Choosing the Right Hurricane Protection

Choosing the Right Hurricane Protection

Cost comparison based on Home Depot D-I-Y pricing:

1) Astroguard:

Comprised of ballistic nylon fabric, the American made Astroguard hurricane shutter by Hurricane Fabric is non porous (blocking 100% of wind & rain), lightweight (weighing 1.33 oz per square foot), easy to store (easily folds into a 30 x 40″ storage bag), higher strength (impact rated at more than twice the industry standard- true capacity unknown, because testing maxed out below product potential at 76 mph) and lower cost alternative to traditional hurricane shutters.

Measuring only .25″ in diameter, the Astroguard flush mount anchoring system provides a chameleon-esque finish because cover is stainless steel (paintable), and anchor does not protrude from surface like traditional panelmate / wing-nut anchoring hurricane protection systems. Astroguard provides full protection, without detracting from the look of the home.

Translucent Astroguard solves the dark “cave effect” created by traditional shutters such as metal or plywood panels. Multi-attachment point clips solves egress limitations & fire suppression activities of traditional panels (a fabric can be cut quickly during a fire emergency, metal/ wood can’t be). 10 year warranty included.

Cost: $4-$6 per square foot

2) Metal Panel:

The weight of shutter, in addition to its sharp edges, make installation and deployment a nightmare for home and business owners.

This product becomes even more dangerous when installing on higher floor’s, or when a storm is approaching and winds speeds are increased. Impact and wind rating are building code compliant, but carry a lower rating/ level of protection than other products available at comparable cost (less than 1/2 of Astroguard’s impact rating). Bulk of product creates storage issues as well. 1 year warranty on material and workmanship.

Cost: $5-$7 per square foot

3) Accordion Shutters:

Permanently attached to structure, this shutter is best for customers in need of rapid deployment. Many accordion shutters can be locked with a key, and may provide a theft deterrent. Customers who relish: “out of sight, out of mind” hurricane protection, will not be happy with the yearly maintenance requirements and associated cost. Impact and wind rating is comparable to metal shutters, but 1/2 of Astroguard’s industry leading impact rating. A solid option when comparing with other pricier, permanently affixed hurricane protection systems, such as impact glass or louvered shutters. 1 year warranty on material and workmanship.

Cost: $27.81 per square foot

4) Louvered Shutters:

A nice aesthetic option for customers in need of a fast and easily deployed, albeit costly, hurricane protection option. Two-piece shutters that attach to the wall beside each window, and fold together to protect the window. Decorative shutter that also provides hurricane protection, and can easily be made storm-ready by one person. The permanently affixed nature of the shutter does not require additional storage space. The slatted nature, however, does allow water and air flow to pass through the shutter which may cause interior water damage. Furthermore, certain louvered shutters, such as colonial shutters require a storm bar to lock the shutters in place, which may increase installation time and cost. Customers seeking uniform hurricane protection for their entire home will be precluded from purchasing louvered shutters, because they do mot protect doors.

Cost: $30.66 per square foot.

5) Impact rated windows and doors:

According to a leading manufacturer impact glass is designed to resist impacts so even if the glass cracks, the fragments will adhere to the interlayer, so the shards remain within the frame. ImpactGard protection also meets the nation’s toughest building codes. These codes specify that windows must withstand a nine-pound 2×4 traveling at 50 feet per second (34 miles per hour)- Astroguard impact tests at more than double this rate, on a more difficult test to pass. The most expensive hurricane protection option (other than a concrete dome), is a practical choice for commercial structures, but often considered to be unattainable for the average homeowner. Impact glass eliminates the need for additional hurricane shutters (however according to the Miami Herald: “even impact-resistant glass can be penetrated by high-speed projectiles, so the best (and most expensive) combination would be impact-resistant glass and shutters.”). Ideal for snowbird’s whom are not typically at the home during hurricane season, and thus unable to deploy shutters if and when the home resides within the “cone of uncertainty.” Although impact glass often requires significant structural and aesthetic alterations to the home, which may not be ideal for homeowners seeking to preserve a historic or retro aesthetic, impact glass will provide a seamless appearance once installation is completed.

Cost: $50/sq. ft. for single-glazed impact glass and $70/sq. ft. for double-glazed glass.

6) Window Film: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi: “The Florida Building Commission has not approved window film as a form of hurricane protection; therefore, it cannot be advertised as offering hurricane protection.”