Hurricane Hardening for Homeowners

11 Mar

Hurricane Hardening Your Home

The problem

During my conversations with homeowners and others about hurricane hardening, the conversations from their side almost always involve pretty much the same questions and comments like:

”My insurance premiums are gonna’ triple if I don’t do something.”

“The stuff is just plain ugly.”

“I couldn’t see at all when the power went out.”

“I’m a single mother……they expect me to put the stuff up and take it down by myself?”

“Those big boxes over the windows just don’t look right on my house.”

“They make my house look like public mini-storage.”

” The last time we had a storm they rattled so much we couldn’t here each other. The poor cat and dog hid for 3 days.”

And my personal favorite…..

“My windows won’t break! The salesman said that they’re hurricane proof!”

I hear these phrases and others with almost every phone call. Most folks that I speak with are under the impression that hurricane protection is unsightly, bulky, inconvenient, unreliable or just plain expensive and a way to spend money on something that they may never need or use. The fact of the matter is that these people are, for the most part, correct.

The goal

When I started this company, my goal was to give people more for their hurricane protection dollar. We accomplish this is by taking a whole different approach to hurricane protection. We offer a product that works for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year instead of occupying room in your garage, attic or shed and doing nothing but taking up valuable space. By all means, please read on……

The Drawbacks

Most aftermarket hurricane protection requires storage space when not in use. Fabrics are rolled up and tucked into a cabinet or up into your rafters when not in use andcorrugated panels are either assigned a dedicated space in the garage or backyard shed Some even have to have a small outdoor shed constructed next to your house to store them in.

When the call goes out for a hurricane warning, the mad scramble begins to move masses of lawn equipment, tools and other items out of the way to gain access to the panels, fabrics or what-have-you. Then the process of laying them out, matching up labels to openings and locating all of the nuts, bolts and washers takes place. If you have studs mounted into your walls from when the house was built, make sure that the threads aren’t rusted and ready to strip when the nut is applied. If so, they will have to be replaced.

If you have roll-downs or accordions it’s a bit less dramatic as long as you’ve done your seasonal maintenance. If not you’ll have to clear the mud dauber nests from the rails and channels. wheels or rollers to test and lubricate, hornet nests to knock down, remembering where you last saw the crank handles, back-up batteries to test and gearboxes to check for broken gears. If your rolldowns are electric, don’t forget to check your circuit breakers, your battery backup for when your power goes out and check for bad electrical connections or seized motors, too.

With Bahamas style shutters, it’s pretty simple as long as you can reach everything from the ground. If not, you will have to call in the ladder brigade to batten everything down that can’t be reached from the ground. You’re still confronted with angry hornets, but that’s never a problem when you’re on a 20 ft. extension ladder, right? Hopefully, all of the hardware threads are in good shape to tighten the shutters down. If low quality anchors were installed, the threads are most likely all rusted and all of the studs will need replaced just like your neighbor who has the rusted panel studs.

Impact Windows

When impact windows hit the scene after Hurricane Andrew, homeowners were delighted – at first. But then they found out some things that weren’t so….delightful. Many buyers were misled into thinking that these windows were “hurricane proof” and figured that their window buying days were over. Just spend $50-$100 per square foot ($600-$1200 for a 36” x 48” window) and you never have to buy another window ever again……right?? Imagine their surprise when the next door neighbor’s patio table smashed their “hurricane proof’ window during Hurricane Charley and their confident call to their window company was rewarded with “We’ll be out next month to give you an estimate on your new window. You’re quite a ways down the list of calls and we’ll get to you as soon as we can.”

You see, the “impact” part of “impact window” is a bit misleading. The rule to always remember is this:  “If it’s made from glass, it’s gonna’ break!” What the “impact window” title really means is that when your window gets broken (and it WILL break), it won’t fall out of the frame during hurricane winds. “Yes”, you’ll still have to buy a new window and “yes”, you will still have a mess to clean up and “yes”, you will have to sop up any water that leaks in whnn it rains hard between now and when the new one gets installed and “no”, you won’t be able to see squat through it until then.

Although I’m not a big fan of impact windows, they do have their place. Installing them above the 2nd floor on a building is the perfect application. Once you get up that high the chances of encountering an impact from flying debris is almost zero. But for the average homeowner who has kids playing outside in the yard, a lawn that needs to be mowed, has trees or his neighbor has trees, is concern about the expense and inconvenience replacing broken glass after an attempted break-in or lives on a golf course, impact windows aren’t my recommendation for anyone who is mindful of their money. Remember the rule…..”If it’s made from glass, it’s gonna’ break.”

The Hurricane Shutter That Doesn’t Look Like a Hurricane Shutter

Evolution Hurricane Shutters simply don’t fit in the mold with these other hurricane products. They don’t have any of the problems associated with the other forms of protection and they actually look good on your home. More importantly they are the strongest form of clear protection that you can put on your home. But maybe the best part of these shutters doesn’t have anything to do with hurricane protection. You see unlike other hurricane shutters, once these shutters are mounted over your windows they  begin working for you to save you money by lowering your insurance premiums (like many other products do), and by also helping to insulate your home and save you money on your heating and cooling costs every day that they are up – all 365 of them!

Installing our shutters over your existing windows creates an insulating air space that does two important things; it lowers the amount of heating and cooling that would normally be lost through your windows AND it also keeps the sounds that are outside your home from coming in. Your home is now quieter and more energy efficient, your money spent isn’t sitting in your garage or shed and your home is safer because it is now resistant to smash-and-grab break-ins. How is this possible, you ask?

Space Age Technology

The answer is simply this. The polycarbonate that is used to construct our hurricane shutters is a result of the Space Age. This flat, crystal clear, astonishing material is 250 time stronger than window glass! As a matter of fact, our shutter is so strong that you can beat on it with a hammer, baseball bat or even a steel pipe and you won’t even crack it. Worried about vandalism, stones from your lawnmower or your athletic gear from your kids’ wayward sports activities? Put your mind at ease because you can shoot BBs or pellets, throw stones and rocks – even hurl concrete blocks at these shutters and guess what?…….they all will simply bounce off and your protection is still in place and working for you – still protecting against hurricanes and still keeping your home comfortable and quiet!

When you couple this space age material with a heavy-duty yet lightweight aluminum frame you end up with a product so strong that you can beat on it with a hammer yet so clear that you can read the newspaper through it. If you live on a golf course and like to watch what’s going on outside but are sick of replacing your broken windows, our shutters are just what you need because no matter who hits the ball – Tiger Woods, John Daly, Phil Mickelson or Rory McIlroy – it’s just gonna’ bounce off, harmlessly.

The Wrap-up

As I said early on in this article, my goal from the start of this company was (and still is) to provide people with a way to get the most protection for each hurricane dollar spent. Evolution Hurricane Shutters are the ONLY patented, crystal clear shutters that:

·       ….protect you from hurricane force winds year round.

·       ….save you energy on your electric bill 365 days a year.

·       ….quiet your home 365 days a year.

·       ….add security to your home 365 days a year.

·       ….protect your home and property whether you’re home to deploy them, at work or on vacation.

·       ….actually look good and don’t noticeably change the appearance of your home.

·       ….provide protection from repeated impacts, storm after storm, year after year.

·      …..increase your home’s market value the most.

   . …..have no moving parts to test, maintain, replace or lubricate.

There are other benefits to our shutters, too. To find out what they are visit http://www.evolutionhurricaneshutters .com and see why we call them “The rEvolution in Hurricane Protection”

Other sources of information:

Check here for accordion shutter maintenance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhtUuuYEIE4

Check here for rolldown shutter checklist: http://windwardshutters.com/service-maintenance/care-and-maintenance-instructions-for-your-rolldown-shutters/

 Evolution

Hurricane Shutters, LLC

751 10th St. E. #40, Palmetto, FL 34221                            941-730-2200

“The rEvolution in Hurricane Protection”

http://www.evolutionhurricaneshutters.com

 

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