Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Right Kind of Protection

Okay, get your head out of the gutter (although I do need some of those too). I’m talking about hurricane protection.

Since we purchased a home in a hurricane prone area we figured we should have adequate hurricane protection for when (not if) a hurricane comes our way. There are lots of different types of hurricane shutters on the market, ranging from the generic plyboard self-application to automatic rolling hurricane shutters that drop at the push of a button.

After doing our research, we decided on the Fabric-Shield, created by Wayne Dalton. The Fabric-Shield is made of PVC coated woven fabric. The demonstration video on their website is fabulous, and basically sells the product for the company (we were impressed).

We had several contractors come out and speak with us about our storm shutter options, but they all recommended the Fabric-Shield, especially for our brick house. The Fabric-Shield is a great preventative measure for wind blown debris, rain and wind. Since our windows are set back in the brick, should a window break during a hurricane, the Fabric-Shield will form a sort of seal over the window, preventing the roof from lifting off due to air pressure changes.

The storm panels are hung onto fasteners that were drilled into the framing of the house, through the brick, and then attached via wing nuts. We now have small fasteners (with white plastic covers in case someone decides to run in to one) around each window, ready just in case we have to put up the panels for an approaching hurricane.

Our contractor is also replacing our skylight with a more hurricane resistant variety, installing a pull down shutter for the front door, and adding reinforcements for the garage door. All of these improvements should increase our wind mitigation rating, thus lowering the hurricane portion of our homeowner’s insurance premium.

The windows are completed and the rest of the project should be done in the next few weeks (hopefully before any hurricanes come our way). We are happy with our decision. It’s nice to know that we have the panels should we ever need them. I just hope we don’t ever need them.

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