Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Home protection

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on January 2, 2014

Home protectionEvery year, there are millions of people that invest in a new home, make updates to their current residence, and who are looking at incorporating hurricane shutters to their houses. Hurricane shutters are a great investment to those families that live in hurricane-prone areas or just want the added safety benefit of having them. Hurricane shutters can be the difference of having a safe home to come home to instead of a home that has been obliterated from a catastrophic hurricane. Lets evaluate the types of hurricane shutters available.

Florida Building code requires homes built as of about 1996 to have every window and door opening protected with a tested and approved impact resistant glass window, impact resistant door, or one of many hurricane protection devices (typically aluminum shutters like hurricane panels, accordion shutters, or rolling shutters). But, if your home was built before 1996, it may not have been designed or built with any hurricane protection in mind.

So, if you don’t have hurricane window protection for your entire home or you’re looking to upgrade to an easier-to-use or more attractive product, what are your options? How do you decide if Hurricane Panels, Accordion Hurricane Shutters, Impact Resistant Windows, or Impact Doors are the right choice for your home? Frequently, the final choice is a combination of these different products that fit your budget, the level of convenience you require, and the architecture or design of the structure.

Steel Florida storm panels and aluminum hurricane panels are going to be the least expensive option, but this cost savings comes at the expense of the time and labor required to install and remove them with every storm warning. It can take six hours or even more than a full day to install aluminum hurricane shutters on a larger home, so you must decide very early after a hurricane warning to start putting them up. Steel Florida storm panels and aluminum panels are usually stored in a garage and need to be carried around the house to each opening before installation. When hurricane panels must be installed on the second floor or higher, one or more ladders and a helper may be required. Unfortunately, many emergency room visits occur before and after storms from injuries sustained during hurricane shutter installation or removal. Most of these injuries are cuts that come from handling steel panels or a fall from a ladder or roof. Hurricane panels are a strong and code approved form of hurricane window protection, but the physical effort required to install them must be considered in your decision.

As a result, accordion shutters have become a very popular choice for aluminum hurricane shutters in Broward County. They are easy-to-use and still one of the more affordable options. Accordion storm shutters are permanently attached to your home and can be quickly deployed both upstairs and downstairs. Occasionally, a ladder may be required for those upper floor windows with fixed glass that don’t open or are inaccessible from the inside of a home. Accordion hurricane shutters are available in many colors that coordinate or compliment an exterior house paint scheme. But, accordions can affect the overall appearance of a home and are more noticeable around arched windows and highly visible areas like entry ways and patios. Even though all new accordion shutter systems should be tested to meet the current building codes, the quality and strength of these different products can vary widely.

Selecting an experienced company to design and install your accordion storm shutters is as important as the shutter itself.

Alternatively, many people may want to maintain or update the look of their home or may not be physically able to close accordion hurricane shutters or install storm panels. What if you’re out of town when a storm strikes without a neighbor or family member you can rely on to close or install your aluminum shutters? Impact glass windows and doors might be the answer.

For the ultimate combination of convenience and aesthetics, look no further than PGT WinGuard impact windows and impact resistant doors. While sometimes referred to as hurricane proof windows, these hurricane resistant windows and impact doors do not require hurricane shutters. Sandwiched between layers of glass, a tough center membrane is designed to stay intact in the event the hurricane window is impacted. PGT windows and doors are manufactured in Florida and North Carolina, and the company states that “more than two million WinGuard units have been installed with zero reported impact failures.” PGT windows and impact resistant doors are tested and certified to resist repeated impacts from flying debris, wind-driven rain, and the extreme pushing and pulling pressures exerted on a structure during a hurricane. Simply knock your fingers on the hard thick glass of an impact resistant window, and you’ll quickly see why they’re frequently called hurricane proof windows. Along with their hurricane resistance, hurricane windows also provide an increased level of security, energy efficiency, noise reduction, and UV protection. With all the benefits of hurricane resistant windows, their higher cost may be the only limiting factor.

So whether it’s hurricane shutters or hurricane windows, there is a solution that can be designed to meet your needs. This solution should take into consideration your home’s architecture together with your personal aesthetic preferences, budget, and physical ability now and in the future. Always consult with an experienced contractor prior to your impact window or hurricane shutter installation to determine if there are any architectural features that could limit your final product selection. Lastly, get a permit. Although building codes can vary by city, the installation of impact resistant windows and hurricane shutters in Broward County and Palm Beach requires the project is permitted and inspected by your local building department.

We hope you found these review points valuable in helping you select the right hurricane products to protect your home. For a professional advise and installation, contact Cat 5 Shutters today.


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