Hurricane Shutters or Hurricane Windows
Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs June 1 – November 30 each year, with August and September being the busiest. When you own a house or consider buying a house in a hurricane prone area you will have a plan to protect your house in the event one hits your area. If you are building a new house or renovating your house a key decision has to be made to meet code in your area. Will you protect your windows with a hurricane shutter or will you upgrade the window itself to hurricane grade windows. Lets look at the benefits of both and when each application makes sense.
Hurricane windows, also referred to as impact resistant windows can serve many purposes. An impact resistant window is tested to withstand a 2×4 piece of framing lumber directly hitting the window at 50mph. In a hurricane area application, the window is strong enough to stand up to most debris that may be blown into your windows. If the window does break a strong polymer layer in the center of the glass keeps the glass from shattering and actually keeps the window in place to keep water out. There are other applications for these windows as well. Storefronts or other security applications are possible. Since the window is very difficult to penetrate even when the glass is broken. To learn more about these windows visit Pella.
For the sake of this articles we will use the term Hurricane Shutters to refer to the many types of window protection that is installed over the exterior of a window. This protection can come in many forms such as aluminum panels, wooden sheets, metal roll downs or even heavy canvass. Each of these products functions slightly different, however they all work to keep your windows and your house safe during a hurricane. So the question is which is right for your house?
How to Choose
Cost is usually a factors as to which type of protection you choose. Here are some other reasons. If you have windows on a second story, above another roof or hard to reach, you may not have much of choice but to choose a hurricane window for this location. You also need to be at the house, or have someone install your shutters if this is a vacation home and you are not there. Then there is the question of do you put them up and leave them up all hurricane season? You can’t live in a house that has hurricane shutters up all summer. First of all it will make sure house very dark, and if there was an emergency like a fire, it would be impossible to exit through a window that has a very basic type of shutter installed on the outside of your house.
As with any decision you make regarding an upgrade to your house, talk to a trusted home contractor. Here at WB Sanders we have decades of experience right here in Southwest Florida and can help explain options benefits and costs during the remodeling or building process.