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….. http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/south_newsroom/englewood-burglars-remove-hurricane-shutters-to-break-into-home/article_6fdc6ed6-f9e0-11e2-b809-0019bb30f31a.html

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.

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.

My Introduction to Polycarbonate

15 Oct

My introduction to polycarbonate began in 1981 when I started working for a plastics fabricator/thermoformer in Tampa, Fl. I had just finished working at a glass tempering plant as a custom & production glass cutter. I was 26 years old and in my physical prime – 6’1″, 230 lbs., played softball 3 times a week and was quite fit from carrying large sheets of heavy gauge glass in different phases of the glass tempering process.

I was hired at the plastics company as a “production laborer” which basically meant that I was given tasks of a simple, repetitive nature that required little skill or knowledge. My first day on the job was mostly one of orientation. I was given a quick tour and all of the equipment was briefly described to me as to how it operates and it’s function. I was then taken into the warehouse and shown a 55 gallon drum sitting on a furniture dolly. The fabrication manager (who hired me) came out of the employee entrance of the office and directed me to a huge rack of probably 300 pieces of plastic that ranged in size from 12″ x 18″ wide to 36″ x 96″ long. He pulled out a piece approximately 24″ x 24″ and laid it across the opening of the barrel. He informed me that all of the material in the rack was going to be scrapped and therefore it needed to be broken up and put into the barrel to be hauled off. He told me to let the shop foreman know when the barrel was full. He gave me a 2lb. mini-sledge hammer, a pair of safety glasses, turned on his heel and walked back into the office.

My knowledge of both annealed glass and tempered glass from my previous job told me that the huge hammer should have little problem cracking the plastic. The force of my swings steadily increased when the first couple of whacks didn’t  yield success and I was sure that something should be breaking soon. But after about the 5th swing of the sledge, the plastic scrap went flying about 8 feet into the air and the hammer recoiled back over my head where it had started. It was pretty clear to me that something was amiss and the incredible banging noise that I made with the hammer had drawn a crowd from the fabrication department on the other side of the wall. When I saw the huge grins and heard the muffled chuckles, I knew that I was “had”! The fabrication manager emerged from the same door that he had before, beaming with delight that he had gotten the best of me as about 20 of my brand new co-workers broke into hysterical laughter. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the plastic was polycarbonate and to this day, I will never forget my introduction to polycarbonate. I learned early on just how indestructible polycarbonate is. I would love to say that this was the only practical joke that was ever played on me, but I can’t so I suppose I have a few more stories to tell.

I learned a lot about many different plastics over the next 20 years and ended up working for 5 plastic companies as well as starting my own fabrication business making acrylic artwork and sculpture display boxes and covers. They were used in hotels, corporate offices, museums and homes. I also made everything from acrylic handbags for pricey boutiques and roadsigns for industrial parks, to acrylic windshields for fishing boats and clear underwater camera cases. I became knowledgeable not only about the different types and families of plastics but also about fabrication, thermoforming, extruding, molding, casting and machining plastics. I even worked my way up to the positions of branch manager (whoopee).

Although I haven’t worked for a plastics company for quite a few years now, I still make plastic items for my personal use at home. I also stay in contact with many of the people that I met in the “plastic years” of the past and I suppose you could say that I have plastic in my blood.

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”

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.

Hurricane Shutters on Strip Malls and Shopping Centers

27 Sep

Commercial Property Owners

  •   Do you want your units to be the most desirable in the area?
  •   Do you want higher rents, loyal tenants and lower overhead?
  •   Do you want to be done with the “11th Hour Scamper” and expense to get all of your storefronts secured before the storm moves in to your area?
  •   Are you always left guessing as to how long after the storm passes when your boarding will be removed?

Here’s what Evolution Hurricane Shutters can do for you:

  •   Increase space desirability (lower utility costs, higher security and full time hurricane protection)
  •   Provide lower utility costs for tenants  (the more storefront area, the more your tenants will save on heating/cooling costs)
  •   Reduce smash & grab thefts of tenants (thieves go elsewhere as soon as they hit resistance)
  •   Allow drive by police inspections during storm activity  (clear panels means no unseen inside activity)
  •   No seasonal hurricane protection costs (no plywood, hardware or labor to board up or take down)
  •   Quicker return to “business as usual” for you AND your tenants.

All of these features translate into:

  •     HIGHER MONTHLY PROFITS
  •     LOWER VACANCY RATES
  •     LOWER OVERHEAD
  •     NO PRE-STORM PREPARATION PANIC
  •     NO POST-STORM DOWN TIME FOR STOREFRONT PROTECTION REMOVAL

Secure tenants are happy tenants.  Your units will be in higher demand and bring higher rents while your insurance and storm preparedness costs go down.

Visit our web site and then contact your local contractor or a hurricane protection installer to see how soon Evolution Hurricane Shutters can start making your properties more profitable.

2 story plaza in Marco island

Typical strip plaza application.

Hurricane Shutters for Your Church

24 Sep

Is your house of worship experiencing any of these?

  •   Are monthly energy costs using up more and more of your donations?
  •   Does your congregation feel the need for a true sanctuary?
  •   Are your stained glass or lead-camed windows protected from hurricane winds and debris?
  •   Do you need vandalism protection?
  •   Do any of your members need a shelter from an impending storm?
  •   Is your place of worship also a school, community center or other campus?
  •   Is your membership recruiting and enthusiasm down among members?
  •   Does your church host outdoor sporting events or community festivals

Having Evolution Hurricane Shutters installed on your house of worship will:

  1.   Dramatically reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs.
  2.   Protect expensive or irreplaceable stained glass, photographs and artwork.
  3.   Stop damage by hailstones, rocks, BBs, pellets or other projectiles.
  4.   Eliminate window damage from athletic gear during sporting events.
  5.   Prevent window breakage from grounds maintenance accidents.
  6.   Protect your windows before, during and after storm conditions.
  7.   Reduce noises from outside during prayer, school or quiet time.
  8.   Eliminate places for nesting bird, spiders or stinging insects.
  9.   Increase donations from community sources from storm shelter capability.

When your members receive the feeling of pride from knowing that their house of worship
provides shelter from hurricanes to those in need, your in house donations will increase.
That same pride and a desire to showoff the added shelter capability by current members
will prompt them to invite their friends to more services and activities.

Stained glass protection of a large 14 foot wide X 22 foot tall window.

After your hurricane shutters are installed, send out invitations to all of the
surrounding congregations announcing a Gala event to come and see the true
sanctuary that your membership has created.

Contact your favorite contractor or hurricane protection installer to find out how soon
your house of worship can be reaping the benefits of Evolution Hurricane Shutters.

Sometimes architecture can’t be sacrificed for the sake of protection. This is where Evolution Hurricane Shutters rise to the occasion.

Here’s what’s left after the scaffolding comes down and the work is completed

The Hurricane Shutter Business and Insurance

19 Sep

From my point of view, when it comes to hurricane protection, the proof has always been “in the pudding” and that is the basis of our product, our live demonstrations and our business. We test what we install and we stand behind it 100%. Anyone who has seen our live demonstrations (from Ocean City, Md to Naples, Fl.) knows how much we trust our product. Yes, I am certainly going to tout the benefits of Evolution Hurricane Shutters, but I will also tell you the positives of some of the others, as well and I hope that others will chime in with additional information. As I have stated before, I’m no expert. I know that the hurricane protection that we manufacture at Evolution Hurricane Shutters is not for everyone, not for every business or church and not for every application. I freely admit that and I will tell a prospective customer the same if our product isn’t going to be the best “fit” for them. Sure, if they demand it from me, I’ll sell it, but that’s not what being in business is all about for me. I’m not in favor of promoting the idea that a $3000 used park model mobile home should have $4000 of hurricane protection. But if he/she has been told by their insurance company that the structure is non-insurable and therefore feels that our product is the only one that protects their property, then I’m on board. Besides, the replacement cost of a small park model starts at about $22, 000.00. There is a corrupted saying in the marketplace that says “The customer is always right.” but the original real version says, “The customer is king.” The kings may not always be right but, nonetheless, they are still kings. How else are people going to protect their property? When the insurance company says that your home isn’t worth the risk for them to insure, the you need to take matters imnto your own hands. Anchor it down so it doesn’t blow away and do what you can to keep the windows from blowing out.

The internet is a great place to find out who has bad reports, complaints, dissatisfied customers and lawsuits. When I review a business or a product, I don’t give too much credence to a customer complaint here and there.  However, when there are so many complaints against a company and so much missing money that the courts get involved, it probably bears a closer look. With that being said let’s move on.

In my way off thinking, if you do anything in your business, you’re gonna’ make a mistake somewhere along the line. If a business owner were to tell me that he/she have NO complaints from customers, then they don’t have much of a business. If you don’t get complaints, you aren’t doing anything. I’ve worked for enough companies in my life to know that there are some people out there who are NEVER satisfied with anything. They think that everything they amass in their life should be free and unconditionally guaranteed for life. They also believe that restaurants are in business to give them free meals and auto repair shops should fix their cars at no charge. In some cases, it also seems that every problem that they experience in life is the fault of someone else. These people are out there and you probably either know at least one of them or maybe are even related to one (isn’t it horrible that we can’t pick our relatives?).

Just remember that insurance companies are out to maximize premiums and minimize losses. That’s their game and everyday they make the rules in Washington, D.C. to benefit themselves at the expense of the public. That’s about all i need to say on that topic………..

Porous vs. non-porous hurricane protection

17 Sep

As a homeowner in a hurricane prone area, it is important to know the performance differences between porous and non-porous hurricane protection. What? You never heard of such a thing? Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger – neither have most homeowners. As a matter of fact, the person selling you your current hurricane protection probably hasn’t either. Here’s the way it has been explained to me:

Porous type protections have open areas around their edges or on their surface that equal more than 5% to 10% of the area covered by the shutter. This allows air and/or water to pass through or around them. Some have as much as 50% open area (like some screens or mesh). They provide only impact protection and rely on the door or window they are protecting to resist the water penetration and air infiltration from both negative pressures (those directed away from the house) and positive pressures (those directed towards the house). So, porous systems block wind-borne debris and are usually built out far enough so that they will not deflect into the glass when impacted by the standard 9-pound 2×4 lumber missile traveling at 34 mph. However, they don’t always do the best job of reducing wind pressures or water leaks. The result is that the windows and doors behind them sometimes experience the full effect of the wind pressures and may leak about as much as an unprotected window or door.

Non-porous hurricane protection systems should be  water and air tight or very close to it. In many cases, even protection labelled as “non-porous” will still allow outside pressures to affect the window or door behind it. This is due to the fact even though the non-porous protection has less than 10% open area, it’s still more than 0% (0% being considered water resistant) If the windows behind them are not strong enough they can still be blown in, which allows wind pressures and driven rain to enter the structure.

Here are 2 examples:

This..

You have a corrugated metal or plastic panel-and-channel system over your 48″ tall x 96″ wide living room picture window. To deploy the system, the panels are tipped towards the wall, slid up into the upper channel and then are pushed back against the wall at the bottom (or window sill), and then either dropped down into the floor of the bottom channel or bolted to an angle below the window sill. This leaves a gap at the top and bottom where the corrugations come away from the building. These gaps at the top and bottom allow wind and rain to get in behind the shutter and attack the window. There are also gaps at the vertical edges of both end panels where they meet the outside wall of your living room.

When the wind blows, some of the pressures and rain are allowed attack your windows. If you were to open the inside window during the storm, you would definitely feel wind blowing on you. This is technically known as air infiltration. Any rain or water that gets past the shutters is called water penetration and you will most likely feel this, too. This is considered a porous system – it allows air pressure and wind driven rain to get at the protected window. If you have newer wind rated windows, this system will be fine for you. It will keep direct hurricane force winds and large missile wind borne debris away from your windows.

Vs. this…

You have purchased and cut a flat cellular polycarbonate twin-wall sheet to the over-sized dimensions, per the instructions, to fit over the same picture window. You have the proper support bars in place to prevent deflection during impact and your anchor holes are all lined up and you’re ready to deploy the sheet. You affix some standard foam weatherstrip (with adhesive backing) to the backside perimeter of the sheet in the oversize area. You hold the sheet into the proper position and drill and insert the anchoring hardware and tighten per instructions.

In this case, when the wind blows, there is no attack of the protected window. Theoretically, if the weatherstripping is working properly, you can open the inside window during the storm and light a candle and it won’t blow out. The weatherstrip should keep the wind and water from getting in. This is a non-porous system. If you have older, single or double strength aluminum or pvc framed windows from the ’60s, ’70’s or ’80’s, this might be a good system for you. And it lets light in so it won’t make you feel like you’re in a dungeon and will save you a bunch of battery power and candles when the power goes out. It isn’t going to be cheap, but it will be lightweight and easier to deploy come storm season. If you have large windows to cover, you could even invest in hurricane rated mullions (support bars) that are the same color as your window trim and leave them in place permanently. That will decrease your deployment time and as long as they are strategically located, won’t obstruct your view too badly and won’t be too noticeable when you look outside.

Finally, in some cases the porosity of the system is determined by the installation itself. The farther away from the face of the structure the system is mounted, the larger the gap for wind and rain to enter. Make sure that you have it in writing as to which system is being installed on your building.

Hurricane impact windows are non-porous hurricane protection, as well. Evolution Hurricane Shutters can be installed as either porous or non-porous protection. We recommend  the non-porous method because it provides the opening with the greatest protection and the greatest energy conservation and sound insulation.
The lesson here? Although non-porous protection is superior to porous protection, you may only need to have non-porous to satisfy your insurance carrier or local building code. Take a common sense approach to your hurricane protection needs. Is seasonal storm protection all that you want? Worried about vandalism? Does your yard serve as the local ball field for the rest of the neighborhood? Do you want energy savings, too? Will you always be around to deploy the protection? What conditions does your insurance company dictate? If you are only a seasonal resident, you may be required to have an “installation contract” in place with a local company to prove to your insurer that your hurricane protection will be in place in time to protect your structure from the storm. Just a reminder – read the news and realize that the insurance companies are getting tighter and tighter about what they are going to pay out. They are ticked off that hurricane protection costs them revenue but glad about reducing their risk. They don’t want to pay out any more money than they have to and their inspectors will start nit-picking your protection at the rime of the policy start and they will also be more adamant about post storm investigations to lower their settlement figure. Taking short-cuts or getting lazy about putting protection in place by the homeowner will only draw the ire of the underwriter and get you a step closer to a fraud charge.