Anyone moving to Florida will hear about hurricane impact windows, which most refer to simply as storm-windows. These are windows that protect your home from a hurricane, without the need to put up heavy metal panels. They have other benefits as well.
Florida Hurricane Protection
A category-5 hurricane has sustained winds of 157+ mph. Protecting your home from these storms requires more than simply boarding-up. Even a category-1 hurricane can have 95 mph winds. Which can suck plywood right off your house due to the negative air pressure. This is why there are no insurance discounts for putting up plywood before a storm.
Proper hurricane protection in Florida is rigorously tested. Approved options mainly consist of either heavy metal hurricane-panels, accordion shutters or hurricane impact windows.
Hurricane Panels and Accordion Shutters
Hurricane panels are screwed onto pre-installed tracks. Although they are common, many underestimate the difficulty in installing these. The metal panels are large, awkward, heavy and have sharp edges. Use high quality leather workmen’s gloves to handle them without cutting your hands. Injuries during installation are common.
After installing hurricane panels or accordion shutters, your house will be completely dark inside. When the power fails you will need battery powered lights or candles, even during the day.
Hurricane Storm Windows
It is appealing to have hurricane impact windows. Compared to all other options, all that is required when preparing for a storm is to make sure the windows are closed and locked.
Hurricane windows have a special laminate sandwiched between two pieces of upgraded glass. They are tested in multiple ways. One test fires a piece of 2×4 lumber endwise out of a cannon directly at the window to simulate flying debris in a storm. After-storm photos have shows wood pieces sticking out of the side of trees.
Security Against Break-ins
Another advantage of hurricane impact windows is that they also provide added security against break-ins. There are numerous videos online of people swinging baseball bats at impact windows to no avail.
Paradise Exteriors sells the only Florida hurricane impact-rated storm window endorsed by the National Crime Prevention Council.
Most other types of hurricane protection such as panels provide virtually no security protection, as they are simply screwed on from the outside. The only other ways to obtain security from burglars is with either with either an alarm system or by adding bars on the window.
An alarm becomes basically useless after a storm, when the power is out and the phone lines are down. Even if an alarm did work after a storm, it is doubtful the police would be able to respond. Downed trees after a storm can make travel on the roads impossible.
Bars over a window pose an even bigger security problem in the event of a fire. Sadly many tragically burn to death every year, unable to escape a house fire, due to “security” bars on their windows. For this reason security bars, particularly in bedrooms, do not meet code and licensed contractors will not install them.
Energy Efficient Storm Windows
Energy efficiency is another big reason Florida homeowners choose to invest in new windows and doors. Not all storm windows are energy efficient. Yet, most homeowners do choose to go with an energy efficient window.
These energy saving windows, as well as sliding-glass doors and French doors, have an extra panel of insulated glass in addition to the multi-layered laminated glass. The energy efficient ones are Energy-Star rated, saving over 30% off a homes electric bill when compared to single-pane windows. The upgrade often pays for itself through energy savings.
Homeowners Insurance Savings
Installing hurricane windows can also trigger significant discounts on homeowners insurance. The cost of insuring against hurricane damage can be quite significant. Lowering insurance rates while improving their home is often an easy choice for homeowners.
Compared to other forms of hurricane protection, new windows beautify a home. Whereas adding storm-panel tracks or accordion shutters can be unsightly, especially if combined with old windows. The enhanced curb-appeal, in addition to the other advantages, can make a significant improvement in a homes value.
Finding a Florida Contractor
When shopping for hurricane impact windows, reputable licensed companies like ours will come to your house, measure and provide a quote. Our quotes are good for a year.
Paradise Exteriors is the top-rated window, door and roofing company in Florida. Family owned and operated, we have been in business for over 15 years and have multiple locations across the state.
We take pride in our workmanship and install only premium products, dealer direct. All backed by our Best Price Guaranty and industry-leading Warranty. We also offer affordable financing options with no-money-down.