Rolling shutters are one of the most popular storm and security shutters on the market today. They are so popular because they are very easy to operate on a daily basis and offer a visual deterent to intrusion. Rolling shutters operate much like a garage door and can be rolled up or down manually with a hand crank or automatically with a motor using a switch or wireless remote. There are three different types of rolling shutter systems available. The first and most common is extruded aluminum. Extruded aluminum rolling shutters offer the highest level of protection against storm and intrusion. They are double walled and extremely rigid. The second type of rolling shutter system available is form rolled aluminum filled with high density foam. The form rolled aluminum is much lighter in weight than the extruded system and will offer a lower level of protection from hurricanes and break-ins. The one advantage to roll formed, foam filled slats is their energy efficiency. The high density foam does an excellent job of blocking heat and sound. The third rolling shutter system is made of PVC. The PVC rolling shutter is very light weight and offers little protection from hurricane and intrusion. Primarily PVC rolling shutters were sold before the aluminum shutters were in existence. There are still some companies that offer PVC rolling shutters, but in most cases they do not meet the current requirements from Texas Department of Insurance for hurricane protection. Before shopping for hurricane shutters, especially rolling shutters be sure what type of system is being quoted to you. There will be a significant difference in cost from PVC to Roll Formed/Foam Filled to Extruded rollng shutters. For more information on rolling shutters and other hurricane shutter systems visit www.houstonhurricane.com. Houston Hurricane & Security offers the largest selection of hurricane shutter systems in the Houston - Galveston area.
Hurricane Shutters are a must if you live in the Houston, Tx area. Every year the Texas coast is threatened with a tropical storm or a hurricane. In some cases there is plenty of time to prepare for an approaching storm but in others, like hurricane Alicia gave almost no warning as it formed just a few hundred miles offshore and quickly made landfall.
Save yourself and your family the stress of an incoming storm with a hurricane shutter system. Many people call them storm shutters, storm blinds, hurricane shutters, hurricane panels, storm panels, window protection but we call them peace of mind. You can protect your home with little to no effort with the following products:
- Storm Panels - Removeable 12" panels that are secured to permenatly installed hardware using wingnuts. (1-2 hour prep time)
- Rolling Shutters - Permenatly mounted shutter that is operated with a hand crank or electric motor to deploy an aluminum slat curtain. (30 min prep time for manual shutters & 5 min prep time for electric shutters)
- Tapco Screend - Permenatly mounted stainless steel mesh screens and doors (0 min prep time)
No matter the system you choose, they are all much better than spending an entire day purchasing plywood for your window protection and cutting and fitting it to each opening. Especially if the storm makes a quick move and misses Houston completely.
Experience Peace of Mind...
Everyone wants to know how much do hurricane shutters cost. This is mostly due to the fact that you can not walk into a hardware store and purchase a hurricane shutter in most cases. I have spoken to the owners of several building supply companies about the need for hurricane protection products in their stores. In almost every case the response was, "hard to beat 5/8" OSB and plylox." In terms of price they are correct. With OSB and a simple fastening system you can protect a 3'x5' window for $15-20 each. Although it may look like sturdy hurricane protection, it is not. OSB will begin to come apart when water is added and hurricanes bring plenty of it. Other hurricane shutter systems are rated for at least a 30 FPS large missle impact and 30 PSF of pressure both positive and negative. If you have ever seen these test you will know why OSB is a poor choice.
How much do hurricane shutters cost?
All prices are for a 3' x 5' window with basic installation
Storm Panels - $125-300 each
Accordion Shutters - $425-550 each
Rolling Shutters - $550-750 each
Tapco Screens - $550-750 each
Hurricane Glass - $750-100 each
As windstorm insurance requirements become more stringent home owners and business owners are looking for low cost ways to conform to windstorm code to keep insurance cost affordable. Hurricane panels are an inexpensive hurricane shutter product that is also easy to deploy. Several types of hardware are available. The hardware is permanently mounted into the framing of the structure and panels are secured to the hardware using wing nuts or wing-bolts. Panels are also available in three different materials. Galvanized steel panels are the least expensive but will rust and corrode if left in the outside elements for too long. Aluminum panels might be the best option because they will not rust or corrode and are only 10-15% more than the galvanized panels. Many people are attracted to the clear storm panels. The clear storm panels are great for allowing light through to the window but are very costly (almost double the price of galvanized steel) and they will deflect much more than a metal panel will. Deflection is the amount of movement the panel will allow upon impact. Too much deflection equals broken glass. Although the panel will keep out debris in the event of broken glass, my hard earned money will be spent on a product that minimizes the probability of a broken window. On average hurricane panels cost between $125 - 250 per 3' x 5' window depending on the panel material and hardware options chosen.
galvanized steel panel
Windstorm Insurance is a hot topic in all costal communites in Texas. TWIA (Texas Windstorm Insurance Association) cannot sustain itself under the current model and some changes must be made to ensure that windstorm insurance is avalible for costal structures.
I have heard that the pool of money required is based on a 10,000 year storm event and that standard requires much more money in the pool than may be necessary. In the past 10 years we have seen increased hurricane activity that has affected Texas and I believe that it is difficult to set a standard for the ammount of money in the pool that everyone can agree on due to the large Texas coastline that continues to develop.
The Texas Windstorm Insurance program has been disected and anaylized and only one fact holds true that rate increases will happen. The question is who will bear the brunt of these increases. A current proposal divides costal areas into tiers in which each tier would pay a seperate rate based on thier exposure. There are mixed reactions to this plan. In one way it seems fair to charge a higher premium for homes directly on the beach and lower premiums for structures further inland. The problem is that this plan assumes that all beach front structures are mansions owned by high income people. The reality is that there are many middle class homes and businesses that would be afftected. It is already difficult enough to build on the coast due to construction cost associated with building codes without added insurance cost.
I would like to see a program that rewards an owner for protecting their home or business with hurricane protection products with an insurance premium or deductable discount. Stuctures can be stregnthend with strutural components, proper roofing materials, properly installed brick and siding materials, and hurricane shutters. When building a new home it is much easier to do all of these things and in most cases it is now required. The real question is what to do with the 100,000+ existing structures that need windstorm insurance and were built before modern windstorm regualtions existed? The two items that can be addressed is the roof and windows. Typically this is where most storm related damage will originate. In either case a property owner will need to make a significant investment. Hurricane shutter cost and roofing cost can be quite similar. An owner must be able to see where either of these items will pay for themselves in insurance cost savings in order for most people to be able to afford them. Many will need some sort of financing to even consider this work.
The advantage to hurricane shutters is that they also offer a form of security and can also earn discounts for security on your homeowners policy. Hurricane shutters come in two different catagories. Storm panel systems, sometimes refered to as hurricane panels. These hurricane panel systems are avalible in galvanized steel, aluminum, lexan and sevral types of fabric. Storm panels have permantely mounted hardware but require someone to physically put each panel in place prior to a storm event. These are similar to how you would use plywood but are tested and rated for the type of pressure and impacts that are possible during a storm event. A true hurricane shutter system like rollling shutters, tapco screens, colonial shutters, accordion shutters and some others offer a more passive form of hurricane window protection. These hurricane shutters can be delpoyed quickly and locked into place and can even be motorized to simplify deployment to the push of a button. Tapco screens offer a completely passive system that requires no deployment at all. They are permentaly mounted and offer 24 hour protection from storms and intrusion. Any of these systems can work depending on the budget and abilities of the person purchasing them.
We have been getting many calls regarding the Texas Department of Insurance alternative certification program also known as WPI-12. Texas legilators have made a significant change to the current Texas Windstorm Insurance Association procedures to qualify for windstorm insurance on structures built 1/1/1988 - 6/19/2009. If your home was built and did not get certifed with a WPI-8 you will not longer be eligable for windstorm insurance unless you do one fo the following:
Re-roof the entire structure and have new roofing certifed by a windstorm engineer.
Re-install siding on the entire structure to be certified by a windstorm engineer.
Install hurricane shutters on all windows and doors to be certified by a windstorm engineer.
FOR MORE INFO VISIT: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wind/alteligprogram.html
If you are a homeowner in this situation we can help. None of these options are cheap, but installing hurricane shutters is the most economical solution avalible to you. Houston Hurricane & Security offers a wide variety of hurricane shutter products to meet every budget. Storm panels are the most economical costing around $125-175 per window. Many of the other options including rolling shutters, accordion shutters, Tapco screens that offer both hurricane window protection and window and door security but cost much much more than the storm panel products.
We have a full showroom to view and experience all of our products call us or visit our website www.houstonhurricane.com to schedule an appointment.
The Texas Department of Insurance will allow use of 15/32" or greater plywood for hurricane window protection using an approved fastener system. A recent test by an independent labratory showed that the plywood system failed once 33 PSF was reached. When you consider that each sheet of plywood is about $30 plus your fasteners I must admit that it is a great deal. However when you consider that a hurricane shutter system such as rolling shutters will withstand 60+ PSF and can be deployed in minutes you will quickly find that there is more value in the hurricane shutters. Hurricane shutters should last many years and do not require re-purchase every several years. They also do not require standing in line at your local hardware store prior to a storm wasting precious time. Most hurricane shutter systems also offer great window and door security. New Tapco Screens offer full time window security with ventalation and a veiw. You can leave every window and door open in your home covered with a Tapco Screen and rest easy. Affordable financing is now avalable for all shutter systems. Contact us for a quote on hurricane shutters for your home. When the next storm approaches you will be glad you did. Houston Hurricane & Security offers a full line of window protection options. Schedule an appointment with one of our sales team or stop by our showroom to see the shutters for yourself.
If you have not seen the latest addition to the window protection market, you are missing out. Hurricane and security screens made by Tapco are stainless steel mesh screens in an aluminum frame that will protect your windows from hurricanes, intrusion and even the harmful rays from the sun. Yes hurricane protection, window security and solar control all in one nice package. See the video below of Tapco sceens to see how unbeliveably strong they are. They are FBC and TDI approved hurriane protection and Tapco even offers a hurricane rated screen door. They are a great window protection option because they are low maintenece and do not take away from the look of your home or commercial building. Go to www.houstonhurricane.com for more information.
The two most famous weather events to hit Galveston Island, the 1900 Storm and Hurricane Ike, share some interesting similarities.
The 1900 Storm or Great Galveston Hurricane, formed on August 27, 1900 in the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Verde off the coast of Africa at 15.0N and 42.1 W. Hurricane Ike formed on September 1, 2008, only 371 miles from that exact location at 17.2N and 37.0W. Both events travelled a westward course through the Caribbean past Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico. The impact of both Hurricanes was felt in Galveston in mid September as the 1900 Storm hit on September 9 while Hurricane Ike struck on September 13. The Hurricanes struck Galveston within 15 miles of each other.
Equally as impressive as the proximity to the two Hurricane’s formation is the track they both followed after their impact on Galveston Island. Upon entering the Texas coast, both Hurricanes took a north east turn towards East Texas. They continued the NE course through the Chicago area to Maine and New Brunswick, Canada.
The storm surge from both hurricanes caused a majority of the damage. The 1900 Storm brought a 16 foot surge compared to Ike’s 14 foot surge. Both storm surges are the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane.
Both Hurricanes created homeless situations whereby families had to live in tent cities until new housing became available. It is estimated that 6000 people left Galveston Island following the 1900 Storm and 20,000 left following Hurricane Ike, never to have returned to live.
Protect your homes so that you are not a victim of a natural disaster this season. Contact Houston Hurricane and Security today for a free estimate. Feel safe and secure with Hurricane rated window protection.
The next blog will discuss the differences between these two Hurricanes that will forever live in the hearts of Texas Gulf Coast residents.
There is no question that hurricane shutters offer a convenient way to protect the windows and doors of your home or business. What everyone wants to know is how much do they cost? The short answer is removable storm panel products will cost $125-500 per window and will require some installation prior to a storm. permanently mounted shutters can be deployed much more quickly and with less effort, costing $350-1250 per window.
The cost of not having hurricane shutters can be significant. Windows and doors are the most likely culprits for storm damage with roofs running a close second. Once a window or door has been breached the pressure inside your home attempts to stabilize and will often lead to further structural failure. At the very least, broken windows will allow water intrusion that can have devestating affects.
Properly installed hurricane shutters will go a long way in maintaining the integrity of your home during a hurricane.