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How to Board Up a Property After a Break-In: A Comprehensive Guide

June 5, 2024

Experiencing a break-in can be a traumatic event, leaving you feeling vulnerable and unsafe. One immediate step you can take to secure your property and restore some peace of mind is to board up any damaged windows and doors. Here’s a detailed guide on how to effectively board up your property after a break-in.

Materials and Tools Needed

Before you start, gather the necessary materials and tools:

  • Plywood sheets: 12 mm thick for windows and doors.
  • 50x100 mm timber: For additional reinforcement.
  • Measuring tape: To ensure accurate cuts.
  • Circular saw or handsaw: For cutting plywood and timber.
  • Screws and nails: At least 65 mm long.
  • Drill and drill bits: For making holes in the plywood and walls.
  • Hammer: For nails.
  • Screwdriver: If using screws.
  • Gloves and safety goggles: For protection.
  • Pry bar: If needed to remove broken window frames or debris.
  • Utility knife: To trim any excess material.

Step-by-Step Process

Assess the Damage: Carefully inspect the property to identify all areas that need boarding up. Note the size and location of broken windows and doors.

Measure Openings: Use a measuring tape to determine the dimensions of each window and door opening. Write down these measurements to ensure you cut the OSB accurately.

Cut the OSB: Using the measurements, cut the OSB sheets with a circular saw or handsaw. Ensure that the OSB covers the entire opening with a bit of overlap for added security.

Prepare the timber: Cut the 2x4 (50x100) timber to fit the width of the OSB. These will act as braces to reinforce the OSB on doors or larger windows.

Drill Holes in OSB: Pre-drill holes in the corners and along the edges of the OSB. This makes it easier to secure the OSB without splitting it.

Position the OSB: Place the OSB over the damaged window or door. Ensure it is aligned properly and covers the entire opening.

Secure the OSB: Using screws or nails, secure the OSB to the exterior wall of the property. If you're covering a door, place the 2x4 (50x100) braces horizontally across the OSB for added strength. Attach these braces with screws or nails.

Check Stability: Once the OSB is in place, ensure it is firmly attached and cannot be easily removed. Push and pull on the OSB to check its stability.

Reinforce if Necessary: For added security, especially in high-crime areas, consider adding additional layers of OSB or more braces.

Additional Tips

Work in Pairs: Boarding up large windows or doors is easier and safer with two people.

Use Quality Materials: Invest in good-quality OSB and timber to ensure maximum security.

Keep Tools Handy: Keep your tools organized and within reach to speed up the boarding process.

Post-Boarding Steps

After securing your property, take the following steps:

Contact Your Insurance Company: Report the break-in and the steps you’ve taken to secure your property.

File a Police Report: Ensure that the break-in is officially documented.

Assess Security: Consider upgrading your security system, installing stronger locks, and adding security cameras.

Plan Repairs: Schedule permanent repairs to replace the boarded-up windows and doors with new ones.

Boarding up your property after a break-in is a crucial step in securing your premeses, and preventing further damage or theft. By following this guide, you can ensure that your property is safely secured until permanent repairs can be made.

Most importantly - if you need it, seek professional help:

If the damage is extensive or you feel unsafe, consider hiring professionals like us to board up your property. We have years of experience in boarding up residential and commercial premeses, our rates are fair and we offer 24 hour callout.

Stay safe - and lock tight.

Danny Kilgannon.
DK Locksmiths

07931 810424

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