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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.

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.”

Taming Outside Sounds During a Storm

13 Aug

Sounds from any severe weather event, be it a hurricane, tropical storm, tornado, mirco-burst or torrential downpour, have a tendency to create a certain amount of anxiety in children, pets and even some grown adults. Although we are visual creatures by nature, it is the sound that accompanies our visual input that solidifies events in our minds. The relationship of lightning and thunder are a great example. If there was no thunder, lightning would just be a pretty flash of light in the sky.
No one knows this better than Hollywood. As a test, find the scariest movie that you have ever seen and watch it with the sound turned off. You will find that even the most horrifying scenes have become quite subtle. As even more proof, take a look at your pets as they sleep right through it. Conversely, as you increase the sound during that same movie, the effects of the louder sounds intensify the angst created within the audience. Louder sounds also stir your pets and even if they might not show interest, you will see their ears moving as sound levels increase. As soon as you make a move, they will snap to their feet in anticipation. They can sense the additional tension in the room.
Sound: The point here is that sound stimuli have effects on everyone during a weather event and the more you can do to reduce each stimulus the calmer everyone will be able to remain. Wind gusts buffeting against deployed shutters, high winds whistling between lapped panels, the clang of hailstones and pelting raindrops all create noises that can amplify the perception of a severe weather event. If you’ve never been through a tropical storm or hurricane, describing the noises to you is impossible. The effect that it has on children and pets is heart-wrenching and there is a certain helplessness that adults feel when their efforts to ease the anxiety and fear are futile.
The encounter: I came to Florida in 1976 and I can remember my 1st tropical storm. The winds and torrential rains scared my cat so bad that she hid for 3 days. Our special needs boy of 6 was just plain scared. There were just 3 of us in the house and we had to holler to each other just to converse. Neither my wife nor I were from Florida so we had no idea what to expect and we learned a lot about storm noise from our first tropical storm encounter.
Increased noises: Take for example hailstones or even large raindrops…..when they hit a metal panel the sound is increased. When they hit glass, the sound is somewhat less.
There are also cracks and joints in, or around, most types of shutters. Corrugated metal and plastic panels have overlapping joints. Unless these laps are sealed tight in some manner when the wind blows through these overlaps they can whistle. It’s like holding 2 pieces of paper together and blowing at the edges. When you blow just right they can make a pretty annoying sound.
Metal roll-downs and accordions have small cracks that are formed at the joints to form hinges. The small slits that result can whistle during high winds or emit an eerie sound effect, as well. Screen type hurricane systems also cause whistling. Bahama shutters have fixed louvers with gaps and colonial shutters have fixed gaps between themselves and the wall that aren’t (or can’t be) filled or covered and they can also create a howling sound.
Fabrics and straps make a flapping sound. Have you ever heard a tractor trailer on the interstate that has straps making that “buzzing” sound as it goes by? The same thing can occur when high winds blow between the fabric and the overlap of the wall.
The remedy: Even the most meticulous installation of your typical storm shutters won’t eliminate the cracks and open passages that create storm noises. It’s simply something that you will have to be prepared to endure during high winds. But there’s a better solution………
Installing Evolution Hurricane Shutters over your window does 2 things to improve the sounds during a tropical storm experience.
First, it lowers the amount of sound that comes through your windows. The air that is trapped between the shutter and your window becomes insulation that will deaden any outdoor noises including those of a storm. Second, because the crystal clear panels are made from space age polycarbonate they don’t create additional noise or amplify storm noises. Polycarbonate is less dense than glass or metal and is, therefore, a better insulator and doesn’t transmit sound as well. So no matter what hits them on the outside, the noise transmitted to the inside is noticeably decreased, not amplified.
Although they aren’t airtight their patented design doesn’t have and any slits, cracks, laps or gaps for wind blow through and create noise. A properly installed Evolution shutter has a weather-strip cushion on the back and sometimes additional caulking to prevent winds from getting behind it enough to create noises. The results are calmer people and pets and because they are clear as glass, there’s no guesswork involved about what is happening outside and there’s no groping around in the dark during the day when the power goes out.
Simply stated, Evolution Hurricane Shutters are the most effective form of hurricane protection you can put on your home, business or church. They help to lessen the anxiety that is created inside your building due to storm associated sounds during a tropical wind event. It’s just one more reason why we say that Evolution Hurricane Shutters are “The rEvolution in Hurricane Protection.”

Evolution Hurricane Shutters, LLC

“The rEvolution in Hurricane Protection.”

Stop by http://www.evolutionhurricaneshutters.com and see why it’s called “The hurricane shutter that doesn’t look like hurricane shutter.”

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.

 

Have You Been Told The Truth About Impact Windows?

17 Dec

Are you one of those building or home owners who believes that hurricane impact windows will somehow “survive” or “withstand” impacts from hurricanes, theft or vandalism without breaking? Well, THE CLAIM ISN’T TRUE but don’t feel alone. Many consumers truly believe that “hurricane impact resistant windows” are unbreakable when, in actuality, no such window is available from the major U.S. window manufacturers.

Impact windows are a “sacrificial” form of impact protection that must be replaced after any one of these events occurs. Being three times or more as expensive as regular windows, replacing them every time that they break can be a real budget buster.

If you go to Youtube and perform a search for “impact window testing” you will see that impact windows will not withstand large missile impacts without being destroyed. Here are some other facts that consumers need to be aware of:

  • Impact glass alone does not determine compliance with hurricane resistance standards. Simply swapping impact glass for regular glass does nothing to strengthen the window frames or anchor the glass to the frames.
  • Most laminated “impact glass” is simply 2 pieces of regular window glass with a special clear liner sandwiched in between – the strength of each piece of glass remains the same.
  • In order to be an approved hurricane product, all impact windows are designed to break when impacted, but MUST remain anchored to the window frame and not blow out to prevent pressurization of the building interior from hurricane winds.
  • Some insurance companies only honor the cost of regular replacement windows and not the more expensive impact windows that you filed on your homeowner claim.
  • Once you file a claim for damage on your impact windows your insurance company may require that you shutter them next time or you will end up paying for their replacement out-of-pocket.
  • Due to design changes, replacement sashes/parts for current window models might not be available in 10 -15 years. You will be forced to purchase and install new windows instead of simply replacing old parts.
  • If you have windows that were installed prior to 2005, there’s a very good chance that replacement parts are currently unavailable for them.
  • The anticipated lifetime of plastic (PVC) framed windows is 20-25 years. Old growth wood framed windows can last 2-3 times longer and quality aluminum ones even longer.
  • A laminated impact window does very little to offer increased energy efficiency over a standard new window with glass of the same thickness.
  • Before opting for windows with insulated glass units, you may want to invest in secondary glazing (storm windows) for energy savings. They offer other benefits as well.
  • Impact windows must be protected with shutters or plywood to assure no breakage in the event of a storm, theft attempt, incidence of vandalism or building maintenance accident. This can also be accomplished with storm windows. When an impact window is subjected to any of these forces it will break and require replacement.
  • The actual payoff in energy savings for the more expensive insulated “super energy efficient windows” is a minimum of 40-70 years which is quite a bit longer than manufactures claim.
  • The time frame required to replace windows broken during a catastrophic storm could be months. Ask the survivors of the hurricane season of 2004.

It is important to be informed as a consumer. Don’t rely on the claims of window manufacturers to be factual. They have a tendency towards making figures and statistics fit their sales pitch. The internet is loaded with real consumer information as well as little known industry facts located in places like online window forums. Do your homework, ask questions and gather the facts. A knowledgeable consumer can save thou$and$ on storm protection while, at the same time, being better protected.

If you have hurricane shutters currently installed over your windows and are having impact windows installed, don’t throw those shutters away! They will prove invaluable in protecting your new impact windows and keep them from getting broken.

You may well be better off refurbishing your current windows and adding hurricane rated secondary glazing.

Resources:

http://www.communitypreservation.org/enews/windows.htm

http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/windows-doors/broken-window-repair-or-replace/#.

http://starcraftcustombuilders.com/windows.htm#.VJHMnckWVVE

http://www.evolutionhurricaneshutters.com

What To Do With Your Old Hurricane Shutters

7 Oct

You just purchased new hurricane impact windows and want to know what to do with your old shutters? KEEP THEM!! The phrase “hurricane impact rated” is not synonymous with the word “unbreakable”. Your window salesman would love to see you get rid of those old shutters so that you will be forced to buy another new window when the ones that you just bought, end up broken.

In 1980 I was introduced to glass and I worked in a glass tempering factory where I learned an old saying that goes “If it’s made from glass, it’s gonna’ break.” That adage is as true today as it was nearly 35 years ago.

Protective layer.

Every week I see dozens of ads on Craig’s List and in newspapers with hurricane shutters for sale. I hope that these ads aren’t from recent impact window purchasers who have been duped into thinking that the shutters are no longer needed. Please remember this – when you get rid of your old hurricane shutters you’re losing the only protective layer that stands between you and an expensive, messy and inconvenient broken window replacement.

Video proof. 

Here is an example of WHAT WILL protect your windows from storm debris, smash & grab theft attempts, lawn maintenance accidents and vandalism – without breaking:

Go to any online video site like Youtube and search for “impact window test” and see what happens to any new impact window when it is subjected to a large missile impact, hammer blow or flying brick.  Your new hurricane windows might not let in the damaging hurricane winds after they are broken, but they will most definitely be destroyed and require replacing…….and at a significant expense.

Any salesperson that tells you that they have “hurricane proof” or “impact proof” windows that will survive a large missile impact is just plain lying to you to make a sale. There is no such product available for your home from any of the major window manufacturers.

The sales pitch.

As you have seen from the above video, impact windows will neither withstand nor survive a large missile impact. When your impact-rated windows suffer a concentrated impact the result will always be window replacement. Most impact window salespeople rely on the concept that using the term “withstand” or “survive” will sufficiently define the capability of impact windows with regards to hurricanes. In actuality, impact rated windows are a “sacrificial” form of protection that are designed to break but not allow the broken glass to blow out of the frames after the glass is broken. Salespeople try to gloss over the fact that the windows break and they also don’t demonstrate just how easily this happens. A simple center-punch, hammer, glass cutter or rock will work nicely and take little effort to quickly drain your wallet of a thousand dollars or so per broken window.

This video shows just how easy an impact window will break and how they can be protected:

 

Where impact windows work.

Don’t get me wrong…..impact windows work great in many instances. As long as they aren’t vulnerable to flying storm debris, theft attempts and vandalism they work rather well. If your home doesn’t have any tall trees nearby, the upper floors of your building are a good place to consider using impact windows without shutters. As long as it is a quality unit that won’t leak during a tropical storm event, they might be the thing to use. Be careful, though…….many sliding units will leak during hurricane conditions.

Replacement cost vs. insurance

If you aren’t concerned about the cost of replacing a broken window because you have insurance, call your agent and make sure about the limits of your policy. Many homeowners’ policies have a deductible that must be satisfied before any costs get covered by your insurance.

For example; if you have a $2000.00 deductible on your insurance and your replacement impact window cost is $1800.00, all of the expense comes out of your pocket. Compare that to  a regular window that costs only $200.00……….which one would you rather pay for? If you had  hurricane shutters installed, your cost might be less than $100 for the shutter repair.

What to avoid.

Steer clear of windows of any kind that have frames, exterior parts or hardware produced of plastic. Sunlight and exposure to the elements are the 2 big enemies of plastics. They degrade the plastics’ physical strength and dry out the polymer which makes these parts brittle. This is the main reason that PVC windows have the shortest life expectancy (20-25 years) when compared to painted aluminum or solid wood construction. Stay away from plastic windows if you intend on keeping your home for a lifetime. The energy efficiency of plastic windows vs. aluminum is far outweighed by the extended life cycle of aluminum. After spending 30+ years in the fields of plastic and aluminum, I know from where I speak.

Wood windows require the most maintenance but they offer the best overall performance. But remember, no matter which windows you install on the ground floor plan on outfitting them with shutters if you want to protect your investment, reduce maintenance and increase window life.

Also beware of “no” or “low maintenance” claims. Most warranties only offer no maintenance during the 1st year after installation. After that the homeowner is responsible for annual caulking of the exterior window joints and seams to keep the warranty valid. Read the warranty closely. Most warranties are pro-rated so the older that your windows are, the less they are worth towards replacement windows when they require any warranty replacement or repair work.

Demand the facts.

Make sure that the sales contract that you are about to sign has everything in writing that you and the salesperson discussed. Any handwritten notes in the margins are also valid and try to avoid using additional pieces of paper that might get detached or misplaced. Assume nothing except the old Latin phrase “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware).

Lastly, don’t forget that you have 3 days to change your mind and rescind any deal made in your home – and applies to any sale, not just home improvements. Good luck.

Evolution Hurricane Shutters

“The rEvolution in Hurricane Protection”