renovation

A Cool Breeze is Nice, Hurricane Force Winds, Not So Much

Everyone loves a cool breeze on a warm summer day, but in South Florida, summer is also hurricane season, which starts June 1st and runs through November 30th. Jim and I are extremely grateful that we have been spared any serious hurricane damage over the past twenty years. The dangers, including loss of life and property are very real and something we take very seriously. In today’s article, I am going to share information about what we are doing to protect ourselves and our Ocean Dunes Fixer from hurricanes. The most important thing when it comes to hurricanes is that you should listen to the experts. If they tell you to evacuate, you will need to protect all your window, door, and garage openings, and bring in anything in the yard or patio that could become a projectile in hurricane force winds. Then lock up and leave, and the sooner you can leave, the better.

Hurricane Categories with predicted damage and storm surge data.

If you have not loss someone you cared about, or suffered hurricane damage it is easy to forget how many hurricanes actually make landfall near you. Take a look at NOAA’s historical data of hurricane tracks near our new home or your own home at Historical Hurricane Tracks (noaa.gov). Our new home is not in a flood zone, but it is less than .50 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, so there is a strong possibility that we will have to prepare for a hurricane and evacuate our home this season.

According to the National Hurricane Center you should put up your hurricane shutters when a hurricane watch is put in effect for your area. In other words, you should put your hurricane shutters up and get supplies 48 hours before the storm starts. This will give you adequate time to get your storm protection up before the high winds of a storm potentially start.

The 37 year old windows in our Ocean Dunes Fixer have lots of issues, including cracks, mildew behind grills, and very poor energy efficiency.

What are we doing to prepare? Well, the good news is that we will have a lot less to do in the garden – Yeah! Our first major project for our new property is to invest in Impact Windows with NewSouth Windows and Doors at Home Windows Florida, Replacement Windows | NewSouth Window Solutions. I am sure you will do your own research, but if you decide to use NewSouth, please let them know I referred you, which will result in a small referral fee to me. After talking with other window companies, we choose NewSouth for several reasons:

  • Made in Tampa, FL
  • Neighborhood Track Record
  • Excellent Quality
  • Tilting Windows for Easy Cleaning
  • Superior Service and Process
  • NewSouth Window Installers
  • 12-15 Week Turnaround Timeline

We are choosing impact windows so that we will not have to put up shutters or close shutters on our two-story home. If you have lived in a hurricane zone, you know that it is hard to predict where a hurricane will make landfall and what the final storm strength will be when it hits your area. Most folks wait until the last possible moment to close or put up shutters, so impact windows will eliminate that last minute stress point. Even if there is no damage, there is a good possibility that we will be without power after the storm, so being able to easily open windows is a big bonus.

There are lots of great things about impact windows, but they are very expensive and with enough force they can break. We protected our last home with Aluminum Shutter Panels, which are much less expensive, but require a lot more work. If you choose shutters, please get all your supplies well before hurricane season to ensure you can find everything you need and have time to prepare. If you are handy, look for YouTube tutorials on the Internet that will show you how to properly install shutters. If you prepare early, you should be able to find everything you need at Home Depot or Lowes:

  • Aluminum Panels
  • Anchors
  • Wingnuts and Wingnut Drill Bit Adapter
  • Drill
Jim placing aluminum panels on anchors using wingnuts during our last hurricane season.

We just submitted the NewSouth New Window Package and Architectural Change Form to our Homeowner’s Association, so unfortunately we will not have our impact windows installed before hurricane season begins. Hey, we are hoping that hurricanes completely skip South Florida this season. However, the vast majority of storms hit later in the season, so we hope our windows will be installed well before the historically busy hurricane timeframe. Keeping our fingers crossed in Ocean Dunes!!

Update: We love our new windows!

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