Tag Archives: impact windows

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.”

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.