Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Archive for February, 2012

Hurricane Shutters Is A Solid Investment

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 29, 2012

Hurricane Shutters Is A Solid InvestmentFloridians trying to save money on their home insurance premiums can guard against hurricanes at the same time. If you don’t have hurricane shutters installed yet, now is the perfect time. Insurance Claim Guides provides an excellent review why it is important to have hurricane shutters installed. If you have questions about types of hurricane shutters or looking to get a quick feedback, contact Cat 5 Shutters, professional installer of hurricane shutters in South Florida.

For coastal residents in areas hit by hurricanes (the “wind zone”), it is hard to tell what insurance companies want from you when it comes to protecting your home with shutters. If you are in a hurricane zone and do not yet have shutters on your home yet, you may want to consider doing them soon

Mandated Shutter Installation

In Florida’s designated “wind zone” (nearly all of its entire coast) all homes over $300,000.00 in value must add shutters to any home improvement project that requires a permit as required by state law. For these same beleaguered home owners, the state sponsored Citizens Property Insurance (the largest insurer for these targeted homes) will deny any storm-related claims if shutters are not installed. Homeowners in Florida got the message loud and clear and obtained permits to add shutters. As a result of these measures, 700,000 Florida residents installed shutters and were qualified for a generous “wind-mitigation” insurance discount by installing high quality window shutters. Owners received up to $5000.00 in annual premium savings by protecting their homes with shutters that perhaps set them back about $10,000 to $25,000 dollars. The added protection plus the generous insurance premium discount allowed these Florida residents to feel they were making a safe investment. It really made sense at the time.

“Too many coastal residents are protecting their homes with shutters!”

 (Yes, you read that right) Insurance companies, feeling pillaged by the number of wind-mitigation discount customers, despite a major hurricane not occurring for going on six years, are now claiming they are having financial difficulties. Should another major hurricane hit the region, well, there might not be money to pay out because too many people are getting their wind mitigation discounts, so insurance providers claim. Huh? Insurance companies will NOT pay storm claims if residents DON’T have shutters but CAN’T afford the very program they sponsor to make installation of them possible for thousands of home owners. Insurance Companies Make Money First, Protect Homes Second To mitigate financial damage to the company as a result of 700,000 homeowners mitigating damage to their homes during a hurricane, insurers cancelled thousands of higher-risk policies. And they increased insurance premiums, in some cases over 40%, to cover the $700 million in credits they applied to wind-mitigation discounts, which also included credit for roof improvements as well. And, to add insult to injury, insurance companies are now discussing drastically reducing the very credit that enabled a homeowner to invest thousands of dollars into their homes.

By reducing the wind-mitigation credit on homeowner policies, homeowner may not install the best protection and instead choose the minimum needed to gain a discount. Which, in turn, might not be good enough for a hurricane but who cares – the damage from a blown in window or a bad roof that flew off is covered, anyway, right? The State of Florida “shutters” at the thought of a repeat of 2005 hurricane season In 2005, Florida homeowners were paid $36 billion dollars’ worth of claims in the aftermath of eight major storms. The existing insurance coverage debacle threatens the very economy of the state should just one major hurricane hit. There are subsides of “up to $2500” to home owners available through Florida’s My Safe Home program, should the shutter installation requirement be extended to existing homes to help afford them. However, $2500 would generally buy very temporary, poor quality window protection, according to FLASH, a non-profit disaster protection agency in Florida, thus, would cost more than it would help in an extreme tropical storm situation.

What’s a Homeowner in hurricane regions to do about shutter protection? As it stands now, homeowners who are not seeking permits for home construction are not required to install shutters. That being said, without shutters, it is left up to the interpretation of the insurer to decide if appropriate and prudent measures were taken to secure the home given it is located in an area where hurricanes are known to cause damage. Just because good quality shutters are not required doesn’t mean they are not a good investment to protect your home! Should you invest in shutters?
Consider the following:

  1. Strongly consider budgeting in other recommended storm protection measures such as roof improvements (get an expert opinion!) if you plan to go ahead with shutters. If your roof blows off, then the money spent on shutters would be wasted.
  2. Review your homeowner’s policy for premium discounts for wind-mitigation – understand the requirements, what should be inspected and how to submit the claim for a reduction in your premiums.
  3. Know exactly what your policy (policies) cover and doesn’t cover in storm/flood/wind situations and evaluate if time/money spent on such improvements make sense
  4. Investigate any state programs that offer subsidies or tax incentives for home improvements and follow the guidelines so you are eligible to benefit.
  5. Before making a final decision, speak with local disaster-relief agencies, neighbors or others who have been through a hurricane in your area and get advice specific to your location. Your neighborhood might be protected from the wind but has issues with flooding whereas a mile down the road, it is the exact opposite. Prioritize improvements to best protect your property!
  6. Document, document, document! Should a storm hit, have your paperwork ready to prove you spent money to protect your home and be sure your policy is able to completely replace any improvements you make.

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Measure Your Windows for a Proper Installation of Hurricane Shutters

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 27, 2012

Measure Your Windows for a Proper Installation of Hurricane ShuttersWhen it comes to taking measurements, you should know that the process differs depending upon the type of the shutters as they are positioned and installed in a different way. For instance, if you want to take the measurements for the interior shutters, you will have to remember that these shutters are increase from inside. This means they open inside the window or the wall. In order to do so, these shutters are buried within the window or the wall.

Below you will find guidelines on how to measure interior and exterior shutters from Kestrel Shutters & Doors, Inc.

Typically both interior and exterior shutters are mounted within the window opening. This is referred to as an inside mount. For inside mounted shutters you would measure between the side window jambs/casings for the width and from the inside edge of the top jamb/casing to the sill/floor for the height.

When there is not enough depth for the shutters or you wish the shutters to cover over the entire opening, trim work and all, you would use an outside mount. For outside mounted shutters you would measure the distance between the outer edges of the side trim for the width and from the top of the top trim to the sill/floor for the height.

Outside mounted shutters will require a separate piece of wood from which to hang the shutters. This must be properly mounted into a wall stud to ensure that it will hold the weight of the shutters.

Inside and Outside Mount

 Inside Mount Shutters Outside Mount Shutters

How do I know if my window is deep enough for an inside mount?

Use the following guide to determine the window depth you need.

  1. Raised / Flat / Recessed panel shutters – 1.3/8″ depth
  2. Tongue & Groove, Beadboard, Glass/Mirror or Fabric
  3. Board and Batten for inside mount – 2.1/8″ / for outside mount – 7/8″
  4. Fixed louver shutters – 1.3/8″ depth.
  5. 1.7/8″ Traditional operable louver shutters – 1.3/4″ depth.
  6. 2.1/2″ Plantation operable louver shutters – 2″ depth
  7. 3.1/2″ California/Contemporary operable louver shutters – 2.7/8″ depth

If your window does not have this depth you will most likely need to go with an outside mount installation. Please note that the above depth allowances take into consideration that the standard thickness of all Kestrel shutters is 1.1/4″. Thicker shutters measuring 1.3/4″ and thinner shutters measuring 13/16″ thick are also available. Thinner shutters are typically used for cabinet doors and for older homes where the shutters sat within wall pockets.

What if my windows are not square?

It is always a good idea to measure each opening in more than one place so as to make sure that the opening is square. If the opening is not square you have a few options:

  1. Order shutters to fit the largest size of the opening and then trim down the edges to match the window.
  2. Mount strips of wood to the inside of the window frame. These strips should be tapered to compensate for the window frame being out of square. The shutters can then be mounted to these strips.
  3. Order shutters for the smaller size to avoid any trimming. This will result in some light seeping in through the gaps where the opening is larger. Small wooden strips can be tacked to the inside of your opening, just behind the shutters, to prevent this. Having an overlap rabbet where the shutters meet will also keep light out.
How many shutters should there be in each opening?

As all windows are a different size we do not make stock shutters. Every shutter is made for a specific opening for each individual order. This means our shutters are custom sized and this allows you to have any number of individual shutters within an opening that you would like. Here are a few things to consider when determining how many shutters to place within an opening:

  1. Does the window open? If not, you will most likely not have reason to open the shutter frame often except to wash the window glass. This would be a reason to go with as few shutters as possible. This will maximize visibility and minimize costs.
  2. If the window opens, and you plan to open it fairly often, how much clearance do you have between the window and furniture? This will help to determine the maximum size of the individual shutters. From this you can figure how many shutter to order for the opening.
  3. The narrower the shutter the less visibility you will have. Keep in mind that where two shutters meet you will have two stiles (vertical frame members) blocking out any light and airflow.
  4. Just because the other windows in the room have two shutters each does not mean that every window has to have two shutters. Try maintaining the same size shutter throughout the room.
  5. If the best size for your opening means having an odd number of shutters this does not need to be a problem. If you have only a single opening in a particular wall the number of shutter will not look strange as there is nothing else to compare it to. If there is more than one opening in the wall try being symmetrical with the shutters in regards to how you hinge each one.
  6. If you can not make up your mind what looks best try cutting pieces of paper or cardboard to represent each shutter within the opening. By placing these cutouts within the opening you will get a better feel for the final picture.

Cat 5 Shutters LLC is especially proud to offer the most advanced Hurricane Protection systems on the market today. Available in a wide array of designer styles, colors our easy to use hurricane shutters will add value to your property! For a professional feedback, quote or a advise, contact Cat 5 Shutters today.

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Florida Legislation To Protect The Consumer Of Hurricane Protection Products

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 24, 2012

Florida Legislation To Protect The Consumer Of Hurricane Protection ProductsThomas Johnston, President of the International Hurricane Protection Association (IHPA), announced today that the IHPA applauds Florida lawmakers for moving forward with legislation (Florida HB 849) to protect consumers purchasing hurricane protection products in the State of Florida. The new law, effective July 1, 2011 makes it a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, to advertise, sell, offer, provide, distribute or market any product as hurricane, windstorm or impact resistant unless it is in compliance with the provisions for product approval in the Florida Building Code.

For many years, the IHPA has been expressing industry concern to consumers and government authorities about the growing trend of untested and unapproved products being marketed as hurricane and windstorm protection. Johnston pointed out that advertising would often highlight the benefits of the product without ever mentioning that it could not meet the minimum test standards set forth in the Florida or International Building Codes. Often the advertising has been cleverly created to fool the consumer.

“If you see pictures of windblown palm trees, satellite images of hurricanes and wording such as – ‘protection against severe weather’, what is the consumer to think?” Johnston stated that advertisers would imply hurricane protection and hide behind the claim that they did not actually state it.

New Law states:

“A product may not be advertised, sold, offered, provided, distributed, or marketed as hurricane, windstorm, or impact protection from wind-borne debris from a hurricane or windstorm unless it is approved pursuant to s. 553.842 or s. 553.8425. Any person who advertises, sells, offers, provides, distributes, or markets a product as hurricane, windstorm, or impact protection from wind-borne debris without such approval is subject to the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act under part II of chapter 501 brought by the enforcing authority as defined in s. 501.203.”

Hurricane Protection with Hurricane Shutters from Cat 5 Shutters

Hurricane shutters protect from all types of storms. Cyclones in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, or South Pacific Ocean are called hurricanes. Tropical storms along the Northwest Pacific Ocean are referred to as typhoons.

Property owners along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean should strongly consider installing hurricane shutters. Category 5 hurricanes can result in structural damages in excess of 15 miles from the shore. Cat 5 hurricane shutters are recommended for all regions close to the shore.

Factors that influence the best hurricane shutter for the application include cost, quality, building codes, and availability. Standard exterior shutters may not be able to endure the extreme punishment necessary to protect the building. The most common styles of hurricane shutters include roll-down hurricane shutters, accordion hurricane shutters, storm panels, colonial hurricane shutters, and Bahamas hurricane shutters. Each of these styles of exterior hurricane shutter is constructed from various materials including aluminum metal and fabric. Some remain affixed to the building at all times, and others are removed and stored until needed.

Cats 5 Shutters has installed Hurricane Shutters, Storm Shutters, Roll-up and down shutters, Windows Shutters, Bahama Shutters, Accordion Shutters, Shutters for Windows and Hurricane Protection throughout multiple counties in South Florida.

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Hurricane Shutters FAQ

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 22, 2012

Hurricane Shutters FAQWhen it comes to Hurricane Shutters you need to know that they will indeed stand up to, well, a hurricane. Your Hurricane Shutters will be that first line of defense that keeps your windows, and the inside of your home, intact. To make sure that Hurricane Shutters will indeed stand up to their name the State of Florida requires independent testing and review by a Florida licensed professional engineer. Once they have verified that the shutters will indeed withstand a hurricane the product is approved.

Below we have outlined some important questions and answers for your review. The information is provided by NOAA/AOML/ Hurricane Research Division co-sponsored by the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory’s Hurricane Research Division.

Q: Should I tape my windows when a hurricane threatens?

A: NO! It is a waste of effort, time, and tape. It offers little strength to the glass and NO protection against flying debris. After the storm passes you will spend many a hot summer afternoon trying to scrape the old, baked-on tape off your windows (assuming they weren’t shattered). Once a Hurricane Warning has been issued you would be better off spending your time putting up shutters over doors and windows.

Q: Should I put shutters over my doors ???

A: Obviously sliding glass doors, french doors or any door with considerable glass in it should be protected. Some double doors or garage doors should either be shuttered or reinforced. In Hurricane Andrew many of these type doors gave way.

Q: Why should I get hurricane shutters ?

A: People who live in coastal counties from Texas to Maine, and those in other hurricane prone areas, such as most of the Florida peninsula, will find shutters an excellent investment for protecting their lives and property. They protect against wind and wind-borne debris. These shutters protect not only the windows or doors they cover, but also possessions and people inside the building. Once a window or door has been breeched by hurricane winds tremendous pressure is brought to bear on interior walls and upward pressure on the building’s roof. This can lead to roof failure which exposes the entire contents of the building to the storm. Shutters are a first line of defense against the hurricane. Much of the damage and building failure in Hurricane Andrew could have been prevented by well installed hurricane shutters over windows and doors.

Q: Why should I bother with shutters if I live in an evacuation zone?

A: Shutters will protect your house and possessions from wind damage whether you are there or not. If the storm surge should reach your home then the shutters won’t protect against the flood of water. But not every place in the evacuation zone will flood. You should take every reasonable precaution to protect your property.

Q: What kinds of shutters are available ?

A: Click here for a listing.

Q: What are the best kind of shutters ?

A: The best kind are those that are affordable, are easy to install, and offer the greatest protection. Which of these properties is most important to you depends on individual circumstances. For a disabled or elderly person it may be ease of installation with either an automatic closing mechanism or accordion type shutters. For those with limited incomes plywood shutters may be the only affordable option. For most people the best compromise would be steel panels, which offer good protection, but are expensive and take effort to install. Aluminum panels are lighter and easier to install, but offer less protection and may not meet the building code for your area.
Which ever type you decide on it is important to remember that shutters are only as good as the quality of their installation. Ensure that the shutters or their anchors are installed by qualified workmen and that quality materials that meet the building code for your area are used.

Q: What about the plastic film and shatter resistant windows I’ve heard about ?

A: Although these are remarkable products that are being improved every year, they are no substitute for shutters. If you have windows that for some reason, such as access, can’t be shuttered then you may wish to consider using the film or installing the shatter resistant glass.
Remember that the film only protects the glass. The frame is still under pressure and the whole window could fail. Windows with these treatments will still suffer damage from the impact of debris and may have to be replaced after a storm, whereas a shutter would take most or all of the energy of such an impact. Films and special glasses also might not meet the building code for your area.

Q: How do I choose an installation company I can trust ?

A: The same way you go about choosing any company that performs a service. Make sure they are licensed, get references, and then check the references. Ask your neighbors and friends about who installed their shutters and if they had any complaints or recommendations. Check out a company with the Better Business Bureau, your local licensing authority, or contractor association.

Q: When is the best time to get my shutters installed ?

A: The best time to have shutters installed is when the house is built so they can be a part of the design. If you own a house without shutters have them installed as soon as is practical. Keep in mind that the beginning of hurricane season may be a busy time for most installation companies. Do NOT wait until a Hurricane Watch is issued for your area.
At the start of each hurricane season you should test out your shutters. For permanently installed shutters try closing each one to make sure they work smoothly and lock tight. For panels and plywood shutters try a couple of windows and doors to ensure the hardware works and check the time you need to complete the job. Check all panels for warpage or other damage which could compromise its integrity. Repair any problems at this time so that everything is ready when a storm threatens.

When a Hurricane Watch is issued for your area check all mechanisms and hardware again, and maybe pre-install the more difficult shutters. If you live in an evacuation zone and it will take 2 or 3 hours to complete your shutter installation, you may want to start during the Watch phase. If you are not in an evacuation zone you should time your installation early in the Warning phase so that you are not struggling with panels during high winds.

Q: What if I can’t afford commercial shutters ?

A: The least expensive, effective method of protecting windows is probably using plywood. The key to plywood shutters is thickness and installation. Use at least 5/8 inch exterior grade plywood, it makes the shutters heavier but safer. They should be cut to fit inside the window frame, installed prior to hurricane season, marked for which window they are made for, and stored with their hardware, preferably in a dry location. Heat and moisture over time will warp plywood, and a good fit is essential to their effectivness.

If even these shutters seem too expensive consider making them for two or three windows at a time, starting with the most vulnerable. After a few years you will have your whole house ready.

Q: Can condominium associations prohibit shutters ?

A: The short answer in Florida is NO. Chapter 718 of Florida Statutes of the Comdominium Act (1991) permits each board of administration to adopt specifications as to color, style, etc., but all specifications “shall comply with the applicable building code”. The Florida statutes further state “… a board shall not refuse to approve the installation or replacement of hurricane shutters conforming to the specifications adopted by the board.”

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Storm Surge Overview from National Hurricane Center

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 21, 2012

Storm Surge Overview from National Hurricane CenterAlong the coast, storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. In the past, large death tolls have resulted from the rise of the ocean associated with many of the major hurricanes that have made landfall. Hurricane Katrina (2005) is a prime example of the damage and devastation that can be caused by surge. At least 1500 persons lost their lives during Katrina and many of those deaths occurred directly, or indirectly, as a result of storm surge.

Storm Surge vs. Storm Tide

Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides. Storm surge should not be confused with storm tide, which is defined as the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide, resulting in storm tides reaching up to 20 feet or more in some cases.

Storm Surge vs. Storm Tide

Factors Impacting Surge
Storm surge is produced by water being pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds moving cyclonically around the storm. The impact on surge of the low pressure associated with intense storms is minimal in comparison to the water being forced toward the shore by the wind.

Wind and Pressure Components of Hurricane Storm Surge

The maximum potential storm surge for a particular location depends on a number of different factors. Storm surge is a very complex phenomenon because it is sensitive to the slightest changes in storm intensity, forward speed, size (radius of maximum winds-RMW), angle of approach to the coast, central pressure (minimal contribution in comparison to the wind), and the shape and characteristics of coastal features such as bays and estuaries.

Other factors which can impact storm surge are the width and slope of the continental shelf. A shallow slope will potentially produce a greater storm surge than a steep shelf. For example, a Category 4 storm hitting the Louisiana coastline, which has a very wide and shallow continental shelf, may produce a 20-foot storm surge, while the same hurricane in a place like Miami Beach, Florida, where the continental shelf drops off very quickly, might see an 8 or 9-foot surge. More information regarding storm surge impacts and their associated generalizations can be found in the FAQ section.

Adding to the destructive power of surge, battering waves may increase damage to buildings directly along the coast. Water weighs approximately 1,700 pounds per cubic yard; extended pounding by frequent waves can demolish any structure not specifically designed to withstand such forces. The two elements work together to increase the impact on land because the surge makes it possible for waves to extend inland.

Although elevated, this house in North Carolina could not withstand the 15 ft (4.5 m) of storm surge that came with Hurricane Floyd (1999) Hurricane Floyd 1999
Additionally, currents created by tides combine with the waves to severely erode beaches and coastal highways. Buildings that survive hurricane winds can be damaged if their foundations are undermined and weakened by erosion.

Beachfront road and boardwalk damaged by Hurricane Jeanne (2004)
In confined harbors, the combination of storm tides, waves, and currents can also severely damage marinas and boats. In estuaries and bayous, salt water intrusion endangers the public health, kills vegetation, and can send animals, such as snakes and alligators, fleeing from flooded areas.

Notable Surge Events
  • Ike 2008
  • Katrina 2005
  • Dennis 2005
  • Isabel 2003
  • Opal 1995
  • Hugo 1989
  • Camille 1969
  • Audrey 1957
  • New England 1938
  • Galveston 1900
Surge Vulnerability Facts
  • From 1990-2008, population density increased by 32% in Gulf coastal counties, 17% in Atlantic coastal counties, and 16% in Hawaii (U.S. Census Bureau 2010)
  • Much of the United States’ densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level
  • Over half of the Nation’s economic productivity is located within coastal zones
  • 72% of ports, 27% of major roads, and 9% of rail lines within the Gulf Coast region are at or below 4 ft elevation (CCSP, SAP 4-7)
  • A storm surge of 23 ft has the ability to inundate 67% of interstates, 57% of arterials, almost half of rail miles, 29 airports, and virtually all ports in the Gulf Coast area (CCSP SAP 4-7)
Hurricane Storm Protection

Property owners along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean should strongly consider installing hurricane shutters. Category 5 hurricanes can result in structural damages in excess of 15 miles from the shore. Cat 5 hurricane shutters are recommended for all regions close to the shore. Contact Cat 5 Shutters for all your hurricane protection products and needs.

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Home Insurance and Hurricane Protection Products

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 17, 2012

Home Insurance and Hurricane Protection ProductsHomeowners insurance helps pay to repair or rebuild your home and replace personal property due to a covered loss. The term “homeowners’ policy” simply means you have a package policy that includes coverage (1) against the insured’s property being destroyed or damaged by various perils (causes of loss) and (2) coverage for personal liability exposures of the insured. A homeowners’ policy includes coverage for the residence premises, unattached structures, personal property and personal liability.

Insurance Tips To Prepare for Hurricane Season
  • Before hurricane season starts each year, you should review your insurance coverage with your agent. Insurance policies provided by the JUA are more expensive than those issued by other companies, but they are available as a last resort before a hurricane hits, if you don’t have homeowner’s insurance. Other insurance companies may not want to provide insurance once a hurricane is within striking distance.
  • Make sure you have adequate coverage, especially if you have made any additions to your home, have expensive items or have had you property value increase.
  • Check your policy for windstorm and flood coverage.
  • Make sure your standard homeowner’s policy covers windstorm damage caused by wind or hail. Consider purchasing flood insurance if your home is in a flood zone as determined by the National Flood Insurance Program. Since there is an automatic five-day waiting period for flood insurance, purchasing flood insurance should be done before hurricane season.
  • Know what your policy does and doesn’t cover.
  • Review your policy for deductible, exclusion and coverage information including: relocation, temporary living expenses and personal injury. Standard homeowners’ policies usually limit coverage on valuable jewelry, silver and guns.
  • Update your list of personal belongings.
  • Maintain a current room-by-room inventory, including: serial numbers, purchase dates and cost of valuables. If your home is damaged or destroyed, it will be hard to remember details. Since your insurance company may require proof of cost, attach receipts to the inventory list. Videotapes or photographs are a good way to document your personal inventory.
  • Safeguard your records.
  • Keep a copy of your policy and your inventory records in a safe deposit box. Make two copies; keep one in a fireproof home vault and give the other to a friend or relative. If your property is damaged, you will need quick access to this information.

For more information on insurance coverage, call Florida’s toll-free Insurance Consumer Help line at 1-800-342-2762 or 1-800-528-7094.

HURRICANE PROTECTION PRODUCTS

Without protection, your home is at risk if a hurricane strikes. All windows and doors should be protected with products that meet the new building code. Shutters, windows and doors that meet strict hurricane resistance standards are classified as “hurricane protection products.”

In addition to new shutters, there are also hurricane-resistant windows and doors that provide protection without using shutters. These windows and doors seal against the rain and windblown debris. If hurricane-force winds happen to get inside the house, your roof will not survive. Roofs are not designed to withstand wind pressure pushing up from the inside. Since hurricane- force winds can come from any direction, it’s important to protect the entire house.

When shopping for your hurricane protection products, make sure the products you choose are approved. Attached for your review is the User’s Guide to Wind Mitigation Report provided by MySafeFloridaHome.

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Storm Shutters Stay Up All Hurricane Season

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 15, 2012

Storm Shutters Stay Up All Hurricane SeasonProperty values will decline and more crime will occur if the city passes a proposed ordinance to allow part-time property owners to keep their hurricane shutters up during the entire storm season, opponents say.

“It’s an invitation to robbers and thieves. Plus, having shutters up all that time is unsightly,” said Don Raskin, vice president of the Barclay Club at PGA National.

Supporters say consumers would save money. It costs about $1,200 to install and remove galvanized shutters with wing nuts on all windows and doors in a typical 2,000-square-foot home, said two shutter business owners. Building owners would avoid repeatedly paying to put up and take down shutters when storms approach.

“The city has no business telling a property owner when they can put up and take down shutters during the hurricane season,” said Paul Creelman, owner of Centurion Home Tenders of North Palm Beach.

Shutters in Palm Beach Gardens now can be on a building five days before a storm hits and five days after it passes.

If approved by the city council Jan. 5, building owners who register with the city could keep shutters up between June 1 and Nov. 30. Shutters would not be allowed the rest of the year.

Building owners who leave during the summer would give the city two names of local residents to provide keys to the doors of shuttered buildings in case of either a crime or fire.

Firefighters now must break through shutters when a fire starts in a building owned by a person who is not reachable. The longer it takes to get inside a burning building, the more dangerous the situation to firefighters, said Chief Pete Bergel of the Palm Beach Gardens Fire-Rescue Department.

A fire inside a building absorbs oxygen for fuel. When firefighters break through the shutters, the fire sucks in oxygen and expands. Flames blast out.

“A firefighter standing in the way is pretty much dead,” Bergel said.

Other communities in Palm Beach County do not require registration. Boynton Beach allows shutters on commercial and residential buildings to stay up all season, but few owners choose to do so, said Ray Carter, the city’s interim fire chief.

“I can count on two hands the number of buildings that have shutters up all season,” he said.

In Wellington, building owners can keep shutters up three days before and three days after a hurricane. Owners can install shutters for two-week periods twice a year for vacations, said Steve Koch, Wellington’s code compliance manager.

“We’re flexible if they want a little longer time,” Koch said.

Allowing shutters to stay up all season would avoid the mad rush for pre-hurricane installation, said Russ Griffin, owner of West Palm Beach-based Shutter Bugs, which installs hurricane shutters.

“Frantic people offer me thousands of dollars. They are afraid their insurance won’t pay if their shutters aren’t up,” Griffin said.

Palm Beach Gardens officials say the registration is in response to complaints from part-time residents.

They told city officials they must either depend on a friend or pay a business to install and remove their shutters.

“Seasonal residents want the peace of mind to have shutters up during hurricane season,” Bergel said.

Homeowners associations in Palm Beach Gardens can pass their own regulations to prohibit the shutters from being up all season even if the council passes the ordinance, Bergel said.

Even so, the proposal isn’t likely to win much support in the Bent Tree Homeowners Association, said Beth Kyne, the HOA’s vice president.

“I can’t think of any reason why the city would cater to the out-of-town crowd. The council would be well advised to pay attention to the people who live and vote in this town,” Kyne said.

Staff writers Eliot Kleinberg and Mitra Malek contributed to this story.

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Hurricane Shutters For The Political Wind

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 15, 2012

Hurricane Shutters For The Political WindWe are inviting you to read a wonderful post written by Dave Berry:

I figured out what the Florida primary reminds me of: A hurricane.

Think about it: When a hurricane forms, at first you don’t pay much attention, because it’s far away and you don’t think it’s going to affect you. But then, as it comes closer and excitable local TV weather people start tracking it on radar, you become increasingly nervous. Finally you go to Publix and join the hordes of alarmed Floridians buying vital emergency supplies such as canned meat to replace the unused canned meat you bought during the previous hurricane.

Likewise, last year, when candidates started campaigning for the Iowa caucuses, you didn’t pay attention, because (a) Iowa is a distant place that you are always confusing with other flat soybean-infested states such as Kansas, and (b) nobody understands how the Iowa caucuses work anyway. Apparently even the Iowans don’t really understand them; they’re still trying to figure out who won this time around, with the current front-runner being Gerald Ford.

But then, after Iowa, the candidates moved to New Hampshire, which is a little closer to Florida. Then they moved to South Carolina, and suddenly the horrible truth hit you: They’re coming HERE.

This is where my hurricane analogy breaks down. Because when we know a hurricane is coming, we wisely prepare for it. But when a major political campaign is coming — even when we have plenty of warning — we sit around like morons and let it slam directly into us.

How can you protect yourself from a presidential primary? I’ll tell you. As soon as you know that a campaign is going to hit Florida, you should go to Home Depot and buy sheets of plywood three-quarters of an inch thick. You should take these home, cut them to size, and then, using a hammer and nails, fasten them firmly to every TV screen in your house. You should also fill your bathtub with water, add about a cup of bleach, and drop in all your radios.

These simple steps will protect you and your family from the toxic spew of political attack ads that run nonstop on all media outlets, so that no matter what channel you change to, you hear sneering announcers telling you one appalling thing after another:

“…can we really trust Mitt Romney, a Massachusetts liberal who…”

“…bloat-faced beltway insider Newt Gingrich drank champagne while thousands of Florida homeowners lost their…”

“…a Massachusetts socialist who…”

“…raked in millions from lobbyists while Florida homeowners were selling their kidneys to pay for…”

“…apparently wears some kind of secret cult underwear…”

“…CLAIMS he never performed a human sacrifice on behalf of Fannie Mae, but can we really…”

“…a Massachusetts communist who fought for Fidel and…”

“…CLAIMS he never bludgeoned any of his wives to death with a hatchet, but can we really…”

And so on. I think you’ll agree that the destruction of your household electronics is a small price to pay for reducing your family’s exposure to these ads. Another option is to call FPL and ask them to send out a crew to cut off the power to your house.

The main thing is, you need to have a plan, because it’s only a matter of time before we get nailed again. Finally, we should remember that even though this primary campaign is leaving Florida, millions of innocent Americans still lie directly in its path. We should do what we can to help them. I for one am willing to donate a large quantity of canned meat.

Distributed by Viestly

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Sealing Leaks and Insulation

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 13, 2012

Sealing Leaks and InsulationHomeowners are often concerned about sealing their house too tightly; however, this is very unlikely in most older homes. A certain amount of fresh air is needed for good indoor air quality and there are specifications that set the minimum amount of fresh air needed for a house. If you are concerned about how tight your home is, hire a contractor, such as a Home Energy Rater, who can use diagnostic tools to measure your home’s actual leakage. If your home is too tight, a fresh air ventilation system may be recommended.

After any home sealing project, have a heating and cooling technician check to make sure that your combustion appliances (gas- or oil-fired furnace, water heater, and dryer) are venting properly. For additional information on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues related to homes, such as combustion safety, visit EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Web site.

Sealing Leaks

Many air leaks and drafts are easy to find because they are easy to feel — like those around windows and doors. But holes hidden in attics, basements, and crawlspaces are usually bigger problems. Sealing these leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping will have a great impact on improving your comfort and reducing utility bills. Click on the house diagram to see common air leak locations that you should aim to seal.

Homeowners are often concerned about sealing their house too tightly; however, this is very unlikely in most older homes. A certain amount of fresh air is needed for good indoor air quality and there are specifications that set the minimum amount of fresh air needed for a house. If you are concerned about how tight your home is, hire a contractor, such as a Home Energy Rater, who can use diagnostic tools to measure your home’s actual leakage. If your home is too tight, a fresh air ventilation system may be recommended.

After any home sealing project, have a heating and cooling technician check to make sure that your combustion appliances (gas- or oil-fired furnace, water heater, and dryer) are venting properly. For additional information on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues related to homes, such as combustion safety, visit EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Web site.

Adding Insulation

Insulation keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are several common types of insulation — fiberglass (in both batt and blown forms), cellulose, rigid foam board, and spray foam. Reflective insulation (or radiant barrier) is another insulating product which can help save energy in hot, sunny climates.
When correctly installed with air sealing, each type of insulation can deliver comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year.

Insulation performance is measured by R-value — its ability to resist heat flow. Higher R-values mean more insulating power. Different R-values are recommended for walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces, depending on your area of the country. Insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. So it is very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation to ensure that you get the best performance from the insulation.

  • See Recommended Levels of Insulation to determine what is most cost-effective for your home.
  • For more comprehensive information, check the Department of Energy’s online Insulation Guide 

To get the biggest savings, the easiest place to add insulation is usually in the attic. A quick way to see if you need more insulation is to look across your uncovered attic floor. If your insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more insulation. The recommended insulation level for most attics is R-38 (or about 12–15 inches, depending on the insulation type). In the coldest climates, insulating up to R-49 is recommended.

Sealing Ducts

In houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. In a typical house, however, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks and poorly sealed connections. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.

Because some ducts are concealed in walls and between floors, repairing them can be difficult. However, exposed ducts in attics, basements, crawlspaces, and garages can be repaired by sealing the leaks with duct sealant (also called duct mastic). In addition, insulating ducts that run through spaces that get hot in summer or cold in winter (like attics, garages, or crawlspaces) can save significant energy.

Additionally, if you are replacing your forced-air heating and cooling equipment, make sure your contractor installs the new system according to ENERGY STAR quality installation guidelines. A quality installation will include a thorough inspection of your duct system, including proper sealing and balancing of ductwork, to help ensure that your new system delivers the most comfort and efficiency.

You can also hire a contractor who will use special diagnostic tools to pinpoint and seal the hidden air leaks in your home. A Home Energy Rater can help you find contractors that offer air sealing services in your area.

Distributed by Viestly

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Why Choose Accordion Hurricane Shutters

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 10, 2012

Why Choose Accordion Hurricane ShuttersAccordion shutters provide a great solution for exterior hurricane shutters. Accordion shutters are comprised of long narrow vertical sections of metal (usually aluminum) that connect to one another and pivot on joints between the sections. The joints alternate pointing toward the window and away from the window, allowing the accordion shutters to collapse to the outside of the opening.

Exterior accordion shutters offer strong protection from a hurricane or storm, security from persons or animals trying to enter the building, and practical light control. The primary negative aspect of accordion hurricane shutters is they are unattractive to some. Accordion shutters are affordable relative to other hurricane shutters available.

Accordion shutters are permanently attached to the structure and slide open and closed on a tracking system. The shutters are extremely easy and fast to secure in a closed position to protect window openings. Some accordion shutters can be opened or closed from the inside. Accordion shutters are much safer than plywood shutters or storm panels, and do not require tool once they are installed.

Unlike some other types of exterior hurricane shutters, accordion shutters are available in unlimited widths and heights up to 12 feet high. The vast sizes available make it possible to cover large doors, picture windows, and buildings with overly large windows without sacrificing durability. In addition to the large sizes available, accordion shutters can also be made to fit arched openings, bay windows, and other non-rectangular shaped openings.

Accordion shutters are generally priced per square foot. The cost of accordion shutters may not fit every budget, but bare in mind that accordion shutters generally exceed local building codes, which may help justify spending the extra money. As with many types of shutters, accordion outdoor hurricane shutters qualify for property insurance deductions and add equity in the structure.

Aside from hurricane protection or security, accordion shutters can be a barrier to insulate from direct sunlight. Western windows in tropical environments absorb intense heat from the afternoon sun. Closed accordion shutters block virtually all sunlight, creating a cool dark interior. This may be especially convenient when a unit or dwelling is vacant.

Accordion shutters may be installed as a do-it-yourself project with moderate to advanced carpentry skills and proper tools. If installation is too intimidating or advised, the homeowner may hire a licensed contractor to provide the service. Accordion shutters roll open and closed on wheels and have locking systems so it is very important that installation is done to the manufacturer’s specifications.

If the shutters are not installed properly it could void the manufacturer’s warranty and result in difficult operation and locking. Don’t get caught with a malfunctioning shutter during a hurricane!

When only the best will do, ask for Cat 5 Shutters LLC hurricane protection products.

Distributed by Viestly

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