Archive | September, 2012

Architects and Designers Hurricane Shutter Info

29 Sep

Architects, Designers & Builders

Maybe the single most important thing to know about Evolution Hurricane Shutters is the fact that they just don’t look like shutters at all! They are more like a hi-tech storm window without the shortcomings of glass. Other advantages are that they won’t break, they resist condensation, they reduce sound resonance and best of all they conserve energy. This allows architects and designers much more freedom in the creation phase. The most important thing to remember is this; no matter how much film you put on the front of it, inside of it or on the back of it, glass is going to break when impacted.

The Evolution Clear Advantage

The hurricane shutter that doesn’t look like a shutter!

Are the design requirements for maximum energy efficiency conflicting with hurricane protection requirements on your projects? Are impact windows limiting your creative design inner forces? Are historical rehab projects requiring that you keep the current architecture with little or no variance? Are custom windows too costly for your budget conscious clients? Evolution Hurricane Shutters are made to order for your new projects or custom made to retrofit your historical renovations.

6 Reasons to utilize Evolution Hurricane Shutters on your next project.

  1. Design aesthetics – Blends with almost any architectural style, nearly invisible from the street giving you more design freedom.
  2. Performance – Nothing matches the benefits that this product offers in durability, sound abatement, UV filtering and, especially, energy efficiency. No broken windows to replace even after repeated large missile impacts. Florida Building Code approved.
  3. Cost effectiveness – Lower cost, lighter and stronger than impact windows – especially in custom shapes.
  4. Green – Save on energy costs. Crystal clear hurricane protection that pays for itself faster than any other type of aftermarket protection. Reduce your project’s overall energy usage.
  5. Low maintenance – No deployment, no storage, no extra labor, no gearboxes, and no power supply required. No IGU seals to leak, affording consistent and predictable performance.
  6. Project advantage – Increase overall structure energy efficiency without the cost and labor of added insulation or building materials.

You can now offer your clients the best and fastest return on their hurricane protection dollar while “keeping it green”!  Let standard energy efficient window designs save energy and fit your architectural scheme and let Evolution Hurricane Shutters take care of hurricane, vandalism and simple “smash and grab” protection.

Which projects benefit most?

  • Great for first responder buildings. No response delay of 911 calls due to clean up efforts.
  • Public works depots and substations. Workers will be cleaning up the community instead of their own departments.
  • Medical rehabilitation facilities. Additional fortification will defer evacuations of category 2 or 3 storms. Accommodate residents from lesser equipped facilities.
  • ALFs, ACLFs and nursing homes. Become the area hub to temporarily house evacuees from other facilities.
  • Schools and institutions. Reduce window breakage from vandalism and reduce energy consumption. Add to overall shelter safety.
  • Art galleries or museums. Eliminate ultraviolet ray infiltration.
  • Military barracks, officer’s quarters and family housing. Increase protection and reduce energy and maintenance costs.

Hurricane protection has been made mandatory by insurance companies in Florida and other hurricane zone states. With every new storm that makes landfall, new areas will added and existing zones will only increase. Designing with Evolution Hurricane Shutters put your structures a step ahead of the curve and the rest of the pack.

Because Evolution Hurricane Shutters are permanent, they require no storage hassles and no deployment which makes them perfect for absentee owners because they protect while the owner is gone – without announcing the fact to everyone who drives by that the structure is unoccupied. Simple interior and exterior timed lighting completes the effect.

Now you can specify the right windows for your next project and then add the flat, crystal clear, aluminum framed, polycarbonate features of super strong Evolution Hurricane Shutters for added protection, security and energy efficiency.

Reduce building maintenance by eliminating the protected nooks of insect nests, bird nests and cobwebs. Give your clients what they want and need – hurricane and security protection that works for them 24/7, reduces energy consumption, and looks great while doing it!  Eliminate broken glass from vandalism. There’s even a clear exterior applied film available for anti-graffiti, repeated washing or high traffic areas. Or how about a reflective film to reduce solar heat gain and add privacy?  We have that available, too!

Evolution Hurricane Shutters are ideal for single family homes and investment properties as well as multifamily, apartment or condominium projects.  Structures with energy efficient upgrades are in high demand and increasing the energy efficiency in your designs without the expense of thicker walls or additional insulation on new builds or renovations will put you in the running on every design.

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Hurricane Shutters on Strip Malls and Shopping Centers

27 Sep

Commercial Property Owners

  •   Do you want your units to be the most desirable in the area?
  •   Do you want higher rents, loyal tenants and lower overhead?
  •   Do you want to be done with the “11th Hour Scamper” and expense to get all of your storefronts secured before the storm moves in to your area?
  •   Are you always left guessing as to how long after the storm passes when your boarding will be removed?

Here’s what Evolution Hurricane Shutters can do for you:

  •   Increase space desirability (lower utility costs, higher security and full time hurricane protection)
  •   Provide lower utility costs for tenants  (the more storefront area, the more your tenants will save on heating/cooling costs)
  •   Reduce smash & grab thefts of tenants (thieves go elsewhere as soon as they hit resistance)
  •   Allow drive by police inspections during storm activity  (clear panels means no unseen inside activity)
  •   No seasonal hurricane protection costs (no plywood, hardware or labor to board up or take down)
  •   Quicker return to “business as usual” for you AND your tenants.

All of these features translate into:

  •     HIGHER MONTHLY PROFITS
  •     LOWER VACANCY RATES
  •     LOWER OVERHEAD
  •     NO PRE-STORM PREPARATION PANIC
  •     NO POST-STORM DOWN TIME FOR STOREFRONT PROTECTION REMOVAL

Secure tenants are happy tenants.  Your units will be in higher demand and bring higher rents while your insurance and storm preparedness costs go down.

Visit our web site and then contact your local contractor or a hurricane protection installer to see how soon Evolution Hurricane Shutters can start making your properties more profitable.

2 story plaza in Marco island

Typical strip plaza application.

Hurricane Shutters for Your Church

24 Sep

Is your house of worship experiencing any of these?

  •   Are monthly energy costs using up more and more of your donations?
  •   Does your congregation feel the need for a true sanctuary?
  •   Are your stained glass or lead-camed windows protected from hurricane winds and debris?
  •   Do you need vandalism protection?
  •   Do any of your members need a shelter from an impending storm?
  •   Is your place of worship also a school, community center or other campus?
  •   Is your membership recruiting and enthusiasm down among members?
  •   Does your church host outdoor sporting events or community festivals

Having Evolution Hurricane Shutters installed on your house of worship will:

  1.   Dramatically reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs.
  2.   Protect expensive or irreplaceable stained glass, photographs and artwork.
  3.   Stop damage by hailstones, rocks, BBs, pellets or other projectiles.
  4.   Eliminate window damage from athletic gear during sporting events.
  5.   Prevent window breakage from grounds maintenance accidents.
  6.   Protect your windows before, during and after storm conditions.
  7.   Reduce noises from outside during prayer, school or quiet time.
  8.   Eliminate places for nesting bird, spiders or stinging insects.
  9.   Increase donations from community sources from storm shelter capability.

When your members receive the feeling of pride from knowing that their house of worship
provides shelter from hurricanes to those in need, your in house donations will increase.
That same pride and a desire to showoff the added shelter capability by current members
will prompt them to invite their friends to more services and activities.

Stained glass protection of a large 14 foot wide X 22 foot tall window.

After your hurricane shutters are installed, send out invitations to all of the
surrounding congregations announcing a Gala event to come and see the true
sanctuary that your membership has created.

Contact your favorite contractor or hurricane protection installer to find out how soon
your house of worship can be reaping the benefits of Evolution Hurricane Shutters.

Sometimes architecture can’t be sacrificed for the sake of protection. This is where Evolution Hurricane Shutters rise to the occasion.

Here’s what’s left after the scaffolding comes down and the work is completed

The Hurricane Shutter Business and Insurance

19 Sep

From my point of view, when it comes to hurricane protection, the proof has always been “in the pudding” and that is the basis of our product, our live demonstrations and our business. We test what we install and we stand behind it 100%. Anyone who has seen our live demonstrations (from Ocean City, Md to Naples, Fl.) knows how much we trust our product. Yes, I am certainly going to tout the benefits of Evolution Hurricane Shutters, but I will also tell you the positives of some of the others, as well and I hope that others will chime in with additional information. As I have stated before, I’m no expert. I know that the hurricane protection that we manufacture at Evolution Hurricane Shutters is not for everyone, not for every business or church and not for every application. I freely admit that and I will tell a prospective customer the same if our product isn’t going to be the best “fit” for them. Sure, if they demand it from me, I’ll sell it, but that’s not what being in business is all about for me. I’m not in favor of promoting the idea that a $3000 used park model mobile home should have $4000 of hurricane protection. But if he/she has been told by their insurance company that the structure is non-insurable and therefore feels that our product is the only one that protects their property, then I’m on board. Besides, the replacement cost of a small park model starts at about $22, 000.00. There is a corrupted saying in the marketplace that says “The customer is always right.” but the original real version says, “The customer is king.” The kings may not always be right but, nonetheless, they are still kings. How else are people going to protect their property? When the insurance company says that your home isn’t worth the risk for them to insure, the you need to take matters imnto your own hands. Anchor it down so it doesn’t blow away and do what you can to keep the windows from blowing out.

The internet is a great place to find out who has bad reports, complaints, dissatisfied customers and lawsuits. When I review a business or a product, I don’t give too much credence to a customer complaint here and there.  However, when there are so many complaints against a company and so much missing money that the courts get involved, it probably bears a closer look. With that being said let’s move on.

In my way off thinking, if you do anything in your business, you’re gonna’ make a mistake somewhere along the line. If a business owner were to tell me that he/she have NO complaints from customers, then they don’t have much of a business. If you don’t get complaints, you aren’t doing anything. I’ve worked for enough companies in my life to know that there are some people out there who are NEVER satisfied with anything. They think that everything they amass in their life should be free and unconditionally guaranteed for life. They also believe that restaurants are in business to give them free meals and auto repair shops should fix their cars at no charge. In some cases, it also seems that every problem that they experience in life is the fault of someone else. These people are out there and you probably either know at least one of them or maybe are even related to one (isn’t it horrible that we can’t pick our relatives?).

Just remember that insurance companies are out to maximize premiums and minimize losses. That’s their game and everyday they make the rules in Washington, D.C. to benefit themselves at the expense of the public. That’s about all i need to say on that topic………..

Porous vs. non-porous hurricane protection

17 Sep

As a homeowner in a hurricane prone area, it is important to know the performance differences between porous and non-porous hurricane protection. What? You never heard of such a thing? Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger – neither have most homeowners. As a matter of fact, the person selling you your current hurricane protection probably hasn’t either. Here’s the way it has been explained to me:

Porous type protections have open areas around their edges or on their surface that equal more than 5% to 10% of the area covered by the shutter. This allows air and/or water to pass through or around them. Some have as much as 50% open area (like some screens or mesh). They provide only impact protection and rely on the door or window they are protecting to resist the water penetration and air infiltration from both negative pressures (those directed away from the house) and positive pressures (those directed towards the house). So, porous systems block wind-borne debris and are usually built out far enough so that they will not deflect into the glass when impacted by the standard 9-pound 2×4 lumber missile traveling at 34 mph. However, they don’t always do the best job of reducing wind pressures or water leaks. The result is that the windows and doors behind them sometimes experience the full effect of the wind pressures and may leak about as much as an unprotected window or door.

Non-porous hurricane protection systems should be  water and air tight or very close to it. In many cases, even protection labelled as “non-porous” will still allow outside pressures to affect the window or door behind it. This is due to the fact even though the non-porous protection has less than 10% open area, it’s still more than 0% (0% being considered water resistant) If the windows behind them are not strong enough they can still be blown in, which allows wind pressures and driven rain to enter the structure.

Here are 2 examples:

This..

You have a corrugated metal or plastic panel-and-channel system over your 48″ tall x 96″ wide living room picture window. To deploy the system, the panels are tipped towards the wall, slid up into the upper channel and then are pushed back against the wall at the bottom (or window sill), and then either dropped down into the floor of the bottom channel or bolted to an angle below the window sill. This leaves a gap at the top and bottom where the corrugations come away from the building. These gaps at the top and bottom allow wind and rain to get in behind the shutter and attack the window. There are also gaps at the vertical edges of both end panels where they meet the outside wall of your living room.

When the wind blows, some of the pressures and rain are allowed attack your windows. If you were to open the inside window during the storm, you would definitely feel wind blowing on you. This is technically known as air infiltration. Any rain or water that gets past the shutters is called water penetration and you will most likely feel this, too. This is considered a porous system – it allows air pressure and wind driven rain to get at the protected window. If you have newer wind rated windows, this system will be fine for you. It will keep direct hurricane force winds and large missile wind borne debris away from your windows.

Vs. this…

You have purchased and cut a flat cellular polycarbonate twin-wall sheet to the over-sized dimensions, per the instructions, to fit over the same picture window. You have the proper support bars in place to prevent deflection during impact and your anchor holes are all lined up and you’re ready to deploy the sheet. You affix some standard foam weatherstrip (with adhesive backing) to the backside perimeter of the sheet in the oversize area. You hold the sheet into the proper position and drill and insert the anchoring hardware and tighten per instructions.

In this case, when the wind blows, there is no attack of the protected window. Theoretically, if the weatherstripping is working properly, you can open the inside window during the storm and light a candle and it won’t blow out. The weatherstrip should keep the wind and water from getting in. This is a non-porous system. If you have older, single or double strength aluminum or pvc framed windows from the ’60s, ’70’s or ’80’s, this might be a good system for you. And it lets light in so it won’t make you feel like you’re in a dungeon and will save you a bunch of battery power and candles when the power goes out. It isn’t going to be cheap, but it will be lightweight and easier to deploy come storm season. If you have large windows to cover, you could even invest in hurricane rated mullions (support bars) that are the same color as your window trim and leave them in place permanently. That will decrease your deployment time and as long as they are strategically located, won’t obstruct your view too badly and won’t be too noticeable when you look outside.

Finally, in some cases the porosity of the system is determined by the installation itself. The farther away from the face of the structure the system is mounted, the larger the gap for wind and rain to enter. Make sure that you have it in writing as to which system is being installed on your building.

Hurricane impact windows are non-porous hurricane protection, as well. Evolution Hurricane Shutters can be installed as either porous or non-porous protection. We recommend  the non-porous method because it provides the opening with the greatest protection and the greatest energy conservation and sound insulation.
The lesson here? Although non-porous protection is superior to porous protection, you may only need to have non-porous to satisfy your insurance carrier or local building code. Take a common sense approach to your hurricane protection needs. Is seasonal storm protection all that you want? Worried about vandalism? Does your yard serve as the local ball field for the rest of the neighborhood? Do you want energy savings, too? Will you always be around to deploy the protection? What conditions does your insurance company dictate? If you are only a seasonal resident, you may be required to have an “installation contract” in place with a local company to prove to your insurer that your hurricane protection will be in place in time to protect your structure from the storm. Just a reminder – read the news and realize that the insurance companies are getting tighter and tighter about what they are going to pay out. They are ticked off that hurricane protection costs them revenue but glad about reducing their risk. They don’t want to pay out any more money than they have to and their inspectors will start nit-picking your protection at the rime of the policy start and they will also be more adamant about post storm investigations to lower their settlement figure. Taking short-cuts or getting lazy about putting protection in place by the homeowner will only draw the ire of the underwriter and get you a step closer to a fraud charge.

Buying impact windows – before and after the sale

14 Sep

If you are one of the conscientious homeowners who stepped up to the plate and bought impact windows in recent years, good for you. They were the best thing available on the market – at the time. It’s a fact that impact glass windows do a superb job of protecting the envelope of a structure after impact, but you will see from any online video that in the process, the impact windows are absolutely demolished and will require the expense and mess of replacement. Go to Youtube, search for “impact glass test” or “impact window test” and see for yourself. In my opinion, these should be “required viewing” by any prospective window buyer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCHtON-BQsE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu7XTW2SHW4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EEUsxe-pbA

Ok, let’s pretend that the storm has passed. Now you not only have a huge mess of broken glass to clean up, you also have the added expense of getting the broken window part replaced. If you’re lucky and you have single or double hung windows and the impact was directed to the glass only and not the frame, you might be able to replace just the glass unit. This is another important question to ask the salesperson; “Can the glass be replaced without destroying the window?” Some brands may even replace just the broken lite. You will have to check with the manufacturer to see how this effects the warranty. The next best option is replacing the window sash unit (the glass and surrounding framework). Replacing just a sash is a little more expensive but quite a bit cheaper that getting the entire window replaced.

The bottom line is, your impact windows weren’t cheap the first time around and they won’t be cheap to replace. If you received any kind of a warranty with them, read it closely. Do a check to make sure that the model of window that you purchased still has replacement parts available. You may find out that the entire company that made your windows is no longer in business. The installer who originally put them in is not who issued the warranty, so don’t him him/her too hard of a time (unless the window failure is due to improper installation). Now might be a good time to protect your investment with the addition of Evolution Hurricane Shutters.  Weigh the cost of getting just one of your main impact windows replaced vs. the cost of an Evolution Hurricane Shutter. If you want, add in the inconvenience, safety risk and mess of a broken window…..the amount of time you are going to have to wait to get your new window (they aren’t sitting on the shelf at the big box store), scheduling the replacement by the window guy (window companies get VERY busy following a major storm) and the insurance hassles that go along with your claim. Why not just avoid ALL of that in the 1st place?

The other drawback to standard impact windows is their lack of energy efficiency. When compared to a new non-impact rated window, they do little to reduce your monthly energy consumption. There are some models available that are more energy efficient called “insulated glass units” or IGUs. These are made up of a layer of impact glass and a layer of non-impact glass that are separated by a sealed air space. Sometimes the air space is filled with an inert gas (like argon or krypton) that is supposed to prevent deterioration of any metal components or glass coatings inside and to aid in energy efficiency. If you do a little industry research on them you will find that the gas slowly leaks out and and eventually does nothing for you. After the gas has leaked out, then outside air is allowed to be drawn in. This will also make your windows start to get cloudy and allow condensation inside the air space. Another point to pay close attention to is that these windows need to be installed perfectly plumb within the opening. Any wracking or twisting of these windows at the time of installation will result in breaking the seal and your windows will cloud up, usually starting in the corners. This clouding is an indication that your windows are no longer doing the job that you paid extra bucks for them to do. Also inside this “IGU” is a moisture absorbing substance referred to as “desiccant”. This will hide the seal failure for a while, but not forever and that’s when the condensation will appear inside your IGU.

Evolution Hurricane Shutters have been designed not only to protect your expensive hurricane impact windows, but to make them more energy efficient. We guarantee that the heat loss or gain through your window areas will be reduced! This is just one more reason why we say that Evolution Hurricane Shutters are “The rEvolution in Hurricane Protection”.

Please don’t get me wrong! I’m not down on impact glass – I recommend it to almost every one of my commercial property owners. Every strip mall or shopping plaza needs to have impact glass in the entrance doors. I don’t sell them and make no recommendation on which brands to buy (maybe I should start). My goal is to get impact resistant and energy efficient Evolution Hurricane Shutters on all of the storefronts and windows while recommending energy efficient impact glass doors on the entrance(s). When the project is complete, not only will the shopkeeper be able to simply lock the front door and leave when there is a hurricane bearing down on the area but, every night at closing time he or she will be certain that the energy saving and added security of Evolution Hurricane Shutters will be working overtime.

2 story plaza in Marco island

Typical strip plaza application.

To Shutter or not to Shutter – Your Hurricane Plan

12 Sep

Selecting your type of hurricane protection is really not much different than selecting a new automobile. Simply pick out the one that you want and decide which place to buy it from. However, bringing home a “demo” for a couple of days or even taking a “test drive” is probably not going to be an option.

The next best thing to a test drive is seeing what friends and neighbors are using or have used. After that, viewing web site photo galleries are probably the next best thing because many types of aftermarket hurricane protection won’t be visible until a storm is imminent. If you’ve waited until a storm threatens to decide, it’s most likely too late to do anything but screw plywood or OSB (if there’s any left at the big box stores) to your windows.

Brand loyalty will probably not come into play so you will have to rely on online research, forums or the tried and true “word of mouth” info gathered from office water-cooler discussions and, of course, media advertising.  There are also a multitude of charts available with pros and cons of different shutter method. Our patented Evolution Hurricane Shutters will not be on any of those charts because it’s too new and, until now, hasn’t really been advertised. Enough about that….let’s get started on your plan. Check out these links to get a basic idea of what’s available.

http://floridabuilderresources.com/fort-myers-fl-home-hurricane-impact-windows.htm 

http://dev.lemonbayglass.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Windows-Buyers-Guide.pdf 

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/sfl-hc-shutterguide,0,4823608.htmlstory

http://www.floridadisaster.org/hrg/index.asp  

 

Establish your plan

  • First and foremost, at what point do you evacuate? Safety for you and your loved ones and pets should be 1st on the list. Consider all risks before riding out ANY storm – not just wind and rain.
  • Do you want just hurricane protection? Today’s market focus is put on versatility, multitasking and return.
  • Are you able to deploy and take down your own shutters? If you work on the road or are a seasonal resident, this item alone can get pricey.
  • Establish your budget. How much do you want to spend? Lower utility bills and insurance premiums may allow you to spend more on your hurricane shutters.
  • Do you want your protection done all at once or in stages to make it more affordable? Outfitting your windows in stages may ease the strain of your budget.
  • Will you need financing? Some types qualify for loans.
  • Are your existing windows in good shape but just need impact protection? If your current windows are in good shape or are already impact rated, you may only want impact protection.
  • Have you already explored the cost of replacing your windows but the price is out of your budget right now? Adding non-porous, clear hurricane shutters will extend the life of your existing windows AND save energy.
  • Are you willing to “mix and match” types of protection to be the most cost effective? Relying on one method of hurricane protection may not be the best approach for your building – or your budget.
  • Are you forced to match the protection in the rest of your neighborhood?(i.e. HOA rules) A good looking product will get approved by architectural review boards with little hassle.
  • Do you want your hurricane protection to do more? Vehicles, cell phones and computers have evolved to do more and now your hurricane shutters have, too.

What level of protection do you want?

  • Are you a person who simply wants the best available?
  • Are you just wanting to satisfy your lender or insurer? Sometimes the best isn’t required.
  • Is the building you are protecting your primary residence/business?
  • Is it a place that you can afford to be without and not be homeless?
  • Is it a vacation home or cabin?Is your structure “uninsurable” or is insuring your structure not cost effective?
  • Are your monthly premiums more money that your building payments?
  • Do you own your structure outright but insurance premiums seem out of line?
  • Would you rather protect your building to survive a major hurricane or count on your insurance company to pay to replace it?
  • Based on your insurance companies track record, how long will the wait time be with the insurance company to get repair or settlement check if they have 1000 or more similar claims?

Is multifunction protection for you?

  • Is increasing the resale value of your home a priority? Unsightly protection can actually reduce the value of your structure. A more energy efficient building demands a higher market value. What percentage would you consider to be a reasonable return on investment?
  • Are there security concerns with your structure? Do others in the surrounding area have burglar bars over their windows?
  • Have smash and grab attempts or vandalism from BBs, pellets or rock and other propelled objects been a problem? Are you located in somewhat of a “rough neighborhood”?
  • Is energy savings on your priority list? Would a 30% savings on your heating and cooling costs be a worthwhile savings?
  • Are you environmentally conscious and concerned about your “carbon footprint?
  • Is sound abatement something that you need, want or even thought about? How noisy is your street or neighborhood?
  • Is interior exposure to the effects of ultraviolet rays a concern? Do you have photos, artwork or expensive fabrics in you home, business or church?
  • Do any of your windows or doors have lead camed or stained glass? What would be the replacement cost? Has your insurance company put exclusions on certain items that they will or won’t cover?

Consider all of the points above and make the choice that’s best for you. Any plan is better than no plan at all. If all you can afford is high performance window film and plywood, go for it. Just remember that these forms of protection are not recognized by your insurance company. Many municipal building departments will approve it for installation, but your insurance company is quite strict on it’s guidelines and are the ones who control your premiums.

Some Facts About Impact/Hurricane Windows

10 Sep

It’s a bit amazing that I have only owned this hurricane shutter company for less than 2 years and the most common comments I get from people, when they have asked what I do, is, “I don’t need hurricane shutters – I had impact windows installed a few years ago.” or “I’m not worried about my windows breaking during a hurricane – I have impact windows.” I feel sorry for these misinformed homeowners who won’t discover the truth about hurricane impact windows until it’s too late to save them a lot of money and aggravation. Here are some things that you might not know about hurricane windows.

There are 2 kinds of hurricane window ratings in Florida – non-impact and impact. Non-impact hurricane windows must pass higher wind pressure, air infiltration & water penetration testing than standard windows. They do not have to meet any impact requirements – only wind pressures.

On the other hand, Impact rated windows have to pass the same tests as the non-impact windows. These tests are done before the large missile impact, high wind load and cyclic testing is done. I believe the reason for this is that after the hurricane testing is complete, the windows are too far damaged to pass the standard tests. Why? Because after the hurricane testing is complete, your high-dollar, hurricane impact rated windows are BROKEN and must be replaced.

My advice to any window buyer is this; if any window salesperson tells you that the windows that you are about to pay big bucks for are “hurricane proof” or “unbreakable windows”, kindly but swiftly escort him/her out of your home or place of business. THESE PEOPLE ARE EXACTLY WHY GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF MANY INDUSTRIES IS REQUIRED!! It’s unfortunate, but even in today’s marketplace, the old Latin saying of “let the buyer beware” still applies.

To the best of my knowledge, there are only 2 or 3 manufacturers of windows that are both Energy Star compliant AND impact rated. In my opinion, these windows haven’t been on the market long enough to be proven effective or reliable. The thin PVC material used in their frame profiles hasn’t proven itself tough enough for the severe Florida climate and although I have seen many companies offering “lifetime warranties” on their windows, be sure and read the fine print to see if it covers both the new windows, shipping charges AND all installation costs. Even if they do offer total coverage, you still have to put up with the mess and inconvenience of having your replacement windows installed again.

Non-impact hurricane windows can be ordered with extra energy saving characteristics that make them qualify for an Energy Star discount. Things like thermally broken design, multi-pane insulated glass* and low-e and other coatings are a few popular options. If you install this type of window in your home, office or church, you have done a good thing. The only thing left for you to do is to protect them from large missile impact and presto! – you have totally compliant window openings for wind mitigation discounts and are eligible for Energy Star tax credits.

If you choose to get your impact protection via Evolution Hurricane Shutters, you will not only get distortion free, clear hurricane impact protection, you will also increase your monthly savings on your heating and cooling costs over what your new windows will provide. No other kind of hurricane shutter offers you permanent protection like ours.

Impact hurricane glass windows have some energy upgrades available, too, but upgrading to IGUs at this level will cost quite a bit more and give you some added energy savings and quiet your home. These windows are expensive, extremely heavy and make your home quieter. Unfortunately, they too still break upon hurricane large missile impacts and must be replaced. Don’t waste your hard earned dollars on gas filled units. The experts say that they lose some of their efficiency every year until they rank the same as unfilled units. (about 2% per year)

 

The Bottom Line

Do not let any window salesman tell you differently. The simple truth is that no matter how much you pay for them, hurricane impact glass windows break. They are a form of “sacrificial” hurricane protection. Sacrificial meaning that they give themselves up and are destroyed during the process of protecting against large or small missile impacts. If you have already had impact glass windows installed in your building, now is the time to protect them from any damage with Evolution Hurricane Shutters. You will still get the added energy advantages, as well.

Once again, the information in this post is based upon what I have gathered through internet research. If anyone has information that I have omitted about the topic of hurricane and impact rated windows, please comment.

*Multi-pane insulated glass units (IGUs) have long been questionable as to their reliability and ability to retain a seal. In my opinion, until a clear high quality front runner has been identified in the marketplace, the jury is still out as to which brand(s) of IGU impact windows are a good investment.

 

Check out the following links for more information:

http://chicagowindowexpert.com/2011/01/25/insulated-glass-seal-failure/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermopane

http://windows.lbl.gov/adv_Sys/hi_R_insert/default.htm

Which Hurricane Shutters Are For Me?

7 Sep

It is my personal opinion that an informed consumer, armed with the facts, stands a much better chance of making an intelligent decision than one who is not. No one likes to have the second thoughts of “buyer’s remorse” because they found out the facts after the sale and not before. They may have simply failed to ask that one simple question that would have been a “deal-breaker” before they signed the sales contract that wasted thousands of the homeowner’s money. (i.e.”Is it true that hurricane windows won’t break?” OR “Are these windows really hurricane proof?”)

It’s not just about hurricane shutter knowledge, either. I research damned near everything that I buy – from hardware at the big box stores – to computers – to vehicles. I want to know what I’m shopping for and what to avoid, who’s got the best quality and can I return it if I don’t need it or it doesn’t perform as advertised?. Even with all of this forethought, I still manage to screw up a personal purchase every once in a while, due mostly to relying on my memory instead of taking time to review my research.

New hurricane products seem to appear on the scene every year – after all, necessity is the Mother of Invention and innovative technology puts ideas into motion. All of these need to be investigated using common sense as well as laboratory and field testing methods. And another point that I would like to make……Just because some schmoe paid a bunch of money to get their product approved and it works in the lab and looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily make it a quality product that will perform storm after storm – season after season. Sometimes it’s all about marketing – like the infomercials for cleaning towels, mini-coffee grinders or collector “gold” coins……if you spend enough money pushing the product on TV, sooner or later someone’s bound to fall for it. Like Grandpa used to say, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Exterior mounted panel

I don’t know what has changed over the years, but when I went to school (it was quite a while ago) my history teacher taught us that “good legislation” was something that did the most good for the most people. It seems that today “good legislation” is something that benefits an industry, a specialized group or a few select individuals. Is it just me???

Steel corrugated panel and channel type shutters

The only hurricane protection that I use is that which I have built myself. Now I freely admit that I am NOT an “expert” on every brand, style, design or patent on everything out there being sold. And no, I haven’t scoured the Web to find every single brand and type of hurricane protection that’s out there. Everything written to describe the products that appear in this blog is a generalization of the category, that has been published many times over on the internet. But every personal experience is real. For example, I have never owned rolldown or accordion shutters, but some of my customers, friends and relatives have. When one of them told me that they didn’t like their rolldowns or accordions because they rattled from the wind and being hit by tree limbs during the last storm, I’m not about to look them in the face and call them liars. Now, there may be some newer model rolldown or accordion that have found a way to eliminate the rattle but I have not seen any literature stating that their design eliminates rattles. When they tell me that during the last storm the corrugated panels covering their patio doors made loud buzzing noises at the overlapping seams or that when the tropical force winds came out of the south the rain and wind came in between the panel and the stucco walls, I kinda’ hafta’ take their word for it that it happened. What I can tell you as a fact is that there are many distinct advantages to aluminum framed hurricane shutters constructed of flat polycarbonate as opposed to all of the other aftermarket types of hurricane shutters.

In my next post, I’ll give you some questions to ask yourself and points to ponder concerning your own hurricane protection needs.

Hurricane Protection and Insurance

1 Sep

Well, we all know that no matter which insurance company we talk about, they are all in the insurance business to make a profit for themselves and/or their stockholders. I personally think it is a legal form of discrimination and I’ll tell you why. If I were a landlord and used an insurance company form as my rental application, I would be sued in court 10 times over. If I used it as an employment application, the same thing would happen. I guess you can do things like that when you have as much power in D.C. as the insurance industry lobby.

Now that the insurance companies have pushed legislation through that gives them the power to dictate and mandate homeowner coverage (gee, I wonder when that is going to stop), there is a lot of hoopla going on in today’s marketplace for aftermarket hurricane protection. One of these days, I should get a bunch of insurance big-wigs together and show them a live large missile impact demonstration of Evolution Hurricane Shutters. If they’re smart they won’t show up. How could they witness something like that and not deem it great hurricane protection?

One concept that you can take to the bank is that there will be big changes made concerning homeowners insurance. It won’t be long before the phrase “I don’t bother with hurricane protection – that’s why I pay for insurance. When it blows away, they’ll just have to replace it,” will get you “zippo” for a insurance payout.

Although it might be possible in 2015 to buy homeowners insurance without having hurricane protection in place, you had best get your wallet out. My prediction is that it will cost you no less than 4 times what you are paying now. I’m not saying that your policy will cost 4 times more, I’m saying that the “wind damage” portion of your coverage will be 4 times higher than it is in 2012 if you have no hurricane rated protection in place. And if you have hurricane shutters in your garage but don’t bother to put them up, you can forget about your claim being paid if you happen to incur wind damage. It’s like your wife trying to collect on your life insurance when you were shot and killed while robbing a bank – not gonna’ happen!!

Image

Here are some of the points I’ll try to address in my next post:

How does one decide which one is best for their home, church or business?

Why should I have to get hurricane protection and which ones will my insurance company recognize?

What if I don’t get any hurricane protection?

Is it possible to make my struct5ure so hurricane prepared that my rates will go down?

What about my mobile or manufactured home?