When it comes to storm damage protection for commercial buildings, a question we hear a lot is: “When should I put up hurricane shutters?” People want to know exactly when it is necessary, to avoid going through the steps of putting shutters into place if it’s not required.
In this article, we’ll explain the standard guidelines regarding when to put hurricane shutters up. Then, we’re going to tell you about a solution available to you that provides your building with 24/7 storm protection — without the hassle of shutters!
The Official Stance on When To Put up Hurricane Shutters
Do You Need To Put up Hurricane Shutters Before Every Storm?
According to the National Hurricane Center’s official recommendations, you should put up hurricane shutters whenever a hurricane watch is issued for your area.
As you may or may not know, a hurricane watch is issued 48 hours before hurricane conditions are expected to begin. It’s a precursor to a hurricane warning, which comes 36 hours before hurricane conditions are expected to kick off.
Even if there is only a 5-10 percent chance of hurricane force winds hitting your business or commercial facility, it’s important you put shutters up to avoid potentially catastrophic damage to your property.
Why are storm shutters so important?
- Protect glass against storm debris tossed by hurricane-force winds
- Prevent glass from flying dangerously inwards at those inside
- Block wind to prevent internal and structural wind damage
- Keep out rain to prevent flooding and water damage
You might be thinking something like: “But, with such a small chance of a hurricane actually hitting my area, is it really worth it to go through the time and effort of putting shutters up?”
According to the stats, you absolutely should. An April 2019 report by the Congressional Budget Office had the following predictions for economic losses due to hurricane winds and storm-related flooding:
- $9 billion to commercial businesses
- $34 billion to the residential sector
- $12 billion to the public sector
As you can see, the cumulative damage caused by hurricanes and storms in the USA accounts for huge losses in all sectors. You can take personal precautions, such as putting hurricane shutters up, to help reduce your individual losses when a storm hits your property.
If you have a large commercial building with a lot of windows and doors that would just require too many shutters, or you don’t have the budget for convenient automatic roll-down shutters, there are alternative ways you can protect your glass and prevent expensive storm damage.
Do I Need Shutters on My Business?
Learn About Our Favorite Hurricane Shutter Alternative: Impact Windows
Now that you know more about when to put hurricane shutters up, it’s the perfect moment for us to tell you more about that permanent storm damage protection we mentioned earlier. So, what exactly are hurricane impact windows?
“Impact windows” is a term that can refer to a number of different security glass and glass-like products that can be used to create barriers over your existing glass and protect it from flying debris during a storm.
However, we want to tell you specifically about what we truly believe is the best type of impact window available on the market: ArmorPlast™ AP25.
What is ArmorPlast™ AP25?
ArmorPlast™ is the proprietary line of polycarbonate glazing shields from Riot Glass™. These polycarbonate panels are available in varying thicknesses, from containment-grade to ballistic-grade sheets.
AP25 is a containment-grade glazing shield and is the product we most recommend to our clients looking for ways to protect their commercial properties against storm damage and other common threats.
Why is AP25 so strong?
AP25 is a single 1/4-inch AR-2 sheet composed entirely of polycarbonate, which is incredibly impact resistant. Unlike other impact windows on the market that are made of different types of glass, a sheet of AP25 is not going to crack or break in any way when impacted by storm debris.
Despite being non-ballistic, meaning it won’t stop bullets, AP25 can resist cracking and shattering after being penetrated multiple times by firearm rounds. That should give you a pretty good idea of its strength.
Does it change the appearance of the existing glass?
The polycarbonate used in the construction of ArmorPlast™ glazing shields is crystal clear and has glass-like surface hardness and appearance. It can be retrofitted over your existing glass without significantly altering the appearance of the building.
Because of this, AP25 won’t inhibit your visibility or block out natural light either (unlike hurricane shutters). All it takes is a one-time installation to provide your commercial facility with round-the-clock storm protection.
Are there any other benefits of installing AP25 impact windows?
- Adds UV protection and abrasion resistance
- Provides security against forced entry, burglary, and smash-and-grab theft
- Protects your business from rioting, looting, and vandalism
The frequency and number of hurricanes and tropical storms making landfall on the continental US has been on the rise over the past 5 years.
Because of that, it’s absolutely vital that you have some type of hurricane mitigation barriers in place to protect your business or commercial facility.
Hurricane shutters are one option that is effective, but they can be impractical, especially if you have a huge facility or don’t have the budget for the most modern, convenient electronic models.
If putting storm shutters into place every time there’s a minor possibility of a hurricane hitting your property seems like too much of a hassle, keep in mind the other options you have available to you.
We highly recommend retrofitting your building with ArmorPlast™ AP25 to provide 24/7 protection and peace of mind. When a hurricane watch is issued in your area, you can focus on making other preparations and know that your business is protected.
Our team is waiting to discuss the hurricane damage mitigation solutions we can provide for you and your commercial facility.