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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.

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”



Hurricane Hardening for Homeowners

11 Mar

Hurricane Hardening Your Home

The problem

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

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

“The stuff is just plain ugly.”

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

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

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

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

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

And my personal favorite…..

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

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

The goal

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

The Drawbacks

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

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

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

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

Impact Windows

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

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

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

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

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

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

Space Age Technology

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

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

The Wrap-up

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

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

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

·       ….quiet your home 365 days a year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other sources of information:

Check here for accordion shutter maintenance:

Check here for rolldown shutter checklist:


Hurricane Shutters, LLC

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

“The rEvolution in Hurricane Protection”


Hurricane Shutters and Crime

14 Sep

The accepted school of thought on how to protect your home and property from strong storms is to make your home into as much of a fortress as possible. Sometimes in our zeal to accomplish this goal, we don’t realize some of the negative aspects of what our storm protection provides.

The reason for this? You and I and 95% of the rest of us rarely have the inkling to think like a criminal.

Visit this link…..

When you leave your Gulf Coast winter home during hurricane season, have you even considered that your hurricane protection is like a neon sign telling everyone that your home is vacant? Criminals are targeting vacant seasonal dwellings for larcenies because they know they are not going to encounter any resistance once they make entry. Gaining access via one obscure window pr door gives them free reign to roam the interior of the residence while the rest of the hurricane protection makes them nearly undetected by neighbors and passers-by – even law enforcement. This gives thieves time to pick and choose the items that they want to steal making even well hidden items easy prey. If they want, they can even replace your hurricane shutters and hide the break-in from everyone until your next visit. Depending upon your location, the thieves may even opt to make your home their “hangout” and become “squatters” while you are away.

How horrible would it be to arrive at your vacation or seasonal retreat only to find your home filthy, the furniture destroyed, everything of value; GONE and your walls, ceilings and floors spray painted with vulgar words and pictures?

The obvious solution is protection that doesn’t advertise the fact that no one is home. The more your protection blends in, the less likely that criminals will pick your home or business as a desirable target. Two major factors that criminals focus on before picking their target homes – 1.) can they get in and out unnoticed and 2.) how long can they stay inside without being noticed?

Don’t unwittingly give the criminal element of society the help that they want. Protect your home – sure – but don’t make it a playground for opportunistic, illegal criminals and drug users who are just looking for a place to exploit. Remember, they don’t feel the same way about your home as you do. They haven’t sacrificed and paid thousands of dollars to make your house a HOME. They only want to USE what you have worked hard to achieve and take whatever they can, as easily and quickly as they can. If they happen to put a hole in the wall of break a pick of furniture, they could care less.

Clear protection is your best option for seasonal absentee homeowners. Installing Evolution Hurricane Shutters for protection on your home will accomplish two things; it will NOT advertise the fact that your home is vacant. AND with the addition of timers on lights and other appliances, you can even give the appearance that someone is home, even at night because our shutters are crystal clear.

Even if thieves manage to get into your home, they’re daylight activities are limited because of the unobstructed view into your home from outside. If you have night time, drive-by security patrols in your neighborhood, a spotlight will easily allow law enforcement or security to easily see inside your home for any unauthorized activity.

Don’t play into the hands of criminals that want to exploit your hard word and terrorize your family and neighborhood. Call your local hurricane protection specialist and find out if Evolution Hurricane Shutters should be part of your storm and security protection plan.

Colonial shutters need additional bars to stay closed during the storm.

In addition to having to be deployed, most colonial shutters require this “attractive” center reinforcing bar that goes on from the outside.

Oriented strand board - or OSB - isn't as easy to put up or take down as it looks. Plywood is stronger.

Here’s the ever-popular OSB version of hurricane protection. Judging from the height of the 3rd story, I’m guessing that if you had to hire out the installation, it wouldn’t be cheap. Now the question is….do you take it down?….store it away for next season (or storm) ….. or just leave it up? I’m pretty sure that taking it down is more than a 1 man, 1 ladder operation.

Corrugated steel shutters are hard to hide.

Steel corrugated panel and channel type shutters can be seen a mile away.

Architects and Designers Hurricane Shutter Info

29 Sep

Architects, Designers & Builders

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

The Evolution Clear Advantage

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

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

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

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

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

Which projects benefit most?

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

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

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

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

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

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