Protect Your Home With Hurricane Windows
Living in an area prone to hurricane-force winds means you need to prepare your home for the eventuality of a storm. Windows tend to be a weak link in your home's storm defenses, but hurricane windows can help provide protection.
Windows vs. Shutters
Shutters have long been the standard for those homeowners that wanted something easier to use than nailing plywood over every window. Shutters were generally fixed in place and simply needed to be shut when a storm approached, providing nearly instant protection. Further, there are even automatic versions available that can be closed with the simple push of a button.
Yet, shutters have their drawbacks. When open, they aren't the most attractive fixture to have framing your window. Further, you can see through them, so there is no way to visually check a storm's progress. Hurricane windows solve these problems. They look no different than a standard window at first glance, so they are quite attractive for the home. There is also no need to cover windows so you can still — cautiously — peer out periodically during a storm event.
It is important to note that hurricane windows do require an upfront investment, often costing more than shutters. This is in part due to the fact that there is no way to DIY proper window installation as it is a job best left to professionals. Most locations require that the work is completed by a licensed contractor, and there may even be an inspection required once the windows are installed.
Hurricane windows also do not have the clarity of view as regular windows, in part due to the thick, multi-layered glass. Yes, you can see out well, but things can sometimes look a bit wavy or distorted. The issue isn't major, and the low maintenance of caring for the windows helps mitigate these minor issues. Other than washing the windows and frames, your hurricane windows won't need any ongoing care. Compared to shutters, which must be lubricated and tested to make sure they are working properly every year, this can be a relief.
There are many options when it comes to hurricane windows, so you can find one to fit your home. You will have a choice of vinyl or aluminum framing. Vinyl is more energy-efficient than aluminum, but aluminum provides better impact resistance. Aluminum can also be painted in any trim color desired, while vinyl is limited to stock color options.
You can also choose your casement style. There are traditional side and bottom sliders, as well double-hung, swinging casement, and folding windows. Tilt-down windows may also be available.
Contact a hurricane window dealer and installer to learn more about your options.