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Relying on Your Windows to Stop Hurricane Matthew??

6 Oct

So, you’ve made your decision on whether you’re evacuating for Hurricane Matthew or you’re riding it out.

If you’re evacuating to calmer weather, put up your shutters, pull the main breaker, empty the fridge and shut off the water main control to your home. There’s no sense in coming home to a bigger, smellier mess than necessary.

If you’re riding it out, you have all of your provisions necessary to sustain you and whomever is staying with you. Medicine and prescriptions, fuel, First Aid supplies, tools, enough food for at least a week and some way of keeping it edible with no power. You’ll need some sort of weapon for protection from wild animals like snakes and varmints displaced by the storm and don’t forget to wear your I.D. in a fashion that will allow you to be identified in the event that you don’t fare through the storm as well as you had anticipated.

Whichever you have opted for there are a few things to consider to minimize any damage from hurricane force winds and all that goes with them.

STORM SURGE – There’s not much that the average homeowner can do if the predicted water levels are going to exceed that which sandbagging can hold back. Once the surge tops your dirt facade, the sandbags will only act to keep water in your home after the rest of the water outside, recedes. Don’t waste your time, spirit and energy putting up a 3 foot tall sandbag wall when the surge is promised to hit 5 feet. Save all of your will, intestinal fortitude, strength and strong will for your return. Most survivors state that the initial shock of returning to a catastrophic scene of a destroyed home is overwhelming. Often the depression is debilitating and the almost zombie-like stupor makes site clean-up  dangerous.

WIND DAMAGE – Using your windows as a first line of defense for wind protection isn’t your best choice. Not only do they break from flying debris, but they can leak and cause water damage to walls, floors and in the case of multiple floor housing, the unit below yours. Keeping wind-driven rain from reaching the critical areas of the windows where leaks start can save you (and your downstairs neighbors) a lot of heartache, inconvenience and money. What most folks don’t know is that no matter how new your windows are or what strength rating they carry (if any), the test standards for stopping water leakage don’t go above gale force wind pressures. Once you reach hurricane strength winds (74 mph and above), all bets are off on your windows stopping water leaks, so don’t be surprised if the company that you bought your windows from are less than gracious about paying for any damage that the leaky windows caused.

Leaks aren’t the only problem if there’s flying debris involved. Broken impact windows are expensive to replace. Just remember that after the storm passes, there will be literally thousands of windows that will need replacing and you never know where you will fall in the waiting line. In 2004, homeowners waited not weeks, but rather MONTHS to get their new windows.

These are just a few reasons to make hurricane shutters your 1st line of defense against tropical storm damage. The better your shutters are, the lower your chances of any loss by anything getting to your windows. When it comes to storm protection, shutters make a big difference! Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

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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.”

Common Myths About Hurricane Impact Windows

1 Mar

If you’ve been put into the position to look for hurricane protection for your home, office, church or any other building, more than likely you’ve been exposed to the following statements by either printed media or direct conversations:

“The building code says that you must replace your current windows with impact rated units.”
“Hurricane impact windows are the best form of hurricane protection.”
“Impact windows are hurricane proof.”
“New energy efficient impact windows will pay for themselves through monthly energy savings.”
“Impact windows won’t shatter.”
“Hurricane impact windows will withstand (or survive) a hurricane.”
“You no longer need your old hurricane shutters so you can sell them to offset the cost of your new windows.”
“Hurricane impact windows will increase the value of your home.”

Let me share with you some insight into these myths and the facts associated with them.

“The building code says that you must replace your current windows with impact rated units.”

This is the most persuasive statement that the window salesperson will lead with – even though it isn’t true. He/she is trying to test you to see how much you really know about the codes. The truth is NO ONE must change/replace their home’s windows with impact windows. The building code only states that your window openings must be protected with a tested and approved hurricane product. Hurricane impact windows are merely one of MANY OPTIONS that you have available to accomplish this. Storm panels, fabrics, screens, netting, translucent panels, Bahama shutters, accordion shutters, roll-down shutters and crystal clear panels will all be building code compliant as long as they have hurricane approval.

“Hurricane impact windows are the best form of hurricane protection available.”

This myth may very well be the opinion of the window salesperson, but it is hardly factual. What criteria determines “the best”? How can these windows be the “best form of hurricane protection” when they break and have to be replaced at a cost that is 2 or 3 times (or more) the cost of regular windows? I’m no Rhodes Scholar, but even I know that spending $1200.00 for a new window and then replacing it with another new one after the first one breaks is going to be a total of $2400.00. A regular window that costs $400.00 plus a quality hurricane shutter that might cost $600.00 only adds up to $1000.00 and the window isn’t going to get broken during the storm. There’s lots of wiggle room to buy an even more expensive window, too. Even if you spent $1000.00 on a window, the combined cost of window and shutter is still cheaper than buying a hurricane impact window twice! Enough said!

“Impact windows are hurricane proof.”

I don’t even know where to begin with this myth. First of all, short of buying bullet resistant glass, there’s no such thing as a “hurricane proof” window available to homeowners – period! Every single window that is manufactured by the top 10 U.S. window companies, will break when subjected to the large missile impact test for hurricane approval. Even a gently swung hammer, a thrown brick or even a tiny center-punch will break them, so “hurricane proof” isn’t even close to the truth. Youtube videos are a great way to see the truth in real life. Every single one that I have watched has the same ugly ending – a totally destroyed window with a big mess to clean up.

“New energy efficient impact windows will pay for themselves through monthly energy savings.”

It seems that the only folks who believe this myth are the window manufacturers, themselves. Every independent group that does testing agrees that in order for energy efficient pvc framed impact windows to pay for the cost difference between themselves and a regular window will take a minimum of 40 years! That’s not a lifetime for you or me, but it does happen to exceed the lifetime of the windows. He average life of pvc framed windows in Florida’s climate is 25-30 years. And even if it were 40 years, that means that as soon as a window has paid for itself, it’s time for a new one. Sounds almost like buying a new car, doesn’t it?

“Impact windows won’t shatter.”

shatter – definition

Dictionary.com – to break (something) into pieces, as by a blow.
Merriam-Webster.com – a: to break at once into pieces b: to damage badly: ruin

The Free Dictionary.com – To cause to break or burst suddenly into pieces, as with a violent blow.Dictionary.cambridge.org – to break suddenly or cause something to break suddenly into small pieces:
And finally…..
oxforddictionaries.com – Break or cause to break suddenly and violently into pieces

The next time that you visit Youtube, search and watch “hurricane impact window test” and you’ll see that every impact window that gets tested absolutely shatters into thousands of pieces that fly everywhere!! You’ll also see some windows with aftermarket, applied security films – they also allow the window to break but actually do a better job of holding the glass together than most of the impact windows tested. Window people misuse the phrase “won’t shatter” and I wish that I knew why these people want to expose the public to this risk. The laminated glass shatters and in the event of a small impact episode the broken shards stick to the inner liner. But in the event of a violent impact, glass shards from the laminated glass will go flying into the room and can injure anyone insidet. Putting window film on the inside of your impact windows would make them safer, but most window companies will not warranty your windows if you apply window film to them.

“Hurricane impact windows will withstand a hurricane.”

I don’t know what dictionary the folks who use this phrase are reading. I think of the word “withstand” to mean “to endure without breaking”. I use pretty much the same definition for the word “survive”. I guess the “window people” have their own set of definitions for these 2 words because according to the dictionary their definitions are as follows:

survive – definition

1. to remain alive after the death of someone, the cessation of something, or the occurrence of some event; continue to live

2. to remain and continue in existence or use

3. to get along or remain happy, healthy and unaffected in spite of some occurrence.

NEXT

1. to remain alive; to continue to live

2. to continue to exist

3. to remain alive after the death of (someone)

FINALLY:

1. to remain alive or in existence

2. to carry on despite hardship or trauma; persevere

3. to remain functional or usable

 

withstand – definition

1. to stand up against; to oppose with determination; to resist successfully

NEXT:

1. to stand or hold out against, resist or oppose, especially successfully

2. to stand in opposition; resist

NEXT:

1. to resist or confront with resistance

2. to stand up or offer resistance to someone or something

FINALLY:

1. to be strong enough not to be harmed or destroyed by something

2. to be able to deal with a difficult situation

I guess that the window people have their own set of definitions because, to me, if a window survives or withstands a hurricane, it should still be in place and functioning as a window – still keeping the wind and rain out, still clear and able to be seen through. These words certainly don’t apply to an impact window after it has been subjected to a 2 x 4 traveling at only 34 mph. What the window people want the words to mean are that it will still be in the window frame and laying on the floor. It won’t be water or wind resistant but it will still keep the room from being pressurized by high winds and that’s about it. This doesn’t sound like “surviving” or “withstanding” to me – does it to you?

 “You can sell your old shutters to help pay for your new impact windows.”

PLEASE don’t make this mistake! If you want to protect the money that you have plunked down on your new windows, keep your old shutters! Throwing them away or selling them is like getting rid of a raincoat because you bought a new jacket. You still need the impact protection of shutters to protect your hurricane window investment just like you still need the raincoat to protect your new jacket!!

As soon as your windows sustain a hit from a large missile impact, albeit during a storm or from some other source, your window will have to be replaced. Check with your insurance company to find out the terms of your policy. Most insurance companies won’t pay for the total cost of impact window replacement. They only cover the cost of a standard window replacement, but for the ones that do cover the cost, many of them will only do so once and then you will be required to shutter them for the next time.

“New impact windows will increase the value of your home.”

This statement is only partially false. A savvy home buyer already knows the disadvantages of having impact windows in their home and will use it against you during negotiations – especially if the windows are more than a few years old. They know that the cost of replacement is high and that they will have to invest in shutters to protect the expensive windows. They also know that impact windows are plagued with problems like broken internal springs, foggy panes and that the pvc frames can warp and get brittle with age. These are all signs of low-budget window improvements used by “flippers” and not conscientious homeowners who are attempting to improve their home. Aluminum framed, powder coated, non-impact windows with high quality shutters are sure signs that the homeowner did his/her homework on the correct way to outfit a home with windows aimed at maximum protection, long life and low maintenance.

The bottom line

Your best approach to keep from getting sucked into a poor choice of hurricane protection is to become an educated consumer who doesn’t rely on only what you are told by those whose interests are served by the window industry. It’s their job to sell more windows and they push the limits any way that they can to accomplish that end. It’s up to you to protect your family, home and property the best way that you know how. Knowledge is power so don’t be afraid to acquire it when it comes to protecting the things that you cherish.

One solution

If  you’ve decided to get new windows, do your research, ask questions and read the window literature carefully. If you see phrases like “hurricane proof”, shatterproof”, “unbreakable” or “withstands/survives hurricanes” BE CAREFUL. These statements are all false when they are referencing any glass window – impact rated or standard – because there is no such thing. These words are intended to convince you that hurricane impact windows take away all of the worries about broken windows as a result of hurricanes and hurricane debris.

If you already have impact windows, you may want to consider protecting them and extending their life to protect your investment.

Either one of these scenarios will make you a good candidate for the crystal clear protection of Evolution Hurricane Shutters. You get superior strength, energy savings and clear-as-glass views. Visit our website at http://www.evolutionhurricaneshutters.com for information and videos about our unique product.

 

Energy Saving Hurricane Shutters

28 Aug

Sunlight creates heat

I know….quite the Earth-shattering statement, right? But there’s nothing like pointing out the obvious. Almost any type of hurricane shutter will save some energy if in no other way but by blocking sunlight, creating shade and thereby blocking the sun’s rays from hitting objects within your home that create heat. The problem is, the energy is only saved when the shutter is deployed. Roll-downs, accordions, corrugated metal panels, colonials, fabric panels, screens and Bahamas all block out a certain amount of sunlight and shade the window when they are deployed. But when they’re deployed, they block, and sometimes totally eliminate, the view completely. The other catch is that they only make shade during the daytime when the sun is shining. Your windows still lose and gain heat all night long.

Temperature differential

There are other forces of energy that bring heat into your home. One way to demonstrate this is at nighttime when there are no sun rays. Here are 2 scenarios to entertain…..a hot August night or a cold January one. Simply place your hand on the window and what do you feel? If it’s August and the A/C is keeping your home at a comfortable 72 degrees and it’s still 80 degrees outside, you’re going to feel warm glass. If it’s in the dead of winter and it’s 20 degrees outside and your heating system is keeping it a toasty 76 degrees inside, the window is going to feel cold. Pretty simple stuff, right? It’s known as temperature differential. But there’s more to it than that……and I’m kind of getting off topic here, but bear with me. It all comes around full circle in the end.

The window war

The warmer air on the inside of the glass seeks out the cold of the outside of the glass while the cold on the outside is seeking the warm of the inside. Depending upon which force is stronger determines if the outside of the glass is warmed by the inside or if the inside of the glass is cooled by the outside. It’s a kind of “window war”. Whichever side has more “push” wins the battle. What determines the “push”? The push is greatly influenced by the circulating air on each side of the window. On the inside, there is calm circulation – a ceiling fan, movements of people or pets and the circulation created by your heating or cooling systems. On the outside?? – the force of Mother Nature – the WIND.

So, which side of the window do you think has the greatest “push”? Anyone who thinks that any answer other than “Mother Nature” is the right one, has to come and sit in the front row for the rest of the class! The ceaseless power of Nature always seems to have the upper hand. That’s why your windows feel the way that they do on the hot August night or the cold January night. Mother nature is always winning. If you were to go out side the glass will feel the same as the outside temperature – another sure way to see that Mother nature is winning. We’ll revisit Mother Nature later on in this post.

The analogy that I just described isn’t precisely the way that it works in science, (because science tells us that there’s no such thing as cold – only an absence of heat) but it helps to make my point about the energy battle of window glass. One important concept to grasp at this point in the discussion is that glass is a VERY poor insulator and conducts heat and cold all too well. It also breaks and we will revisit these facts later on, also.

Peace in the window war or merely a truce?

Glass manufacturers set out to make peace between the inside and outside energies so they came up with the ingenious idea of protecting the layer of window glass with another layer of window glass and separating them with an air space. They then sealed them around the edges so that nothing could get in or out. This helped to bring the advantage of the outside force to a more equal level of the inside force because there was no longer any “wind” on the opposing sides of either layer of glass. These became known as “insulated glass units” (IGUs, for short) and the window industry latched onto the idea and made windows by the tens of thousands.

There was, however, one slight problem. The air that was sealed tightly inside would change from getting warm during the day to getting cold at night plus all of the temperature fluctuations through the 24 hours of a single day. Every time the wind blew, every time a cloud came over, every time it rained….well, you get the idea – A LOT of temperature changes in a single day. If you multiply that by just 7 days of a week, that amounts to many times more changes. These changes in temperature cause the trapped air to expand and contract and it does this with every temperature change and, over time, would eventually weaken the seals and seep out of the air space. This allows the more humid air from outside of the air space, into it and causes the IGUs to get cloudy. In an effort to try and disguise the fact that moisture was getting in, they put a powder inside the window to soak up the moisture, but it only delays the inevitable. No matter what is tried, this temperature “cycling” up and down can’t be stopped. This is the other one of Mother Nature’s forces that I referred to earlier that can’t be controlled. To this day it is universally accepted that there will always be this problem until someone perfects a way to equalize the internal IGU’s air space pressures with those outside of the air space without them mixing together. There is simply no way to stop the expansion and contraction cycling that occurs inside. No matter what brand of window that you use, if it is an IGU that uses a sealant system around the perimeter (they all do), it will never be guaranteed not to leak – most don’t make it past 8 years. Independent studies have shown that every year, a sealed IGU loses a MINIMUM of 1-2% of the air (or gas) inside and then starts replacing is with regular humid air from the atmosphere. Keep this in mind when someone tries to convince you that fancy internal gases like Argon or Krypton are the cat’s meow of IGUs. Although they don’t expand and contract as much as the air that we breath, they still do it – it’s just physics and can’t be stopped.

This entire process of making IGUs takes place in a factory where the air qualities like temperature and humidity are controlled and also to reduce the amount or dust and other foreign particles that might make their way into an IGU. These facilities do a very good job. however all of this comes at a high price and, of course, gets passed on to you and I, the consumers.

Someone please stop the madness!

Let me digress a little more, without totally digressing. You see, the same folks who thought up the idea of making IGUs (that they concede won’t last long) decided to take two pieces of glass and sandwich them around a super-tough plastic sheet that has very high tear strength. They took this “glass sandwich” and put it in a window frame, called it “impact glass” and made tens of thousands of more windows with it. Why they use the word “impact” to describe it, is beyond me, because the one thing that it ISN’T good for is impacts!! Here’s a video that shows that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp6Nl9ZBMHE . I picked this video at random – there are dozens of others that show the same thing. Do these windows look like they can stand up to impact to you? What these windows happen to do well is keeping a large missile (or projectile) traveling at 50 feet per second from penetrating completely through the window and creating a hole. If a hole were to be created, we know that wind can then enter a structure and increase the pressure inside that will allow the roof to be blown upward and possibly off of the building.

So here’s the new scenario…..They take these VERY expensive impact IGU windows (sometimes 3 to 4 times the cost of regular windows), sell them to the consumer, install them in their homes and after a storm passes, you, the homeowner, now have – you guessed it – VERY expensive BROKEN windows. I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but this approach makes absolutely NO SENSE to me. Why design something 3 to 4 times as expensive that will break so that you have to buy it again and again each time it breaks?? Am i wrong here??

An intervention of common sense

So….is there a way of reducing heat gain and loss though your windows without defying the laws of Mother Nature? Well, in fact there is…..and it has been around for a long time. It’s done by using storm windows and it’s even recognized as a proven method of reducing the amount of heat loss or gain through any window. Here’s the link to The United States Department of Energy website that discusses the topic: http://energy.gov/articles/5-steps-making-your-windows-more-energy-efficient  . There are many other sites, both government and private, that will echo this method of energy conservation as prudent.

The mission

What if there was a way to use this old tried and true method of saving energy and combine it with a hi-tech material that won’t break like glass and is a better insulator, too?? That way we wouldn’t have to put so much effort into defying the forces of physics and Mother Nature.

I’m here to tell you that there is a way to do it and it’s with a product that has been around a long time. Not as long as the idea of storm windows has been around, but as long ago as the 1950s. How about this idea ………..instead of making something that breaks, why not make something that DOESN’T BREAK??? Instead of using a cheaply produced PVC frame that will only last 20 years, why not use super strong aluminum pieces that will last 100 years? And instead of making a sealed (but leaky) IGU, why not combine these materials and use the U.S, Depart. of Energy’s proven method of making it like a storm window to save energy? What you would end up with is something without an expensive IGU (that has yet to be made 100% reliable) and without the fragile characteristic of impact glass.

Winning the battle

If this sounds like a win-win concept to you, it did to me, too, so here’s a video showing the end product in a live demonstration. There’s no glass to break because this ’50s era material is called polycarbonate – a plastic that is 200 times stronger than glass, a fraction of the weight and a much better insulator. There’s also no seals to fail and no huge, expensive, dustless or atmosphere controlled building required to assemble it.

Take a look at the video below and tell me what you think. But before you do, keep in mind that this energy saving hurricane shutter will protect ANY window – new or old, impact or non-impact in just about any shape. And because it doesn’t require a huge, expensive factory these can be sold to the public for 1/2 the cost of the expensive IGU impact windows (that break and lose their seal). It’s called by everyone who sees it “the hurricane shutter that doesn’t look like a hurricane shutter” and I think you’ll see why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGFx9jY7_NE 

So, now that you have watched the video. Are you:

  1. Surprised?
  2. Astonished?
  3. Impressed?
  4. Curious?
  5. All of the above?

If you want to know more visit:The hurricane shutter that doesn’t look like a hurricane shutter. and find out more. Maybe they’re just what you’re looking for?

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.

Building or Remodeling a Home? The nearly invisible protection of Evolution Hurricane Shutters also creates a dead air space that provides energy savings like no other type of hurricane protection.

2 Oct

Hurricane Shutters for Your New Home or Addition?

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your existing home, in today’s economic and environmental climate saving energy is one of the most important features homeowners and buyers strive for. Nothing is scarier than finishing your new addition only to see that first electric bill and then having to adjust your budget (or your lifestyle) to accommodate the sudden increase. At Evolution Hurricane Shutters, we follow the advice of the U.S. Department of Energy by urging our customers to focus their window budget dollars towards energy efficient windows. According to them, as much as 40% of your heating/cooling costs are lost through your windows. Energy efficient windows can, and do, get expensive, but in the long run the energy that they save help give the buyer a return on his/her investment.

After you have picked out the energy saving windows of your choice, leave the job of hurricane protection to Evolution Hurricane Shutters – it’s what they do best. In addition to protecting your energy saving windows, the dead air space created between your windows and your Evolution Hurricane Shutters will help your new windows perform even better. In fact, simply installing our shutters over your existing standard windows will reap big rewards at the end of each and every month. And the icing on the cake? A rebate on your homeowners insurance for wind and impact protection.

Some impact windows are offered as IGUs (insulated glass units) where the inner layer is impact glass and the outer layer provides insulation. The two panes are spaced apart and sealed and then the void between them is sometimes filled with an inert gas like argon or krypton. These IGUs are more energy efficient than standard impact glass but this energy efficiency comes at a steep price – not to mention the fact that the units lose a percentage of their effectiveness each year. The added expense extends their payoff out another decade. Another drawback?….when they incur an impact from a storm or other incident they will break. Getting them replaced is costly and suddenly the energy payoff is extended over an even longer period of time than what the salesperson told you. Why gamble when you don’t have to? The experts all agree – It’s not a matter of “if” a major storm hits, it’s only a matter of “when”. Why not have your hurricane protection saving you money and making your home more comfortable until that storm finally hits? Homeowners now have the choice of getting the outstanding energy saving feature of Evolution Hurricane Shutters all year long or keeping your impact protection stored away in a garage or shed.

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One hit is all that it takes to make hurricane impact window replacement mandatory.

Cobwebs and wasp nests are a thing of the past with Evolution Hurricane Shutters and unlike rolldowns or accordions, there’s no place for nesting birds.

Are you concerned about vandalism from BBs, pellets, rocks or other thrown projectiles? How about broken

The nearly invisible protection of Evolution Hurricane Shutters also creates a dead air space that provides energy savings like no other type of hurricane protection.

windows from lawn maintenance equipment, your kids playing catch in the yard, an errant golf ball from the fairway or a smash and grab thief? Added security is an automatic benefit you get with Evolution Hurricane Shutters, too.

Get the peace of mind that flat, crystal clear, hurricane impact resistant, passive energy saving Evolution Hurricane Shutters provide …You’ll soon see why we call them “The rEvolution in hurricane protection”