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Protecting Your Impact (or non-impact) Window Investment

5 Dec

Don’t be misinformed and possibly make a high-dollar mistake about hurricane impact windows. If you think that you can buy (or have already bought) unbreakable hurricane impact windows, you may want to watch this Youtube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZx4hHZ-JJU

This video shows how EVERY hurricane impact-rated window is tested for a large missile impact and it also shows how EVERY window breaks – none survive!

At this point you might be confused about window strength, so let me tell you right now that there is no such thing as a “hurricane proof” window. Anyone who tells you differently is either ignorant of the facts or just plain dishonest. No matter what name it has attached to it, any glass window is going to break and will then require the mess, expense and inconvenience of being replaced. Although you may have been led to believe that you will no longer need your hurricane shutters, hurricane shutters are your first line of defense against window damage. It may have even been suggested that you sell your current hurricane shutters to help offset the high cost of new impact windows (implying that they are no longer needed). Hurricane impact windows are great as a second layer of protection from storms, accidents or vandals, but their replacement cost is so high that relying upon them as your first line of defense from a hurricane or smash & grab break-in isn’t economically acceptable – especially if you have had more than one incident. If you are buying new windows, make sure that they are sized so that you can still use your old shutters to protect them.

A good, quality impact-rated window can cost as much as 3 times or more of what you would normally spend on a non-rated window. There are plenty of less expensive ones out there but if you want a window that is going to last for the life of the home, a lower quality window won’t get you there. Hurricane impact windows are expensive to buy and just as expensive to replace when they get broken. Unless you want to buy your hurricane windows TWICE, don’t leave them unprotected!

Also it’s a good idea not to rely on your insurance company to pay for your broken impact windows, either. There are many policies on the market that won’t pay for the cost of impact window replacement – only the cost of a regular window and you are left picking up the difference. Check with your agent and be sure of your coverage! Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Evolution shutters are designed to protect ANY window from breakage and look good while they do it. They offer the homeowner benefits that other forms of window protection can only dream about.

Watch this Youtube video to see how well an Evolution shutter holds up to a hammer attack:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGFx9jY7_NE

Evolution shutters offer repeated protection impact after impact, storm after storm, year after year WITHOUT BREAKING!! That’s right, our shutters protect your home storm after storm, season after season and you won’t need to wait for repairs or replacement to keep your home protected. While others will be on a long waiting list for window replacement, you’ll be ready for the next storm. Ask anyone who suffered through the hurricane season of 2004 how long they had to wait for replacement windows – most waited MONTHS – not days or weeks. Much of the water damage came from the rainstorms that happened from the tropical rainstorms that occurred while they waited for their replacement windows.

Besides providing superior impact protection, our shutters also make your existing windows quieter and more energy efficient. They also protect them from the sun and weather so that your current windows will last longer. This is especially important if you have wood windows that are clad with aluminum or PVC and are concerned about moisture getting to your windows and rotting them from the inside-out. It’s also important for those of you who purchased windows constructed of PVC (vinyl plastic). Sunlight is the enemy of plastic and windows constructed of this material normally have a life expectancy of only 20-30 years. This isn’t a problem for those who don’t plan on keeping their home that long, but the next purchaser of the house may well use this fact as a negotiating tool to get a lower price on the home or get an allowance that will pay for new windows. Look at it this way………let’s say you are looking to purchase a home that had new windows installed 10 years ago – would you pay top dollar for it knowing that it was going to need $20,000.00 or more worth of new impact windows in 10 years??

Our shutters also reduce the need for annual maintenance and also keep wind and rain away from your windows. There’s no chance of major water leakage during a storm, either.Also, that earlier video you saw where the window was hurricane tested?….keep in mind that window companies are only required to test NEW windows. None of them test PVC windows that have been installed for 10 years to see how strong they are as they age.

If you don’t have the ability to service and maintain your windows every year to keep the warranty in force, maybe those new windows aren’t for you. Many new window warranties require the homeowner to perform annual maintenance on the windows after the first year so check your warranty closely. Simply protecting your current windows from the elements might be a better, less expensive option.

Probably the most exciting feature of our shutters is how they look. They don’t make your home look like a public storage facility or closed automotive repair shop and there’s no “dungeon effect”, claustrophobia concerns or even simple distortion with our shutters. That’s because it’s crystal clear – that’s right – clear as glass with no distortion.You see exactly what is outside. There are no wavy lines to look through or around. And anyone looking at your home from the street won’t even see them because they blend right in and match the shape and size of your windows – even the color can be matched.

Camera pics 091

Visit evolutionhurricaneshutters.com and see more videos, pictures and find out more facts and information. See why Evolution shutters are called “The hurricane shutter that doesn’t look like a hurricane shutter.” They are the best form of crystal clear impact protection available – PERIOD!

When your hurricane protection professional or window salesperson calls on you, insist on the crystal clear strength of Evolution Hurricane Shutters over your windows. It’s clearly the best way to protect your home, family, property and window investment. Give us a call or fill out the form on the “Contact Us” page of our website to schedule a free estimate.

Evolution Hurricane Shutters – “The rEvolution in Hurricane Protection.”

Used Hurricane Protection – don’t sell those old shutters yet!

16 Jul

Don’t get rid of your old hurricane shutters just because you purchased new “hurricane proof impact windows”.

What your window salesman may have forgotten to tell you before you signed your contract is that your new windows are neither “hurricane proof” nor “impact proof”. In the window industry, “hurricane impact” is just a marketing phrase and shouldn’t be confused with the word “unbreakable” – they are 2 completely different animals. There’s an old adage that goes “if it’s made from glass, it’s gonna’ break.” and it’s as true today as it was when it was first coined.

Go to any video site like Youtube or Vimeo and search for “hurricane impact test” and see what happens to a new impact window when it gets struck. Your new windows may not let the hurricane winds into your building after they are struck by debris, but they most certainly will be broken and will need replacing.

impact02

If you aren’t concerned about the price because you have insurance that will cover the cost, please call your insurance agent or check your policy. Many times your deductible is larger than the cost of a new impact window. There are many cases where the replacement cost of a new standard impact window including installation is $1900.00. If you have a $2000.00 deductible on your policy, that means that your window replacement is “out of pocket” and is also your responsibility – not your insurance company’s.

Every week I see dozens of online ads for used hurricane shutters for sale by their owners. I hope that these are for sale because the owners have upgraded to another type of shutter and not because they have purchased impact windows.

If your window damage has occurred during a storm, the odds of getting your broken window replaced in a timely manner are not in your favor – don’t forget that everybody else will be getting theirs replaced, too. The waiting list will be long and the rush of orders to get replacement windows will have manufacturers, dealers and installers backlogged for weeks.

Just remember this……..when (or if) you ditch your hurricane shutters, you are throwing away the only thing standing between you and a very expensive broken window replacement. 

Window Bashing?? No!

19 Feb

Window Bashing??

The other day I was approached with concerns about me “bashing” impact windows (no pun intended). It seems that there is a chance that a reader might be inclined to be offended by, or take umbrage with, my blog comments regarding the drawbacks of impact glass. Let me take a moment to set the record straight.

If you read my blogs with an open mind you will discover that I clearly  support impact glass and it’s use in impact windows and doors. My “beef” in my blog posts isn’t with the impact glass or the window or door that it is used in. My problem is with the people who misrepresent the product either, accidentally or purposely, and in doing so put peoples’ money and safety at risk.

Here are a few facts that might “accidentally” be omitted by your hurricane protection representative or window salesperson.

Glass breaks. Be it window glass, automotive safety glass or hurricane impact glass – IT ALL BREAKS. If the panes used are not tempered or heat-strengthened, when it breaks from impact it can emit dangerous small shards. These make a mess that needs to be cleaned up and it takes time, money and inconvenience to replace the window.

There is no such thing as commercially available “hurricane proof windows” or “indestructible impact windows” When your salesperson says that your new windows are guaranteed against breakage, have him show you in the warranty where it includes breakage from a storm.

Glass is a poor insulator. Glass is a poor thermal insulator. Whether it’s scorching hot outside or freezing cold outside you can feel of your window glass and know it. And as the wind blows against windows it keeps replacing the hot or cold with more hot or cold and tries to drive the heat in through your windows in the summer or pulls the heat out through them in the winter. Glass is also a poor sound insulator. If you live near a busy highway or in a noisy neighborhood, you already know this. Walls do a much better job of insulating sound than windows.

Insulated glass seals fail. The window replacement rave over the past few years has been the promotion of windows constructed with insulated glass units. The airspace inside insulated glass units (IGUs) needs to stay sealed to contain a gas (like argon or Krypton) and to prevent fogging or condensation. To delay the formation of fog and condensation, manufacturers also put a drying agent inside. Without it, you would notice the IGU seal failure and condensation sooner. I do not understand why you wouldn’t want to know that your seal has failed immediately, but apparently the window makers feel that you shouldn’t.

The best way to fix the condensation or fogging that forms inside is to replace the sash unit. There are also companies out there that claim to “fix” IGUs, which tells me 2 things. There must be quite a few IGU failures to create a demand large enough to make it into a business AND the repair must work to a certain degree or the business would fold.

Salespeople should give you common examples of what is – and isn’t – covered by their warranty

So you see, it’s not that I have any desire to bash hurricane rated or impact rated windows. All that needs to be done is to have the facts presented. Impact rated windows do an EXCELLENT job of protecting the envelope of the building structure. These windows just need to be protected so that they don’t get broken during a storm, smash and grab theft attempt or your kids’ baseball. Stopping breakage is even more important if your windows were installed BEFORE your home had the final layer of stucco or siding applied. If you ever need these windows replaced, all of the material that is covering the edges of the window frames will need to be removed and then replaced after the new windows are installed. More costly? You better believe it. Is it covered under your window warranty? You had better check the fine print on your sales contract – Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware). Most window manufacturers have a warranty that applies to materials and workmanship. I do not know of any that cover damage from impact or storms.

Window Replacement VS Storm Windows

If you think that you need your windows replaced, consider all of your options before signing a contract. Installing exterior storm windows over your old windows might be a good way to buy you some time to save up for window replacement in the future. The estimated payoff time for most storm windows is about 5-7 years. Most insulated glass windows have a payoff of 15-20 years or more. Reinstalling your storm windows over your new windows is a great way to keep your new windows newer, longer.

If you have the right type of windows, you might be able to use interior storm windows. They aren’t as strong as exterior windows but they are less expensive. They don’t help as much if your windows are old and rotten, but they will cut down on your electric bill and help you save money for a while. Don’t hesitate to replace or protect your windows if they are leaking water. Leaking promotes rot and other water related damage in adjacent areas to the leaks. Waiting too long to replace or protect leaking windows may end up costing you even more money in the long run.

Don’t be “sold” on figures based on laboratory tests only. Lab figures work for comparing equal products in equal conditions but most of us don’t live in labs.

Hurricane Impact Protection

This area is the most controversial but when you weigh your needs against the facts, the answer is quite simple. If you like the looks of your windows, aren’t really interested in improving the energy efficiency of your home or office and are willing to put up with the extra cost and inconvenience of replacing them when they break, then impact windows are for you.

However, if you’re like me and want to use your money wisely, purchasing less expensive non-impact rated windows might be your solution. Covering them with crystal clear, flat, polycarbonate hurricane shutters from Evolution Hurricane Shutters may be just what you need. You will lower your electric bill, provide 24/7 hurricane impact protection, add vandalism and smash & grab protection and reduce outside noise.

If you don’t have a local hurricane prevention contractor, contact your favorite building or remodeling contractor to find out if hurricane protection is a good option for you. The benefits from Evolution Hurricane Shutters might be just what you need for your church home or business. You may also want to check with your homeowners insurance company to find out what additional savings are possible.

Why Impact Windows Aren’t Always the Answer

27 Dec

Window glass is a very hard but brittle substance traditionally made from a mixture of 72% silica + 14.2% sodium oxide (Na2O)  + 2.5% magnesia (MgO) + 10.0% lime (CaO) + 0.6% alumina (Al2O3). This basic glass alloy is also used for display cases, tableware, furniture, light bulbs, jars and other containers. It exhibits great clarity but is also a poor insulator of both heat and sound.

Early in my career, I worked in the glass industry for over 2 years as a custom and production glass cutter and tempering oven operator in the field of glass tempering. I was involved in all phases of tempering, heat strengthening and spandrel production. A few years later, I held a position where I purchased high performance glass for a company that manufactured residential, commercial and structural skylights. I also know people who have worked for a very large impact window and door manufacturer here on Florida’s west coast. I mention this only to let you know that although I’m not an “expert” on glass, I have more than a layman’s knowledge of glass and I still keep abreast of the happenings in the glass industry.

Here is the current issue at hand………there is a slew of window companies out there who have employees/dealers misrepresenting the abilities and capabilities of impact glass windows. Contrary to what many window company salespeople have been stating to prospective customers:

  • Impact glass is NOT indestructible
  • Impact glass is NOT hurricane proof
  • Impact glass WILL break from wind-borne hurricane debris
  • Impact windows are NOT cheaper than standard windows w/impact shutters
  • Impact windows are NOT the best form of hurricane protection
  • You CAN go wrong installing impact windows
  • Impact windows will NOT save you the most money in the long run

The simple truth is that impact glass windows are not the high-performance item that many salespeople would like you to believe. It is merely 2 pieces of window glass separated by a plastic film that has a clear gooey butyl sealant on both sides. It’s very similar to the glass found in automotive windshields and no matter what you do with it, it still breaks into tiny pieces and dust. Keep in mind that most impact glass doesn’t use tempered safety glass that is designed to break into round chunks. Somehow the impact glass industry has found a way to avoid the safety regulation that says safety glass (tempered safety glass) needs to be used in the windows of the 1st story of a building where breakage onto a pedestrian could occur.

So let’s call a spade a spade and put the cards on the table and call impact glass what it really is – sacrificial hurricane protection that is designed to break and sacrifice itself to maintain the integrity of the structure envelope. Then, after it is sacrificed (broken) it has to be replaced – PERIOD. There is no repairing it and it is no longer functional as a window. You can’t see through it and trying to open or close it will only make a bigger mess or result in injury.

After the storm has passed and your window has been impacted, the word that best describes impact glass is “junk”. If you have ever have an afternoon to spare and want an education on hurricane products, go to an impact testing lab and see what is left over after an impact window has been hit by a 9 lb. wood 2 x 4 at 34 mph (the current hurricane test standard). If you don’t think you will be able to see it in person, click here and here. The mess that it creates isn’t too bad until you realize that you’re standing in a huge building with concrete floors that are easily cleaned with a push broom and a shop vac. Unfortunately, your living room carpet won’t be quite so easy to clean. Your best bet is to replace the carpet because you will be hard pressed to get every minute piece of broken glass swept up – especially if some of the pieces have any of the gooey butyl sealant on them. And by the way, it doesn’t take very much force to break impact glass. That same board traveling at only 15 mph will still break the glass. The mess won’t be as big but the cost and inconvenience to replace the window will be the same. The best result that you can hope for is realizing that wind-borne debris will probably only hit one of your windows, right? Or how about a baseball from the boys playing outside, a golf ball from the tee box or a stone from the lawnmower??

Do yourself a big favor and the next time your window salesman says something like “…..having impact resistant glass windows and doors is an absolute must” or “with impact glass windows, homeowners don’t need to worry about making additional preparations such as shuttering the windows”, kindly escort him or her out of your home or, if your are in a store, turn on your heel and high-tail it out of there. The chances are that if he’s going to tell you one lie, he will probably not have a problem telling you more. When any salesperson has to mislead or not divulge critical information to a prospective customer to make the sale, that’s when I have a problem.

Don’t get me wrong, impact glass is good stuff – it’s just not the “hurricane savior” that many window folks would like to lead you to believe. I encourage all of my strip plaza and mini mall owners to have their full glass entrance doors replaced with impact rated units. What I don’t recommend is replacing all of their storefronts with impact glass. Why? Because they don’t insulate as well, reduce outside noise as well or resist large missile impact , smash and grab theft or vandalism attempts as well as Evolution Hurricane Shutters. Impact glass or windows will cost them way more, too, and when it’s all said and done you will still have the problems associated with glass breakage.

Like I stated previously, impact glass is a great product when used in it’s proper place. Storefront entrance doors and multistory commercial buildings are good applications. Any place where it’s not important or convenient to be concerned with breakage and replacement. Anywhere that the concern of energy conservation is outweighed by a certain architectural look or where the weight and energy costs aren’t important also makes impact glass a good choice. For the average homeowner or commercial property owner who is looking for a faster return on investment, energy savings, reduced interior noise and no breakage concerns, impact glass in the windows or storefronts might not be the best idea.

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.