Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Hurricane Shutters Requirements In Dade County Florida

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on March 23, 2012

Hurricane Shutters Requirements In Dade County FloridaResidents in coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean are well aware of preparations needed for hurricane season. Those in areas that are more prone to being struck by these strong storms prepare homes by installing shutters systems into the buildings structure. 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. It is best to have the shutters installed during the construction of the home, but some older homes are not equipped with shutters. Contact your local hurricane shutter company for hurricane preparation guidelines, products and service.

High Velocity Hurricane Zone

Miami-Dade and Broward counties comprise the High Velocity Hurricane Zone. The HVHZ, High Velocity Hurricane Zone, designates a geographic area incorporating all of Miami/Dade and Broward Counties and Coastal Palm Beach County. Garage doors installed in this area must meet the most stringent requirements in the entire United States and must be impact rated.
All construction within this zone is subject to particularly stringent building codes, designed to withstand hurricane-strength winds and storm surge waters. The HVHZ building code applies to all areas of construction, including the design and implementation of hurricane, or storm, shutters.

General Regulations

Hurricane shutters, also known as storm shutters, are specifically regulated in Florida building code. In the High Velocity Hurricane Zone, all exterior glass surfaces, including both windows and doors, must be protected by shutters. As an exception, glass elements which are approved as meeting the building code requirements for impact loads do not require shutters. Hurricane shutters must be designed by a qualified, Florida-registered engineer, or by an overseeing architect who is so qualified. In either case, the designs must bear the seal of the qualified designer and must be reviewed and approved by the overseeing architect or engineer. Shutters must be approved by Florida product control, with the manufacturer’s name engraved into every element of the shutter system. Shutters may either be permanently anchored or removable. If removable, then shutters must be neatly stored in an accessible and designated location within the building.

Dimensions and Specifications

Shutters must affix to glass surfaces in such a way that there is a gap of at least one inch between the glass, frame or other components and the shutter at the moment of maximum deflection. If, however, exterior glass elements meet load requirements for HVHZ wind pressures, the gap is unnecessary. Storm shutters must completely cover any openings, with a maximum side clearance between shutter and wall of 1/4 inch. The overlap between shutters must be at least one and a half times the side clearance, or at least 3/8 inches.

Impact and Load Requirements

Within the HVHZ, all exposed exterior building elements, including both shutters and unshuttered glass surfaces, must pass impact and load testing. These tests determine the ability of materials to resist wind-borne debris, and expect the same results from walls, doors, skylights, glazing or glass block, and shutters. For example, one missile test involves striking the test surface with a 9 lb. 2-by-4 at a speed of 50 miles per hour.

Another test, cyclic pressure loading, involves subjecting all elements of the test surface to increasing pressure, uniformly distributed around its frame. Exceptions that need not pass the testing include enclosures for porches, patios, pools or greenhouses; louvered surfaces and sheds not intended to be human dwellings.

Distributed by Viestly


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