Living in Florida can be one of the best decisions you ever make. From the warm temperatures to the lack of state income tax, the Sunshine State offers plenty of value and opportunity to its residents.
As with any living situation, however, there are downsides. One of the most prominent downsides to life in this beautiful state is the potential for extreme weather–specifically hurricanes. Spanning from June 1st to November 30th, hurricane season encompasses a huge portion of the calendar year. So, whether you’re a full-time Floridian or only take up residence during certain months of the year, chances are high that you will have to deal with a hurricane and its effects at some point. This is due to the fact that hurricanes not only have the potential to be hazardous to our health but also to cause a tremendous amount of damage to our homes.
This makes preparing for a hurricane a necessary part of life in Florida. Many residents stock up on all the things they consider essential: water, food, gas, propane, and batteries. People attempt to board their homes with shutters and plywood in hopes of keeping their windows and doors safe from impact. But one essential every Floridian should seriously consider is the installation of hurricane impact windows and doors. By purchasing hurricane impact windows and doors, you are decreasing the odds that a hurricane will cause massive damage to your home.
Before we get into the specifics of hurricane impact windows installation, let’s first explore hurricane trends in Florida further. This will give you a good understanding of just how much damage can be caused by hurricanes. Also, why hurricane impact windows add a level of protection to your home, guaranteeing your safety from the next major hurricane.
Florida Hurricanes: Recent Trends
The presence of hurricanes in Florida is nothing new. One of Florida’s worst recorded hurricanes was more than one century ago in 1906. In this hurricane, one hundred railroad workers in the Florida Keys were killed, along with 34 people in the Pensacola area. From the early to mid-1900s, there are numerous recordings of major storms striking all different parts of Florida every few years, each causing a significant amount of damage, destruction, and death along the way.
In more recent years, there have been several major hurricanes that have caused significant damage to Florida and its neighbors; these include Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Michael, and Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Andrew, for instance, was one of the fiercest hurricanes in the 20th century. At 5 am on August 24th, 1992, Hurricane Andrew made landfall as a Category 5 storm. Winds were reported to be as high as 175 miles per hour; the storm produced a 17-foot storm surge near landfall. Hurricane Andrew caused $25.5 billion in Florida alone, and the majority of that damage was caused by wind.
After Hurricane Andrew, one of the next most notable hurricanes to strike Florida was Hurricane Katrina. On August 25, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Miami-Dade county, it was only a Category 1 storm. This storm sustained winds of 80 mph, but residents can recall watching doors “alarmingly buckle inward” as the storm raged by. It left around $630 million worth of damage in its wake.
When Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017, the hurricane started as a Category Two storm, but strengthened to a Category Four storm. It passed through the Florida Keys with a tremendous storm surge, causing significant damage to 1,000 homes in Miami-Dade county alone.
Finally, Hurricane Michael hit the panhandle in 2018 as a Category 5 major hurricane, causing 74 deaths and over $25 billion of damage. It is estimated that over 50,000 structures in the Florida Panhandle were impacted by this massive storm.
According to one estimate, the collective damage to Floridians from 2000 to today is about $123 billion.
The Value and of Hurricane Impact Windows: Tips and Product Advice
A brief glance into Florida’s hurricane history gives direct insight into precisely why installing hurricane impact windows is one of the best ways to keep you, your family, and your property safe. One of the best ways to safeguard your family and your property in the event of a hurricane is by preparing early, before hurricane season begins in June. Next to having a good roof, the best line of defense for your home is to install hurricane impact-resistant windows and doors.
Impact windows and doors protect your home from numerous types of impact, not just hurricane-force damage. The best way to achieve impact resistance in windows is to select the correct product. All of the products we use have gone through rigorous testing to receive Notice of Approval, NOA, from Miami-Dade County. There are two main product components to hurricane impact windows and doors. Those elements are frames and impact glass.
Let’s first take a look at the frames. There are three common types: aluminum, vinyl and wood. One of the added benefits to investing in impact windows and doors, is that they make your home more energy-efficient! Each type of frame offers a different factor of insulation, and each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Wood frames offer the best insulation, but require lots of upkeep in Florida, due to rotting and warping.
Aluminum windows tend to conduct heat and, therefore, are less energy efficient. Aluminum frames are also more prone to dents, corrosion, and fading, which requires more upkeep, but they are the strongest overall. Vinyl windows excel when it comes to insulation and improving energy efficiency. This is because the vinyl material minimizes heat transfer. Vinyl window frames require much less maintenance than aluminum windows. They don’t require repainting or refinishing, whereas aluminum frames can be repainted or re-coated after corrosion or fading. Aluminum and vinyl frames are typically the more durable and lower-maintenance options for Floridians.
Now, let’s talk about the impact glass. Our recommendation is to select a product that uses laminated glass or laminated insulating glass. STS Impact Windows & Doors only uses Miami-Dade NOA approved impact-resistant laminated glass. This laminated insulating glass is designed to withstand repeated impacts during a hurricane. Even if the glass is damaged, the interlayer will hold the glass pieces secure in the frame and continue to keep unwanted elements outside of the home.
Within impact windows, there are several different types of glaze available. For instance, you can find impact glass treated with polyvinyl butyral (“PVB”) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (“EVA”). The glaze is about 0.015 to 0.090 inches thick and can go a long way in absorbing impact when struck by debris; it creates an effect similar to shatterproof car windshields.
When looking for impact glass to protect yourself from Florida hurricanes, you may also come across impact glass with liquid glass resins. These glass resins are applied to the glass and then hardened through ultraviolet light. This type of impact glass is popular among Florida residents due to added UV protection. There are other types of impact glass glazes, ranging from PVB combined with polyethylene terephthalate (“PET”), SentryGlas Plus (“SGP”), and more. Whichever glaze you choose, attached are a plethora of benefits. Here at STS Impact Windows & Doors, we would like to help you customize your options and choose which glass best fits your needs.
Benefits of Installing Hurricane Impact Windows and Doors
One key benefit of installing hurricane impact windows and doors may be something that you didn’t expect. Hurricane impact windows preserve the structure of your home. Researchers who have studied hurricane damage have concluded that total home destruction is caused by extreme pressure changes that occur when a window or door is damaged.
As the storm penetrates the window or door open, allowing the elements to enter the home, the excessive pressure inside the structure causes immense pressure on the roof. The pressure inside causes the umbrella in the wind effect and rips the roof right off your home. By installing hurricane certified impact glass, the chances of preventing extensive damage to your home or business significantly increase.
In addition, hurricane impact windows and doors protect your home from theft and burglary. They reduce noise pollution inside the home, and even help block out UV rays. All of these aspects then help to reduce energy bills and lower insurance premiums. With all of these factors to consider, there is no down-side in installing hurricane impact windows and doors in your home today!
Protect Your Home Today
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst! STS Impact Windows & Doors can help you do just that. Hurricane impact windows and doors are a very cost-effective investment. They will add beauty to your home, save you on insurance and energy costs, while also improving its overall value.
They will preserve the structure of your home the next time Florida falls in the path of a major hurricane. They will keep your family safe from natural elements like damaging winds and flying debris, and even from the risk of intruders, burglars, and anything else threatening the safety of your home.
Call or email us today for your no obligation, in-home free consultation and quote!