panes were not removable two people must work in concert, one outside on a ladder to hold the plywood in place and the other inside to position the 2”x4” lumber and twist the nuts onto the carriage bolts.
7. Install the 2”x4” lumber braces, passing the carriage bolts through the predrilled holes and thread a washer and nut onto each bolt.
8. Adjust the plywood as needed and tighten the carriage bolts into place pinching the plywood and the 2”x4” lumber braces around the window frame.

Oversized Window Board Up

Window openings larger than the standard 48″x96″ sheet of plywood require joining with a 6” strip of plywood cut to length and attached with screws to create an appropriately sized board.

Door Board Up

Tension method door board up often requires additional 2”x4” lumber braces and carriage bolts to create a more secure board up.

Overhead Door Board Up

Using masonry drill bit and concrete fasteners, install 2”x4” lumber on the floor along the door opening to act as a stud base plate. Build a 2”x4” lumber stud frame and affix to the stud base plate, above and on each side. Overhead door openings are generally too large to employ the tension method and therefore require the use screws. It is recommended that Torx screw be used as they are not common and provide greater security than Philips head screws. Affix 3/4″ plywood into the 2×4 framework.

Pet Door Board Up

Even though pet door openings are small, always use two braces and four bolts. Pet doors are commonly cut into entry doors so care should be taken to use bolts of appropriate length so as not to impede operation of the door. Oversized bolts can be cut to size.
Contact Property Recovery 911 whether your property has for professional board up in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.


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