Hurricane Impact Windows and Their Vital Role in South Florida  

Hurricane Impact Windows and Their Vital Role in South Florida

South Florida, a tropical haven, offers stunning coastal views but also poses a perpetual risk of hurricanes. The area is well-acquainted with the destructive effects of these intense storms, hence hurricane readiness is paramount for both homeowners and businesses. A key element in safeguarding homes from these violent weather events is the installation of hurricane storm windows. In this article, we will explore the concept of hurricane impact windows and their vital role in South Florida, their design to resist natural forces, and different examples that can help protect your home during the upcoming  hurricane season.

Understanding Hurricane Impact Windows:  

Hurricane storm windows, also known as impact windows or hurricane-resistant windows, are specialized windows designed to endure the destructive forces associated with hurricanes and severe storms. These windows act as a protective barrier against strong winds, flying debris, and torrential rains, offering a robust defense to safeguard homes and occupants during a storm.

Construction and Materials:  

The construction of hurricane storm windows involves a combination of advanced materials and engineering techniques to enhance their strength and durability. Key components of these windows include laminated glass, impact-resistant frames, and reinforced hardware.

  1. Laminated Glass:The primary defense mechanism of hurricane storm windows lies in the use of laminated glass. Unlike traditional windows that shatter upon impact, laminated glass is composed of multiple layers of glass bonded together with a durable interlayer, typically made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). This construction prevents the glass from breaking into sharp, dangerous shards, even when subjected to high-velocity impacts.

  1. Additionally, if the glass does crack, the interlayer holds the broken pieces together, maintaining the structural integrity of the window and preventing the entry of wind and rain. This crucial feature is especially valuable in preventing post-storm water damage.

  1. Impact-Resistant Frames: The frames of hurricane storm windows are crafted from sturdy materials such as aluminum, steel, or vinyl, reinforced to withstand the immense pressure and impact associated with hurricanes. The frame acts as a support structure for the entire window system, ensuring that it remains intact and securely in place during a storm.

  1. For casement windows, which are hinged at the sides and open outward, the frame must be robust enough to withstand the lateral forces exerted by high winds. Single and double-hung windows, on the other hand, require frames that can endure both lateral and vertical pressures, as these windows open by sliding vertically.

  1. Reinforced Hardware: The hardware components, including locks, hinges, and handles, are reinforced to enhance the overall strength of hurricane storm windows. Secure hardware ensures that the windows remain tightly sealed, preventing any breach that could compromise the structural integrity of the home.

 Casement Windows and Hurricane Resistance:  

Casement windows are popular in South Florida due to their sleek design and ability to provide excellent ventilation. These windows are hinged at the sides and swing outward, allowing for maximum airflow. However, the hinged design makes casement windows vulnerable to lateral forces during a hurricane.

To fortify casement windows against such forces, manufacturers design impact-resistant casement windows with reinforced frames and laminated glass. The reinforced frames are engineered to withstand the pressure exerted by strong winds, while the laminated glass offers protection against flying debris.

Single and Double-Hung Windows in the Storm:  

Single and double-hung windows, which slide vertically to open, present a different set of challenges in hurricane-prone regions. These windows must endure both lateral and vertical forces during a storm, requiring robust frames and secure locking mechanisms.

Manufacturers address these challenges by incorporating impact-resistant materials and laminated glass into the construction of single and double-hung hurricane storm windows. The result is a formidable defense against the forces of nature, providing homeowners with peace of mind in the face of impending storms.

Benefits of Hurricane Storm Windows:  

  1. Year-Round Protection: Hurricane storm windows offer continuous protection against not only hurricanes but also other potential threats, such as break-ins, UV rays, and noise pollution. This makes them a valuable investment for homeowners seeking comprehensive security and comfort.

  1. Energy Efficiency: The high-quality materials used in hurricane storm windows contribute to increased energy efficiency. The windows provide a tight seal, preventing air leakage and reducing the workload on heating and cooling systems. This leads to lower energy bills and a more environmentally friendly home.

  1. Insurance Premium Reductions: Installing hurricane storm windows can often lead to reductions in homeowner’s insurance premiums. Insurance providers recognize the added protection and reduced risk of damage associated with these windows, making homeowners eligible for potential discounts.

  1. Noise Reduction: Laminated glass, a key component of hurricane storm windows, also serves as an effective noise barrier. This feature is particularly beneficial in urban areas or near busy roads, where reducing external noise can significantly improve the quality of life within the home.

  1. UV Protection: The laminated glass in hurricane storm windows provides UV protection, safeguarding your interior furnishings and belongings from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. This helps preserve the aesthetic appeal and longevity of your home’s interior.

 In the face of South Florida’s unpredictable weather patterns, the installation of hurricane storm windows emerges as a non-negotiable aspect of home fortification. These windows, with their advanced construction and materials, act as a shield against the destructive forces of hurricanes, providing homeowners with unparalleled peace of mind.

Whether you opt for impact-resistant casement windows or reinforced single and double-hung windows, the investment in hurricane storm windows pays off in terms of year-round protection, energy efficiency, and increased property value. As the frequency and intensity of hurricanes continue to rise, the decision to fortify your home with these resilient windows becomes not only a practical choice but a necessary one for the safety and well-being of your family and property.

If you’re ready to take the next step and fortify your home against the destructive forces of hurricanes, we invite you to contact East Coast Windows & Doors today. Our team of experts specialize in providing custom solutions tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Reach out to us for a personalized quote, and let us help you enhance the safety, security, and value of your home. Don’t wait – protect what matters most with East Coast Windows & Doors.

Your Guide to Wind Speed and Windows

Hurricane Impact Windows - Guide to Windspeed

We are all familiar with the routine hurricane preparations we must go through every year during storm season. However, dangerous winds have the potential to occur at any point, making it even more important to have the correct impact windows and doors installed on your property. But when exactly should we be worried about wind speeds? At what point do standard windows fail us, and at what wind speed are hurricane impact windows essential? Here is a guide that can help clear up some of these important questions.

What Risks Do High Speed Winds Pose to Windows?   

Most window breakage during a storm is a result of debris hitting the glass due to high wind speeds, though it is possible for windows to break from extreme winds and high pressures, which can also cause walls or roofs to collapse. Since blown-over trees and signs quickly become projectiles in hurricane-force winds, installing hurricane impact windows is ultimately your only option if you want to be safe in the midst of a serious storm.

When windows are broken due to any one of these events, sharp and dangerous glass shards are then propelled throughout your residence, having the potential to seriously injure those inside. If a projectile was the reason for the breakage, this object could also fly through your window and injure a person (or pet) that it comes across. In addition, the newly exposed window opening is then an easy access point for rain, high speed winds and other projectiles to get inside. If those things do not damage you or your family members, they could certainly damage your residence. All-in-all, this is a situation that is scary, unsafe, and is best to be avoided at all costs.

How Strong Does Wind Have To Be To Break Windows?   

High wind speeds are possible even when we are not in the midst of a hurricane, so even if you are not in a major storm, there is still an element of risk when it comes to your windows and doors.

Hurricane wind speeds start at 74 mph, but here’s the damage that winds can do before and up to that point, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory:

  • 19 mph: Small trees begin to sway
  • 25 mph: Umbrella use becomes difficult, whistling can be heard through wires and branches
  • 32 mph: Whole trees sway and walking into the wind becomes difficult
  • 39 mph: Branches can be broken from trees, cars can veer on the road
  • 47 mph: Light structural damage
  • 55 mph: Trees can be uprooted, considerable structural damage is possible
  • 64 mph and up: Widespread structural damage is possible

In the case of a hurricane, here is a breakdown of the different categories that the storm could be, and the wind speeds/estimated damage associated with each category:

Category 1: 74-95 mph

Winds at this speed will mostly cause damage to mobile homes and trees, but stronger homes may see minor damage to the roof or gutters. Trees with shallow roots may topple, and damage to power lines can cause power outages that last for days. A storm surge of 4-5 feet above normal can cause coastal road flooding.

Category 2: 96-110 mph

These winds are extremely dangerous, and homes may sustain roof, siding, window and door damage. Trees will sustain considerable damage and some will be uprooted, blocking roads. The storm surge is usually 6-8 feet above normal. Coastal and low-lying areas are evacuated.

Category 3: 111-129 mph

Mobile homes and poorly constructed buildings are destroyed. The storm surge is typically 9-12 feet higher than normal. Electricity and water may be unavailable for days to weeks after the storm passes. Major trees are snapped or uprooted, and homes may incur major damage.

Category 4: 130-156 mph

Catastrophic damage occurs; homes can suffer severe damage including the loss of the roof structure, windows, doors and/or some exterior walls. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months. The storm surge is generally 13-18 feet above normal levels. Land that is less than 10 feet above sea level may be flooded.

Category 5: 157 mph or higher

These storms destroy most homes, causing roof failure and wall collapse. The storm surge is usually more than 18 feet higher than normal. Fallen trees and power lines will isolate areas, with many shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Lower levels of all structures sustain major damage and there are massive evacuations of residential areas. Power outages can last for weeks or months, and most of the area will be uninhabitable.

A 50 mph wind will apply 5 to 7 pounds of force per square foot, but this increases exponentially as winds get stronger. At 100 mph, that figure jumps from 20 to 28 pounds of pressure per square foot, and at 130 mph, 34 to 47 pounds per square foot of pressure are applied. To figure out how much wind your windows can be expected to withstand before they shatter, you will need to look for the design pressure rating (or DP) for your windows. This information can be found on window packaging, manufacturer product data sheets or by contacting the manufacturer directly.

A standard/basic residential window often has a design pressure of about 15 pounds per square feet. A window that can be expected to withstand up to 15 pounds of pressure translates into a window that can withstand wind speeds of about 77 mph. Since even a category 1 hurricane can easily bypass this wind speed, it is highly recommended that you install hurricane impact doors and windows with a much stronger DP rating in order to be the most prepared for whatever comes your way. Keep in mind, even if your glass is strong enough to withstand the literal wind speeds of the storm at hand, it takes extra protection to also fight against heavy pieces of debris that can often come your way.

Why Choose East Coast Hurricane Windows and Doors 

Whether flying debris hits your windows or doors during high speed winds is out of your control, but preparing ahead of time by making sure your windows and doors are strong is well within your control, and can make the difference between keeping your home and family safe or not. By installing impact windows and doors that are hurricane-safe and with a high DP rating, you are doing the very best for you, your property, and your loved ones.

Be on the safe side, with East Coast Windows! Call us today at (954) 946-3697 to get more information about our doors, windows, and services, or get a free quote by filling out our online form!

What to Expect from Hurricane Season 2022? 

 What to Expect from Hurricane Season 2022 

As all Floridians should be well aware, hurricane season is on the horizon! Hurricane season starts on June 1st, and the forecast suggests that this year’s weather will rank above average in intensity and projected hurricane numbers.

According to the latest forecast from CSU forecasters, we should expect about 19 major storms this year, among which nine of them will become hurricanes and four of them could become major hurricanes. The 2022 hurricane season will be the seventh year in a row with above-normal hurricane activity.

The names of this year’s storms are Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virgine, and Walter.

 What Does This Mean for Residents of Florida? 

It’s going to be another stormy season for Florida. If you’re new to the area and unaware of how this season goes, you’ll have to prepare for some extreme winds and rain-soaked days. Different areas are affected differently, and storms can often change course or alter their path during their journey, keeping residents on their toes. Overall, there is a 96% possibility that you will encounter at least one tropical storm this season, a 75% chance of encountering at least one hurricane, and a 44% chance of encountering at least one massive hurricane.

Besides hurricanes, the threat of flooding is also high. You have to prepare accordingly to protect yourself and your family members during and after a major storm.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season 2022?

Don’t fear! Finding out that a hurricane is coming can be terrifying news, but if you take the proper steps to prepare yourself you can rest easy so that you, your family, and your belongings will be safe and secure.

So, what are some necessary steps you can take?

  • Install Quality Hurricane Resistant Windows: it is extremely important to protect your windows and doors; installing impact windows and doors will protect you and your loved ones from the inevitable flying debris that occurs in extreme winds and hurricane conditions. This debris can include tree branches, street signs, roofing materials, and other items left outside that essentially become flying missiles in the midst of a major storm.
  • Take Care of Your Home Exterior: If you have trees near your residence with shaky or falling branches, then now is the time to trim them. When you know a storm is coming, secure your outdoor furniture, children’s toys, potted plants, or other appliances. You can use a rope to tie them or move them inside of your house temporarily.
  • Have an Emergency Kit Ready: The strength or direction of a hurricane can sometimes change rapidly, and you might have to quickly evacuate yourself from your home. Having an emergency kit ready with important documents, jewelry, insurance papers, a first aid box, and a flashlight could come in handy.
  • Make Changes To Your Home Interior: As you are notified that a storm is approaching, it’s wise to remove valuable things that could fall from your walls such as art and paintings. Unplug your electronic appliances and turn your gas off.
  • Have an Evacuation Plan Ready: Consult with your local authority to figure out the closest hurricane shelter. Don’t forget to make arrangements for pets if you have any.
  • Download FEMA App: You can easily download the FEMA application for your mobile devices where you can gather information on weather alerts, safety tips, and resources. This app includes a configurable emergency supply checklist, maps of open shelters and rehabilitation centers, disaster survival information, and National Weather Service weather warnings.

The 2022 hurricane season is on its way, and it’s time for people on the East Coast to prepare themselves. Protect your home and loved ones by installing hurricane-resistant impact windows and doors. You can send us an email or simply call us at 954-545-0997 to learn more about our high-quality impact doors and windows.

 Benefits of Installing Hurricane Resistant Impact Windows 

 Benefits of Installing Hurricane Resistant Impact Windows 

Along with its amazing beaches and weather, Florida welcomes tropical storms and hurricanes. People living in Florida are no strangers to fast-moving winds and flying debris. The severe consequences of hurricanes have prompted people to invest in impact windows and doors. The benefits of impact windows go beyond protecting you and your family members from hurricanes. We at East Coast Windows would love to share some merits of installing hurricane-resistant impact windows for your home.

1. Single Installment Cost 

Impact windows and doors are a one-time investment. Once you installed it, you have to do nothing. Well, not exactly. You have to clean it if it starts getting dusty or dirty. If you are a Floridian, you know that a hurricane does not come with an invitation. If you choose hurricane shutters, you have to manually install them when there is a hurricane warning. Additionally, you need to invest a lot of time maintaining and cleaning them. Impact windows will start protecting you within seconds after installation.

2. Hurricane Resistant 

The most important advantage of installing impact windows and doors is to protect your property from hurricanes. There are some affordable options but they are not as strong and resistant as impact windows. Impact windows and doors are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and flying debris. It is important to remember that they are not just intended to withstand natural disasters such as hurricanes, but also for a variety of other reasons and goals.

3. Reduces Sound Pollution

Sound pollution is very irritating. If your home is near a highway or industrial area, you know the irritation caused by excessive noise. Installing impact windows is a simple approach to restricting the amount of outside noise that enters your home. Because the additional multilayer glass and super-sealed frame prevent noise and air leak, sound from the interior is contained and annoyance from your neighbors or the street is confined outside. Impact windows are close to soundproof windows.

4. Energy Efficient Investment 

When you invest in excellent impact windows and doors, it may frequently pay off more than just typical insulation since it reduces the quantity of air leaking from the house, making your home air conditioning considerably more economical. Like no other window treatment, impact windows are particularly intended to limit solar heat gain in the summer and help keep your home cool during the hottest months of the year.

5. Looks Aesthetically Appealing

If you decide to sell your home, the value of your home will increase with the impact windows installed. Each hurricane impact on windows and doors is an investment in the protection of you and your home. Rather than fixing your doors and windows every time they are damaged, it is far better to pay for them once and avoid the trouble of reconstructing them.

There is no hiding from hurricanes if you live in Florida. But there are ways you can protect yourself, your family, and your property. The best way to protect your home is by installing hurricane-resistant impact windows. If you are looking to install or upgrade new hurricane-resistant windows, East Coast Windows is the best place to go. You can get in touch with us via our online form or simply ring us at 954-545-0997.

7 Fantastic Home Improvement Idea for Fall in 2021

Repainting a room is a great home improvement idea for fall.

Fall is the ideal season to start nearly any home improvement project since you are well-rested from your summer vacation, the weather is lovely, and now that the summer heatwaves have passed, you can finally get organized. More importantly, there are several home renovation tasks that should be completed during the fall season.

Check out our latest guide on home improvement ideas for fall.

1. Update Windows and Doors

Widows and doors protect your home from water, wind, and debris. Having a strong window and door protects your home from water, air, debris, and other natural hazards.

Fill any gaps along with your window and door frames with caulk. Replace outdated weather stripping as needed to provide a strong seal against the outdoors. Weatherstripping made of felt or foam should be changed every two years.

If your windows have issues that can’t be fixed with caulk and weather sealing, you should consider replacing them before the cooler season arrives.

If you’re looking to upgrade your windows or planning to add a new one, East Coast Windows is a great place to start.

2. Clean and Repair Your Downspouts 

Cleaning and repairing gutters isn’t the most elegant of home maintenance jobs, but it’s critical to do it in the fall to avoid drainage issues or avoidable roof damage.

Remove any leaves, twigs, or other debris that is obstructing proper drainage from your gutters. Then, clean your gutters with water, examine the joints, and tighten any loose brackets. Consider installing a gutter guard for a more lasting fix. They are simple to install and will prevent you from climbing a ladder.

3. Inspect Your Roof

A sturdy roof will keep your home comfortable and safe all year long. Stay ahead of potential roof problems by properly inspecting them or, better yet, hiring an expert to do it.

Check for leakage in your roof during the last year, and repair any tiles that are broken, missing or curling.

Regular roof inspections and maintenance will assist to extend its life. If your roof requires substantial repairs or replacement, get multiple bids from reliable professionals.

 4. Check the condition of your heating system and chimneys. 

We may not get very cold weather in Florida, but for those of you who do have a fireplace and plan to use it, now is the time to have it, along with your heating system serviced. Take this chance to examine any smoke and fire detectors to prevent your home from serious damage.  

If you intend to utilize your fireplace, you have to consult a specialist to examine the condition of your fireplace. You should also make certain that it is clean and in functioning order. Inadequately operating heating systems and blocked chimneys are two of the most prevalent fire dangers in US houses throughout the winter.

5. Get your deck and patio ready for perfect weather. 

While most people up north are storing their outdoor furniture in preparation for the worst weather, here in South Florida fall is the time to get that backyard or patio ready for some of the best weather of the year.

Pressure washing your patio will make it look as good as new and will remove any mold or mildew from the wet and muggy summer. Plant some new flowers that will last throughout the cooler season, including herbs and veggies.

6. Improve Your Home Security 

Don’t underestimate the benefit of knowing your house is secure. Home security systems are now more inexpensive than ever thanks to advancements in technology. Installing your own security cameras is straightforward and affordable if you’re proficient with basic household equipment. And remember, new impact windows and doors are a huge deterrent for burglars as they are nearly impossible to break.

7.  Paint Your Home

Fall is an excellent time to paint your home’s exterior in preparation for this winter and many more to come. Take advantage of the cooler weather and paint or touch up your home, patio, or outdoor furniture. This is also a great way to get ready for those extra guests coming to visit for the holidays.

Fall is a great time to improve and upgrade your home’s interior and exterior. Hope our tips and ideas help you figure out what you need to do during the fall season to improve your home.

If you’re looking to upgrade your windows and doors, contact us via our online form or call us at 954-545-0997