If you're a condo association manager or a member of the board, finding hurricane protection products that don't alter the aesthetics of your building is difficult. In addition to keeping your curb appeal, you’ll still want to meet the requirements of the Florida laws on hurricane shutters.
When you think of “proper” hurricane protection, you may think of the aluminum hurricane shutters that completely cover a window and ruin the look of a building. However, hurricane protection has come a long way over the years, and there are many different types of hurricane protection products on the market.
Whether you're creating your hurricane protection policy or looking to recommend a visually pleasing product to your residents, here are three hurricane protection products that won't change the aesthetics of your condo building:
1. Hurricane Impact Windows
Impact windows are perfect for condo owners because they look just like regular windows — but don't let the looks fool you. Even though they look just like regular windows, hurricane impact windows are a much safer option for your condo building.
There are several types of hurricane impact windows to choose from including:
- Single-hung windows.
- Horizontal roller windows.
- Casement/projected windows.
- Picture windows.
All types of properly installed impact windows protect homes from a hurricane the moment they're installed, and there's no need to prep your windows before a hurricane.
For residents who live on higher floors, installing hurricane shutters can often prove to be difficult, if not impossible. Impact windows eliminate this problem and are designed to prevent rain and flying debris from entering the home during a storm.
Impact windows also provide protection of your valuables from ultraviolet (UV) light damage and improve energy efficiency. These windows are perfect for reducing solar heat gain in the summer and retaining heat during winter evenings.
2. Hurricane Shutters
If you have several windows to protect, hurricane shutters are a safe, cost-effective option. There are three main types of hurricane shutters perfect for condo buildings: roll down shutters, accordion shutters, and Bahama shutters.
Roll Down Shutters
When not in use, this durable aluminum shutter rolls up into a stylish hood. Since these shutters do not have to stay in place year-round, this is a visually appealing option that still provides protection for your condo building during the hurricane season.
Just like roll down shutters, accordion shutters can also be out of sight and out of mind when not in use. However, these shutters roll on a horizontal track, which may be an easier option for your residents.
Bahama shutters are increasing in popularity across Southwest Florida, and you can find them on many homes in the area. They have become popular due to their aesthetic appearance as well as for their hurricane wind and rain protection.
Bahama shutters are mounted to the exterior of a home at a 45-degree angle and mount right above your window. Although the main function of Bahama shutters is to provide hurricane protection, they also offer additional privacy and are great light regulators.
3. Hurricane Screens
Hurricane screens protect wind-driven rain and flying debris from entering the home, and they're ideal for larger openings such as lanais, balconies, storefronts, and entryways. For unit owners with balconies, hurricane screens are a great way to protect the balcony and the door that leads into the unit.
Hurricane screens that meet the Miami-Dade requirements are large missile impact and wind pressure tested up to 276 miles per hour. The translucent screens will allow your residents to see out of their homes, while still offering protection during most hurricanes.
There are many different types of systems, but the I-Beam Track System is perfect for condos. The I-Beam Track System is attached to the home with a track along the top. It's permanently mounted to the home, and the screen slides off to the sides when not in use. Since the track is permanently installed, it can be conveniently used as an everyday shield from the sun or rain. The tracks are also customizable to fit curved balconies or lanais.
4. Hurricane Impact Doors
With thick fiberglass or aluminum facings and beautiful wood supported by composite reinforcements, hurricane impact doors are not your average doors. Hurricane impact doors comply with Florida building codes and improve the safety of your condo building while still looking beautiful.
Some hurricane-safe fiberglass entry doors mimic a real wooden look, which means your residents can still experience luxury while being protected from hurricane damage.
Beautiful Options for a Safer Condo Building
Hurricane protection doesn't have to ruin the aesthetics of your condo building! There are several different types of products that can actually enhance the look of your building and maintain the aesthetic you already have.
If you're looking to give recommendations to your unit owners and residents, the four products above offer excellent hurricane protection — and they look good too! For more information on the best products to protect your condo building for the upcoming hurricane season, contact us.