Do You Live in an Area Prone to Hurricanes and Other Tropical Storms? Check Out the Pros and Cons of Shutters vs Hurricane Windows and Doors
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and other tropical storms, you know that they’re no joke. About 10 tropical storms develop over the Atlantic Ocean every year. A category 5 hurricane can have sustained winds of 157 miles per hour, or even more, and it has the potential to cause roof failure and wall collapse.
When the storm hits and the damage has been done, repairs can be extremely expensive. In their 2012 Remodeling Market Index, the National Association of Home Builders found that about 36% of remodeling jobs were initiated because of property damage, and 44% of home renovations were targeting window and door replacement — two of the easiest things for a storm to damage.
When you’re looking to protect your home from strong storms, hurricane windows and doors could be your best bet. There are two main ways to defend your home against strong winds and other hurricane elements: hurricane shutters and impact resistant windows.
Pros and cons of hurricane windows and doors.
First, let’s talk about why you might consider hurricane windows and doors for your home. Hurricane doors and windows are a popular option evident all over the place in hurricane-prone areas. In fact, homes in Florida that are built within one mile of a coastline where wind speeds can reach 110 miles per hour or more are required to have hurricane windows installed.
Hurricane windows are also called impact windows, or impact resistant windows. Impact resistant windows first appeared on the market about two decades ago. Impact resistant glass is composed of two layers of glass separated by a layer of polyvinyl butyral.
These windows have been tested to ensure that they can withstand Category Five winds and debris conditions. To be certified as impact resistant, windows must remain intact within its frame in the face of winds up to 200 miles per hour. And to pass safety standards, both the impact resistant window’s center and corners must hold up against a nine pound two by four stud moving at 35 miles per hour.
Hurricane windows come in a wide variety of style and color options, and they can be custom built to fit and complement your home. And aside from storm protection, hurricane windows can also deter burglars and other would-be home invaders. The special glass of impact-resistant windows can also make your home more energy efficient, keeping in the climate-controlled air and keeping out the heat or the cold.
Wondering about the cons? Impact resistant windows often require more upfront expenditure. However, when you consider the money you’ll save on repair and replacement down the line, they may actually be a bargain.
Pros and Cons of Hurricane Shutters
Hurricane shutters are another popular option, primarily because they’re easy to install and relatively inexpensive. Hurricane shutters come in a variety of styles, including automatic roll-down shutters, Bahama shutters, accordion shutters,storm panel shutters, and awning shutters. The material can also be customized, from metal to PVC materials.
Cons include the fact that these heavy shutters are often difficult or impossible to install yourself, and they offer less round the clock protection than impact resistant windows.
Whichever protection option you choose, it’s important to protect your family and your home with a defense against hurricanes and other tropical storms.