The most popular form of hurricane protection is also the least expensive. Corrugated aluminum hurricane panels and fabric hurricane panels are a practical and relatively inexpensive solution for hurricane protection. Very little of the system is permanently on the structure. The panels are stored in the garage or under the house until needed. The track and/or fastener system is very unobtrusive and is installed through the trim into the structural framing of the windows and doors.
There are a number of ways to secure Bahama Shutters from the inside. In the past we used a system of 2” x 2” angles attached to the shutter and window frame. The two angles would mate up and be secured with cotter pins.
The newer system we utilize now has locking pins that slide from the bottom rail of the shutters into receivers that are integrated into the base of the support arms.
Although hurricane shutters can sustain very high wind speeds, that is not how they are tested for hurricane protection.
Hurricane damage is most often caused by a combination of flying debris impacts and atmospheric pressure changes.
In order to pass strict hurricane testing protocols, the shutter is subjected to three impacts by a nine foot 2×4 fired from an air cannon at 50’ per second.
The impacted test shutter is then placed in a chamber and bombarded w/ positive and negative cyclic pressures.
Although many hurricane shutter companies & installers may advertise that their hurricane shutters can withstand 100+ or even 200+ mph winds, these same products may fail with even the smallest impact from flying debris.
Make sure any hurricane shutter product you purchase is not just for high wind speeds but for hurricane protection that meets current building codes for impact and cyclic pressures.
Hurricane shutters are installed to protect the building envelope. The main cause of hurricane damage behind storm surge is the penetration of the windows and doors from flying debris. Wind alone can cause damage but it’s mainly caused by the debris breaking windows and doors that allows the wind to enter the home causing lift on the roof and outward pressure on the walls.
Image Credit www.floridadisaster.org/
By protecting the glazed openings and inswing doors you are helping prevent the loss of the roof. Many building codes have changed and some form of hurricane protection for your windows are now a requirement. Although plywood and OSB(oriented strand board) are allowed for a Certificate of Occupancy they do not meet testing requirements and will fail much quicker than a rated system.
Many people have plywood but lack the ability to secure it on the home in the event of a hurricane threat. A much more convenient and stronger solution is to have rated shutters installed on all windows and doors. If you have an attached garage you need to make sure your garage door is hurricane rated or you have hurricane protection for your garage door. This is one of the most vulnerable opening in the home. Wind can either blow it in off the tracks or it can be pulled away from the tracks by the extreme pressures in a hurricane.
Due to several years without a true hurricane scare many people have grown complacent about the damage and destruction that will again come to our area. It is not a matter of if, but when another powerful hurricane will strike. Now is the time to prepare your home and make a plan. It only takes one hurricane to make a terrible season if that hurricane damages or destroys your home.
Make the smart move and call or email us today for a free estimate and give yourself the peace of mind that you and your home are ready when a hurricane makes landfall on our coast. Windward Shutters is the oldest shutter company in South Carolina and is repeatedly chosen by leading architects, builders and municipal leaders. We can be reached at 843.881.6262 or via email [email protected] . Don’t wait until it’s too late.
When talking about hurricane shutters I typically avoid using the term “hurricane proof” as nothing is truly “hurricane proof”. During Hurricane Katrina the hurricane forces were able to knock concrete fortresses right off of their foundations.
If function and affordability are your goal then hurricane panel protection is likely the choice for you(see photo below). Many of our panel styles can be modified to allow you to secure your hurricane panels from inside the home eliminating the need to get up on a ladder to do so. In addition, there is zero maintenance needed for these hurricane panel systems so they will last the lifetime of the home.
Not only does adding hurricane shutters to your home increase the value of the home they also protect the belongings that are inside. With the passing of the Omnibus Coastal Property Insurance Reform Act of 2007, insurance companies are required to offer discounts for homeowners who have taken that steps to add hurricane protection systems to their homes. As a licensed inspector and contractor for SC Safehome we are approved for wind mitigation inspections for insurance discounts and possible state grants.
If the structure of your home is insured for less than $300,000 you can qualify for a matching grant up to $10,000. If your income is below a certain level you can qualify for a full grant of $5000 to protect your home from hurricane damage.
You can contact Windward Hurricane Shutters for more information on hurricane insurance discounts, your wind mitigation inspection or free hurricane shutter quote.
Windward Shutters offers an enormous selection of exterior shutters and hurricane protection. In our 16 years we have installed our large variety of hurricane protection shutters on thousands of homes, businesses and municipal buildings across the South East
In addition to clear, aluminum, steel and fabric hurricane panel protection, Windward offers hinged Colonial, Bahama, aluminum Rolldown, Fabric pulldown and Accordion shutters. We offer both decorative and hurricane rated options in the hinged colonial and Bahama shutters.
Windward has an almost infinite selection of colonial configurations, colors and styles. Of course, we have the traditional raised panel and louvered styles. We also have the ability to provide board and batten, dropped panel and custom combinations. The economy shutter version comes with a 15 year warranty on paint and shutter while our classic line comes with a lifetime warranty on both paint and shutter. We also offer the benefit of hurricane rated colonials and Bahamas that can be secured from inside the home.
Our Bahamas are available in various materials, styles, thicknesses, louver spacing and an infinite color selection. All of our composite Bahamas come with a lifetime warranty.
Rolldown and accordion shutters offer convenience and security after the storm. Many of our clients use their rolldown shutters throughout the year for shading, security, and noise control.
Helpful Hint on Evacuation!
Hurricane Season is knocking…don’t be caught unprepared. Helpful hint- It’s a really good idea to buy a few 5 gallon gas cans and fill them in August. If you need to evacuate fill your tank and carry the 5 gallon cans along. During the Hurricane Floyd evacuation, many gas stations ran out and the last thing you want to do is run out of gas sitting in traffic!
If you don’t use them by mid October fill your tank with them and reuse the cans next season.
After sixteen years in the hurricane protection business, this is probably the statement I hear most from long time residents of the Charleston area. The answer is simple- hurricanes are like snowflakes, no two are alike. Depending upon the direction the storm is moving and your home’s relationship to the eye, the wind can come from any direction. If the hurricane is passing directly over your area the winds will come from the exact opposite direction once the eye has passed. During hurricane Floyd residents of the Charleston area experienced the highest winds on the inland facing side of their home.
If you are unable to protect all opening on the home, the focus for protection needs to be placed on the largest openings, inswing doors and openings located near the corners of the home. These are the most likely openings to experience impacts from flying debris and/or the highest winds. Insurance companies will only give discounts if all openings are protected. This is because all openings are subject to potential wind-borne debris. If you budget dictates only a portion of the home gets protected, concentrate your efforts on the openings listed above until you are able to protect the rest of the home.
Although some hurricane seasons are much more active than others, all it takes is one storm to have the worst season. Protect your windows, doors, attached garage doors and gable vents and you’ve gone a long way to protecting your home in a hurricane.
Windward Shutters – Charleston’s premier shutter company – would like to thank everyone for visiting us at the Daniel Island Home Show. We featured many of our shutter styles including Bahamas style shutters, Colonial shutters, storm panels, hurricane panels, roll down shutters, and accordion style shutters. Please contact us if you have any questions about hurricane styles or pricing for your home or business.
At age six, budding entrepreneur Tim Smith was picking and selling figs door to door. Today, Time is at the helm of his most successful venture to date – Windward Shutters, LLC. A Charleston resident for over 20 years, Tim first founded Windward in 1996 out of his home. Now located in a large facility on Virginia Avenue in the trendy Park Circle district, Windward Shutters stays busy equipping homes and businesses with hurricane protection products. During his downtime, Tim enjoys handing out with wife Kristen, son Garret Blue, 5 1/2, and daughter Carson, 2, at their own storm-proofed Isle of Palms abode. Click here to read the whole article.