Every year, the residents of the southeastern coast and the Gulf states spend an enormous amount of money preparing for hurricanes or – even worse – don’t prepare at all. One of the main expenses residents incur is the purchase of storm shutters, also known as hurricane coverings. When the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association announces the potential for a hurricane in Florida, the clock starts and there is a mad rush for materials to build these hurricane coverings. The object of the storm shutters is to avoid the need for window repair by covering the vulnerable areas with material that is more or less impenetrable.
Believe it or not, there are actually three types of hurricane window shutters and they all provide different costs and levels of protection. The most cost-effective shutters are made out of plywood, but these rot easily and will likely have to be replaced after shorter periods of time due to a loss of integrity. The other types are made of metal or polycarbonate plastic, and are designed to last longer than plywood while also providing better protection. However, there are major downsides to using hurricane window shutters as your protection strategy from a Florida storm.
Hurricane Window Shutters, Are they Worth It?
To start with, hurricane window shutters take up a lot of storage space when they are not installed on your windows. Not only do they take up a lot of storage space, but they also take a significant amount of time to install and then later remove with each possible storm. Installations on second-story windows also expose a homeowner to a fall risk. Hurricane season sees an average of over 15 storms a year, seven of which become hurricanes and anyone can become a hurricane in Florida. 2005 saw a record of 28 tropical storms and 15 hurricanes. It’s only a matter of time before the next Florida storm. Failure of your hurricane window shutters can still result in window glass replacement. Debris may not fully penetrate the structural integrity of the shutters, but bending, buckling, and cracking can allow them to flex enough and make contact with the underlying glass, potentially shattering it.
Hurricane Storm Windows – The Better Alternative
Instead of relying on costly shutters that need to be installed for each storm, consider installing permanent hurricane storm windows. Hurricane windows are constructed with hurricane or impact glass that is able to withstand storms that traditional windows cannot. These windows can tolerate wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour because of their polyvinyl butyral or ethylene-vinyl acetate coatings. If they do break from debris on a rare chance, they break in a pattern similar to a spider web instead of shattering all over your house and allowing the elements to penetrate. This better protects your family during the hurricane and simplifies the process of window glass replacement. The best place to get your storm doors and hurricane windows is STS Impact Windows and Doors. Serving South Florida, STS will give your family peace of mind and simplify your preparations for this hurricane season. Hurry and call STS before the next Florida storm.