Hurricane shutters are popular in Southwest Florida. This is because they provide protection from hurricane wind gusts and flying debris. They can also be retrofit on the exterior of your home. But if you don’t want storm shutters, for whatever reason you will be happy to know that there are hurricane shutters alternatives available. Below we discuss some other storm protection options outside of shutters.
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Alternative 1: Impact Windows
Impact windows look like normal windows and come in every shape and style imaginable. What makes them special is that they are manufactured with laminated glass and go through a special glazing process. If they ever get struck by flying debris laminated glass can fracture, but it won’t break like standard glass windows. The glass will remain in place due to the laminated inter-layer of the window. This means your window will stay in place until after the storm where it can be replaced or repaired.
Why you may choose impact windows
There are three main reasons why you may chose impact windows instead of hurricane shutters. These include their appearance, convenience (ease of use) and the fact that they don’t black out your home when deployed.
There are several styles of hurricane shutters. We like to think that there is a perfect hurricane shutters for every person. But not everyone prefers the look of shutters on their home.
If this describes you then you may opt for impact windows instead. Why? Because impact resistant windows look just like regular windows. You really can’t tell the difference. So if you don’t want the look of hurricane shutters then windows may be right for you.
There are some extremely easy to use shutters. But you still need to deploy each of them in some way, even if it is just pushing a button.
Impact windows, on the other hand, offer 24/7 protection without the need to do anything. You don’t need to close them, roll them, crank them or install them. They are always ready to protect you.
Hurricane shutters cover your windows when they are closed. This is how they protect your windows, by being able to take any impacts. But because of this the shutters block out natural light inside your home, even when its daylight outside. If this is a concern you can opt for impact windows, which are transparent just like regular windows and allow natural light in your home.
Want to learn more how impact windows compare to storm shutters? Read our guide on Impact Resistant Windows vs. Hurricane Shutters.
As you can see above impact windows are a viable hurricane shutters alternative. With that being said, there are some things to consider when weighing them vs shutters. These include:
- Budget – Impact windows are typically priced higher than hurricane shutters, depending on the products you choose. So if you want quality impact glass windows then you will need a higher budget.
- Repairs – Although they hold together when struck they do still fracture. This means they need to be repaired or replaced after a storm. This may be one thing to consider in terms of costs after the initial installation.
Alternative 2: Rolling Hurricane Screens
Roll down hurricane screens are another alternative to storm shutters. They look like high-end rolling sun screens, but they are strong enough to withstand the winds and impacts of a category 5 hurricane. This is because they are made from super strong aramid fibers, such as DuPont™ Kevlar. As a result they are strong, lightweight, and flexible. And because of their construction they are also effective at providing shade and blocking most water intrusion.
Hurricane screens a popular alternative to storm shutters for use on wide openings, such as your patio, lanai, and outdoor spaces. You may use hurricane shutters or impact windows on other parts of your home and opt for these screens in your outdoor spaces.
Below we provide some reasons why hurricane screens may be a viable alternative instead of shutters for your backyard or outdoor spaces.
Learn more: Kevlar Hurricane Screens: What Are They
Why you may choose hurricane screens
As we mentioned above, hurricane screens are often used to protect your patio, lanai, etc. Their characteristics make them more suited in these areas vs many types of storm shutters. We discuss these things below.
Hurricane screens are convenient for two reasons.
First, you can close them quickly. This is true for both manual (crank) and automatic versions. So you can close up and protect your entire patio space within minutes.
Second, they are convenient to protect your outdoor spaces. Specifically, you can close them to protect your patio vs having to bring in your patio furniture, plants, decor, etc.
Kevlar hurricane screens look extremely attractive. They look like high-end shade screens. In turn, they can help to enhance the appearance of your outdoors spaces. And when you don’t want them you can just open them up, significantly minimizing their appearance.
iii. Ability to use on wide width applications
Installing hurricane shutters in wide openings is not always ideal or even possible. But with Eurex Shutters PTX™ Hurricane Screens you can protect openings up to 30 feet wide. This means you can enclose and protect a large part (or even your entire) of your patio.
iv. Shade and water barrier
These screens are made primarily to protect your home and family from hurricanes. But they also offer several benefits that are a great, added bonus. These include effective shade and keeping water out. Both of these benefits mean your outdoor space will be more comfortable and used more often.
Hurricane screens are certainly a solid alternative to storm shutters for your outdoor spaces. Before you decide on them below are a few things to consider.
They are ideal for use in certain locations. In order to protect your entire home it is best to use them in combination with other storm protection products, such as hurricane shutters or impact windows. Impact resistant screens are a great fit for outdoor, open areas like patios, lanais, porches, etc. But if you want to protect individual windows you should consider using them in combination with hurricane shutters or impact windows.
Pick the alternative that is right for you
Hurricane shutters may or may not be the right choice for you. Maybe you prefer impact windows or hurricane screens. Or maybe you are still undecided. If you need help learning about your options please contact us for a free consultation.