The hurricane season runs every year from June 1 to November 30. During this time there may be as many as 25 storms, but thankfully, the majority of hurricanes don’t make landfall in the US. The ones that do hit, however, can cause property damage in the billions of dollars.
Hurricanes cover a broad area, sometimes as large as 200-300 miles in diameter. Fortunately though, these storms usually move very slowly, so residents and emergency workers in the areas affected have time to prepare.
Homeowners often prepare by installing hurricane shutters or impact resistant windows. While both of these options offer protection, there are advantages and disadvantages of each. If you’re planning to purchase one or the other, you should consider these pros and cons to help with your decision.
Impact resistant Windows
In a hurricane, flying debris is a real danger. When a normal pane of glass is hit by a flying projectile it can shatter. The glass in an impact resistant window is laminated. That is, there are two or more panes of glass bonded together in a special process. Between each pair of glass panes is a strong laminate layer. This process allows the windows to crack without actually breaking. This type of glass was invented in the early part of the 20th century and has been used in the automotive industry for many years.
Impact resistant windows will protect your home and the people in it from flying debris, theft, and other damage. Even if you’re away from home, these windows will protect your property.
Impact resistant windows can improve your home’s energy efficiency and greatly reduce outside noise because of the additional laminate layer and extra pane of glass, as compared to regular windows.
Probably the biggest drawback to impact resistant windows is the cost. If you’re planning to replace all of the windows in your home, that will be a major investment, as they can cost as much as twice the price of conventional windows. Also, if something DOES strike one of the windows, it will crack, and will have to be replaced.
Hurricane shutters are installed over existing windows to protect the glass underneath. They come in a range of wind and impact ratings, depending on their size, shape, and more. They can be used to complement the exterior décor of the home and can give the home a more finished look. Modern shutters can sometimes be operated with a touch of a button.
One of the most attractive benefits of hurricane shutters is the cost. When compared to the cost of installing impact resistant window in your home, hurricane shutters are much more reasonable.
Hurricane shutters are not perfect, however. When a hurricane shutter is closed and put into position for a storm, visibility will be limited or non-existent. This isn’t a problem with impact resistant windows.
If this is a second or vacation home and you’re not there, you won’t be able to activate your shutters in advance of a storm.
If you install hurricane shutters over regular glass windows, the negative pressure of the storm can still suck the windows out of their openings, causing problems with water intrusion and structural damage.
So which alternative is best?
If you plan on remaining in your home for a long time, impact resistant window will be your best option, as you can recoup the cost over the years.
If you have a smaller budget or don’t plan to keep your home for more than a few years, hurricane shutters are more affordable and provide a high level of protection during storms.
The east coast of Florida, and particularly South Florida, is extremely vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms. Storm Smart of Southeast Florida was created to provide the highest quality products designed to protect your home and family when these storms occur. Based in West Palm Beach and serving customers in the area since 2016, we have been protecting homes in Southeast Florida with a focus on providing customer service second to none. Check out our reviews!
Whether you are building new or just want to protect your home and family better from hurricane winds, Storm Smart of Southeast Florida has just what you need. If you would like more information about our company, contact us at 561-220-7222.