You have been considering replacing your old windows and exterior doors with hurricane-rated products, and here is why you should move forward.

  • If you are not a year-round resident or go on vacation, this will free you up from coordinating or paying for hurricane protection to be installed in your home in the event a storm threatens. 
  • Putting up shutters can be physically demanding and dangerous, especially if you have a second floor. Having impact-resistant windows and doors means you are always ready if a storm threatens, giving you more time to do other necessary things to prepare for a storm. 
  • While they protect against hurricanes, roll-down or accordion-style shutters detract from the look of your home. These are permanently attached to the house and appear unsightly when not in use. 
  • Storage – shutters or plywood take up valuable garage space.
  • Nothing gives your home more of a facelift than getting new windows and exterior doors. Aside from tremendous curb appeal, your home is always protected with hurricane-rated windows and doors. 
  • When it comes time to sell a home, if you have new impact windows and doors, your home will move faster and at higher asking prices, providing a return on your investment.  

If you want to replace your old windows and exterior doors, call the pros at GM- Door, Window & Screen. We offer quality and great value. Selecting impact-rated replacement windows and a perfect front door can be overwhelming, but our expert staff will guide you through the process. From choosing the ideal style for your home to your final inspection, we walk you through the entire process. At GM, our in-house team of installation professionals will ensure the job is done correctly.   We are family-owned and operated and have been in business since 1968. Call us for a Free Estimate – (954) 797-0797. 

2024 is Expected to be a very lively Hurricane Season

AccuWeather is predicting 2024 to be a very strong hurricane season. The current El Nino pattern, which produces high-level winds that weaken storms, gives way to a La Nina pattern, which is more favorable for storms. This coupled with warmer than usual Atlantic waters, should point to a very busy storm season. 

The La Nina storm pattern was in place during the 2005 and 2020 storm seasons, tied to the most active storm seasons in history with 31 tropical systems. 

At the end of January, the water temperatures for storms in the Main Development Region were 65 percent higher than the next closest year. Because of these unusually warm water temperatures, this gives storms the potential for rapid intensification, even close to land. 

Hurricane windows and doors ensure you are always ready should a storm threaten. 

Count on the GM – Door, Window & Screen experts to prepare your home for storm season. GM – Door, Window & Screen is family-owned and operated, and the company has been in business since 1968.   We have our own in-house installation teams. Call us for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797. 

By |2024-02-27T20:47:59+00:00February 27, 2024|Door Category, Hurricane doors, Hurricane Windows, Impact Windows|

Are Hurricane / Impact Windows built to withstand a Category 5 Hurricane?

Impact windows, also known as hurricane windows, are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, but many other factors come into play when facing a storm. Please note it is advisable to evacuate as directed by local authorities when facing a major hurricane.

Ever since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Miami-Dade County and Broward County have implemented the strictest building codes in the country to deal with threatening storms. Often, you will hear windows identified as Miami-Dade-approved windows. The code requires windows to have a design pressure (DP) rating of at least +/- 60 to protect against a hurricane.  A DP rating measures the strength of a window against winds. Standard residential windows have DP values between 15 and 50. A DP 15 window can withstand winds of roughly 77 mph before shattering, while a DP 50 window can withstand winds up to 173 mph. 

Impact windows and glass impact doors are made with impact-resistant laminated glass consisting of two or more clear panes of glass bonded together with a clear plastic-like film (usually polyvinyl butyral) sandwich between two panes. If cracked or broken, the glass fragments will adhere to the plastic interlayer, preventing water, wind, or debris from entering the home. Impact windows and doors generally have heavier frames than regular residential windows.

It is essential that your replacement windows meet the code requirements for your area’s minimum wind speed, exposure, and structural type. Broward and Miami-Dade Counties are located in a High-Velocity Hurricane Zone.

How hurricane windows are tested

New hurricane impact windows have a sticker that shows the pressure rating and that it have been impact tested. This sticker must remain on the window for the city inspector to give final approval for the job.

Design Pressure Rating / Wind Load  

Building codes require windows to be wind load tested. Wind load rating is the amount of air pressure that can be exerted against the window without causing it to fail. This pressure is measured against the outside of the window (called the positive pressure) and against the inside of the window (the negative pressure). Impact windows are engineered and manufactured to meet a design pressure rating. An independent laboratory tests the window to 150% of the design pressure rating. This is the test pressure rating. The design and test pressure ratings are stated in the pressure per square foot (psf).

Impact Rating

Impact windows are tested to simulate the impact of wind-blown debris during a hurricane. The test involves twice launching a 9-pound, 2×4 piece of lumber at the glass at 50 feet per second, which is considered a “large missile.” To test for “small missiles,” ten 2g steel balls are simultaneously launched at 89mph three separate times.

Hurricane Ratings

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a classification system used to measure and categorize hurricanes based on their wind speed and potential for damage. Understanding this scale is crucial in assessing the severity of a hurricane and determining the necessary evacuation and preparation measures.

Categories of the Saffir-Simpson Scale

The Saffir-Simpson Scale is a classification system that categorizes hurricanes based on their wind speeds and potential for damage. It provides valuable information to help communities prepare and respond to these powerful storms. Let’s explore each category in more detail:

Category 1 Hurricanes

Category 1 hurricanes have wind speeds of 74-95 MPH. While they are considered relatively weak compared to higher categories, they can still pose a threat. These hurricanes have the potential to cause damage to roofs, trees, and power lines. Additionally, storm surge heights typically range between 4-5 feet, which can lead to coastal flooding and erosion.

Category 2 Hurricanes

Category 2 hurricanes have wind speeds of 96-110 MPH. These hurricanes are stronger than Category 1 and can cause more extensive damage. With their increased wind speeds, they have the ability to uproot trees, damage structures, and lead to prolonged power outages. Storm surge heights range between 6-8 feet, posing a significant risk to coastal regions and increasing the potential for flooding.

It is worth noting that categories 1 and 2 are still considered relatively moderate hurricanes. However, their destructive potential should not be underestimated, and appropriate precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of individuals and communities.

Category 3 Hurricanes

Category 3 hurricanes have wind speeds of 111-129 MPH. These hurricanes are classified as major hurricanes and can cause significant damage. With their powerful winds, they have the ability to cause extensive damage to buildings, infrastructure, and vegetation. Storm surge heights can reach 9-12 feet, posing a severe threat to coastal areas and increasing the risk of widespread flooding.

Category 3 hurricanes are often associated with extensive power outages, flooding, and the potential for significant structural damage. As a result, evacuation is typically recommended for individuals in affected areas to ensure their safety and well-being.

Category 4 Hurricanes

Category 4 hurricanes have wind speeds of 130-156 MPH. These hurricanes are considered extremely dangerous and have the potential to cause catastrophic damage. With their intense winds, they can completely destroy buildings, uproot large trees, and lead to widespread power outages. Storm surge heights can exceed 13 feet, posing a major threat to coastal regions and increasing the risk of devastating flooding.

It is crucial to heed evacuation orders for Category 4 hurricanes, as the potential for injury and loss of life is high. These hurricanes can have a long-lasting impact on affected areas and may require significant recovery efforts to rebuild and restore essential services.

Category 5 Hurricanes

Category 5 hurricanes have wind speeds exceeding 157 MPH. These hurricanes are the most severe and have the potential for catastrophic damage. With their extremely powerful winds, they can completely destroy buildings, uproot trees, and cause prolonged power outages. Storm surge heights can reach over 18 feet, posing an extreme threat to coastal areas and increasing the risk of devastating flooding.

When facing a Category 5 hurricane, it is imperative to evacuate immediately. The potential for devastating impacts is high, and individuals should prioritize their safety and follow official guidance. These hurricanes can leave a trail of destruction in their wake, and communities may require extensive support and resources to recover.

Understanding the different categories of hurricanes is essential for preparedness and response efforts. By being aware of the potential impacts associated with each category, individuals and communities can take appropriate measures to protect themselves, mitigate damage, and ensure a swift recovery.

Over the years, the scale has undergone several revisions and refinements to improve its accuracy. Meteorologists and scientists have analyzed data from numerous hurricanes, studying their impact and wind speeds to further enhance the scale’s ability to predict the potential damage caused by these powerful storms.

Home Preparation

There are no guarantees if a major storm hits. Still, if you install impact windows, hurricane-rated entrance doors, an impact-rated garage door, and a new roof attached with hurricane straps, you will ensure your home is always ready if a storm threatens. There are also issues to be concerned about if you are in a flood zone or near the coast where storm surges could cause significant damage.  To qualify for discounts on your homeowner’s policy, every opening on your home must have a hurricane-rated product in place, and you should consider flood insurance.  

GM Door, Window & Screen has the most affordable solutions for your home remodeling project. We specialize in the installation of hurricane-ready / impact windows, sliding doors, and entrance doors. In business since 1968, we have been family-owned and operated. GM takes your vision and works within your budget to provide the perfect finished product. Upgrade and make your home safe from storms with new doors, windows, shutters, and more. Call today for a free estimate (954) 797-0797.  

The Different Types of Impact Windows: A Comprehensive Guide

Impact windows, also known as hurricane windows, play a crucial role in our homes, allowing natural light to filter in and providing views of the outside world. And in South Florida, they can play a critical role in protecting your home in the event of a hurricane. There are various types of impact windows to choose from, each with its unique features and benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of windows available today, helping you decide when selecting windows for your home.

Impact Glass Sliders

Understanding Impact Window Basics

Before delving into the various types of impact windows, it’s essential to understand some window basics. Hurricane windows enhance a home’s aesthetics and affect its energy efficiency and overall functionality. In addition, impact-rated windows can provide protection should a storm threaten and provide added security against intruders. Proper window selection can improve insulation, lower energy costs, give your home a beautiful facelift, and increase comfort. Hurricane or impact windows and doors are made with heavy-duty frames and impact-resistant laminated glass. Broward County, the coast of Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County are in a High-Velocity Wind Zone. Impact windows are tested to meet the most stringent building codes in the country. Although the glass may crack when hit by wind-borne debris or an attempted break-in, the window is designed not to fail and compromise your home’s envelope.

Window Materials and Their Properties

When selecting impact windows, it’s essential to consider the materials they are made from and their associated properties. Common window materials include vinyl, wood, aluminum, and fiberglass, but in South Florida’s harsh environment, vinyl and aluminum are your best choices. 

Vinyl windows are known for their durability and low maintenance requirements. They are resistant to rot, corrosion, and fading, making them an excellent choice for homeowners seeking long-lasting, hassle-free windows. Additionally, vinyl windows offer good insulation properties, helping to keep the interior comfortable and energy-efficient.

Aluminum impact windows are also known for their strength, allowing for larger window sizes and expansive views. In addition, aluminum impact widows are very durable and can last 30 years or more with proper care. They are resistant to rust and corrosion, making them ideal for coastal areas or regions with high humidity.

Window Styles

Horizontal Slider Windows

Horizontal Rollers

These windows are straightforward to operate, with the widow sliding open from side to side, similar to a sliding glass door. Large panes of glass provide excellent views and give the home a contemporary, modern look.  

This window type operates by sliding up the lower, operable sash, and the top is a fixed window sash. Another way to put it is that the bottom portion slides up and down while the top remains stationary. Single-hung windows provide a more traditional look to a home. 

Single Hung Window

Single Hung

This window type operates by sliding up the lower, operable sash, and the top is a fixed window sash. Another way to put it is that the bottom portion slides up and down while the top remains stationary. Single-hung windows provide a more traditional look to a home. 

Single Hung

Casement Window

Casement Windows

This type of window opens with hinges at the side and opens outward right or left, typically with a crank handle. Casement windows need regular maintenance as the hinge arm that opens with the window is often subject to binding, getting stuck, or damaged.   Often this is a good slection for a small opening, but need to be able to open the window for ventilation purposes. 

Octagon Fixed Window

Fixed Windows

Fixed windows, or stationary windows, do not open or close. They are designed to let in natural light and offer unobstructed views. This window type is typically used when ventilation is not a primary concern, but aesthetics and natural light are essential. Fixed windows are a popular choice for modern architectural designs.

Picture Window flanked by a pair of Slider Windows

Picture Windows

Picture windows are large, single-pane windows that provide expansive views of the surroundings. They are often used as focal points to showcase scenic views or architectural features. Picture windows are excellent choices for rooms with abundant natural light and scenery.

Transom Window installed over Slider Windows

Transom Windows

Transom windows are windows installed above doors or other windows. They are usually decorative and serve the purpose of allowing additional light into a room. Transom windows can be fixed or operable, depending on the desired functionality.

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows consist of two sashes that slide vertically within a frame. They can be opened from the top or bottom, allowing airflow control. These windows are popular due to their traditional look and easy maintenance. Double-hung windows are not a common choice for homes in South Florida. 

Specialty Windows

Specialty windows are designed to add unique visual appeal and architectural interest to a home. They come in various shapes and styles, allowing homeowners to customize the look of their house.

Impact Glass Door with a pair of Side Light Windows and a Trapezoid Fixed Transom Window.

Side Light Windows

These windows are placed next to entrance doors, allowing natural light to brighten the house’s entrance.   An impact-rated entrance door with obscure glass is another great way to add more natural light to an entryway and can be matched with the side light window.     

Bay and Bow Windows

Bay and bow windows are larger windows that protrude from the exterior wall, creating a dramatic and panoramic view. Bay windows typically consist of a central fixed window flanked by two operable windows, while bow windows are curved and typically consist of four or more windows. These windows not only provide additional interior space but also enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room.

Palladian Windows

Palladian windows are large, arched windows with smaller rectangular windows on each side. These windows are often featured in classical architecture and add a touch of elegance to any home.

With this comprehensive guide to the different types of windows, you can now make an informed decision when selecting windows for your home. With impact windows, you will always be ready should a storm threaten. 

GM – Door, Window, and Screen is a family-owned and operated company that has been doing business in South Florida since 1968. We pride ourselves on providing the best products with experienced in-house craftsmen who will handle your installation. Call us for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.    

By |2023-11-22T21:59:39+00:00November 22, 2023|Condominium Window Replacement, Hurricane Windows, Impact Windows|

Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Before the Hurricane

Preparation is critical when it comes to hurricanes. Before hurricane season, securing one’s home, creating a disaster plan, and assembling a disaster supplies kit will help minimize potential risks and ensure a smoother recovery process.

Preparing Your Home

With Impact Windows and Doors you are always ready if a storm threatens.

Securing your home before a hurricane is even a threat can lessen the stress should a storm ever approach.   Most often, your home is your largest asset, so it needs to be protected. One of the best things you can do is replace your old windows and doors with hurricane-rated products. This way, your home is always ready when a storm threatens. Having impact-rated windows and impact doors already installed avoids scrambling to put up plywood or hanging hurricane shutters. Furthermore, since hurricanes hit during the summer months, your home is already protected even if you are away on vacation. In addition, before hurricane season, you should look to get your trees trimmed. It is also essential to familiarize yourself with the location of shut-off valves for your water and gas lines. If you have a generator, you should test it before hurricane season and once a month during season to ensure it is operational. 

Creating a Disaster Plan

Every household should have a well-thought-out disaster plan in place prior to hurricane season. This plan should include designated meeting places, evacuation routes, and clear communication channels. It is crucial to discuss the plan with all family members and ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities and what to do in an emergency.

Assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit

A disaster supplies kit is an essential component of hurricane preparedness. This kit should include enough non-perishable food, water, and medication to last each household member for at least three days. Other important items to include are flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, important documents, and cash. It is crucial to regularly check and update the supplies kit as necessary.

During the Hurricane

Safety Measures to Follow

Staying indoors during a hurricane is the safest course of action. It is important to seek shelter in a designated safe area away from windows and exterior walls. It is also advisable to have necessary supplies, such as a battery-operated radio and food, easily accessible. If evacuation is needed, follow the instructions provided by local authorities and evacuate promptly. Under no circumstances should individuals venture out into floodwaters, as they may be deeper than you think or have strong currents.

Communicating During a Hurricane

Establishing means of communication during a hurricane is crucial, as it allows individuals to stay informed and connect with loved ones. A battery-operated radio provides access to important weather updates and emergency information. Additionally, having a charged mobile phone and alternative charging methods is essential. However, using phone calls and texts sparingly is important to preserve battery life and facilitate communication in emergencies.

After the Hurricane

Once the hurricane has passed, assessing the damage and taking necessary steps to return home safely and cope with the aftermath is important.

Assessing the Damage

After a hurricane, it is crucial to carefully assess the damage to your home and property. However, ensuring safety is a priority, and do not enter or move near any damaged structures until it has been deemed safe. Take photographs of any damages to help with insurance claims and contact the relevant authorities to report any hazards or damages in your area.

Returning Home Safely

Returning home after a hurricane requires caution and careful consideration. Ensure that the area has been deemed safe and that roads and infrastructure have been cleared for travel. Be prepared for potential service disruptions and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety, such as wearing suitable protective gear when cleaning up debris and being mindful of potential hazards.

Coping with the Aftermath

The aftermath of a hurricane can be emotionally challenging for individuals and communities. It is important to seek support from loved ones and local resources. Additionally, be aware of the possibility of post-storm hazards, such as contaminated water and mold, and take necessary steps to mitigate health risks.

GM Door, Window & Screen has the most affordable solutions using the best products available to protect your home from hurricanes. GM specializes in the installation of hurricane-ready / impact windows, sliding doors, and entrance doors. In business since 1968, we are family-owned and operated. Upgrade and make your home safe from storms. Call today for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.  

Best Practices for Installing Hurricane Windows

In South Florida, hurricane windows are essential in protecting your home from the devastation caused by powerful storms. These specially designed windows are engineered to withstand high winds, flying debris, and even hurricane-force impacts. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or severe weather conditions, installing hurricane windows should be your top priority. In this article, we will discuss the best practices for installing hurricane windows and provide valuable insights to help you make informed decisions.

Make sure to hire a window company that has its own in house installation team rather than using subcontractors to do the work.

Understanding Hurricane Windows

Before diving into the intricacies of installing hurricane windows, it’s crucial to understand what they are and how they work. Hurricane windows, also known as impact-resistant windows, are designed with multiple layers of laminated glass and a reinforced frame to withstand severe weather conditions. These windows are incredibly sturdy and can withstand large impacts, preventing the penetration of debris into your home.

When a hurricane strikes, the powerful winds can send projectiles flying through the air, posing a significant threat to your home’s windows. Traditional windows are vulnerable to shattering upon impact, which can lead to extensive damage and even compromise the structural integrity of your home. However, hurricane windows are specifically engineered to withstand these forces.

What are Hurricane Windows?

Hurricane windows are made up of a combination of laminated glass and a durable frame. Unlike traditional windows, which can shatter when hit by high-speed winds or debris, hurricane windows remain intact even under extreme conditions. The laminated glass consists of two or more layers with an interlayer made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sandwiched between them. This interlayer provides added strength and prevents the glass from shattering upon impact.

The PVB interlayer is what sets hurricane windows apart from regular windows. When debris strikes the glass, the interlayer keeps the glass intact, even if it cracks. This prevents shards of glass from flying into your home, protecting you and your family from potential injuries. The multi-layered design of hurricane windows also provides insulation, reducing heat transfer and increasing energy efficiency.

Benefits of Installing Hurricane Windows

Installing hurricane windows offers several benefits beyond protection during severe weather events. These windows also provide enhanced security, as their impact-resistant nature deters break-ins and intrusions. The laminated glass and reinforced frame make it incredibly difficult for intruders to access your home through the windows.

Additionally, hurricane windows can reduce noise pollution, creating a more peaceful and quiet living environment. The laminated glass acts as a sound barrier, blocking out unwanted noise from traffic, construction, or noisy neighbors. This can significantly improve the quality of life in your home, allowing you to relax and enjoy a serene atmosphere.

Another advantage of hurricane windows is their ability to block harmful UV rays. The laminated glass filters out a significant portion of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, protecting your furniture, flooring, and other belongings from fading and damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. This not only helps to preserve the aesthetic appeal of your home but also saves you money by reducing the need for frequent replacements or repairs.

Furthermore, hurricane windows improve the energy efficiency of your home. The multi-layered design, combined with the airtight seal created by the reinforced frame, helps to minimize heat transfer, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This reduces the strain on your HVAC system and can lead to significant energy savings over time.

In conclusion, hurricane windows are essential for protecting your home during severe weather events and offer a range of additional benefits. From enhanced security and noise reduction to UV protection and energy efficiency, these windows provide a comprehensive solution to improve your home’s comfort, safety, and value.

Pre-Installation Considerations

Before you begin the installation process, several factors must be considered to ensure a successful and efficient installation.

Installing hurricane windows is a significant investment that requires careful planning and consideration. By evaluating your needs and assessing your home’s structural integrity, you can make informed decisions that will maximize protection and performance.

Choosing the Right Hurricane Windows for Your Home

Selecting the appropriate hurricane windows for your home maximizes protection and performance. It’s essential to consider factors such as the level of impact resistance required by code in your area, the design of your home, and your budget.

Consulting with a professional and reputable window supplier can help you make an informed decision and select the right hurricane windows for your specific needs. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their expertise and knowledge of the industry. It is even better if they have done work on other homes in the area, so they are likely familiar with potential pitfalls and challenges with your home by having worked on similar homes in the area.  

Additionally, consider the aesthetic appeal of the windows. Hurricane windows come in various styles and designs, allowing you to choose options that complement your home’s architectural style and enhance its overall appearance.

Assessing Your Home’s Structural Integrity

Before installing hurricane windows, it’s essential to assess the structural integrity of your home. This step is crucial to ensure your home can withstand the additional weight and pressure from hurricane windows.

A professional inspection can identify potential issues, such as termite or water damage, and suggest necessary repairs or reinforcements. They will evaluate your walls, roof, and foundation to ensure that they are in proper condition and capable of supporting the installation of hurricane windows.

By addressing any structural concerns beforehand, you can prevent future problems and ensure the longevity of your hurricane windows.

Local Building Codes and Regulations

Check your local building codes and regulations to ensure compliance with the requirements for hurricane windows. Different regions may have specific guidelines regarding the types of materials, installation methods, and certifications necessary for hurricane window installations. And the answer is YES to the question, “Do I need a permit to install impact windows?”

Adhering to these regulations is crucial for your safety and the legality of the installation. Non-compliance can lead to potential hazards and legal complications, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local requirements.

Consulting with a professional contractor who is well-versed in local building codes can help ensure that your installation meets all necessary standards and regulations.

Remember, the purpose of hurricane windows is to protect your home and loved ones during severe weather events. By taking the time to consider these pre-installation factors, you can ensure a successful installation that provides optimal safety and peace of mind.

It is critical to have correct measurements done when you order your windows.

The Installation Process

The installation of hurricane windows requires precision and careful execution. Following the manufacturer’s installation instructions is crucial to ensure your windows’ optimal performance and longevity.

When it comes to installing hurricane windows, attention to detail is key. The process involves more than just replacing your existing windows with new ones. It requires a systematic approach that includes various steps to ensure a secure and proper installation.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before starting the installation, gather all the necessary tools and materials. These may include a tape measure, level, screws, caulking gun, sealant, and any additional items recommended by the window manufacturer. Having everything on hand will streamline the installation and prevent unnecessary delays.

Using a tape measure is essential to measure the dimensions of your existing window openings accurately. This step is crucial because hurricane windows must fit perfectly to protect against strong winds and flying debris. Professionals will take measurements to provide an estimate and come out and measure the openings a second time when it comes time to order your impact windows.   The measurements must be accurate because the windows are manufactured specifically to fit your home. A wrong measurement can significantly delay the completion of your window replacement project. 

Additionally, a level is necessary to ensure that the windows are installed straight and level. This is important for both aesthetic purposes and functionality. A properly leveled window will open and close smoothly, providing ease of use for years to come.

When it comes to screws, choosing the right type and size for your specific window frames is essential. Using the wrong screws can compromise the integrity of the installation and potentially lead to leaks or structural issues.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Installing hurricane windows typically involves removing the existing windows, preparing the window opening, installing the new window, and sealing it properly. The precise steps may vary depending on the type and design of the hurricane windows, so it’s essential to refer to the manufacturer’s installation guidelines for specific instructions. Following these instructions diligently will ensure a secure and proper installation.

Firstly, you need to move furniture away from each opening to allow room to work. From there, you’ll need to remove the old windows carefully. This process requires caution to avoid damaging the surrounding walls, frames, or window sills. However, don’t be surprised if some damage is done during the window removal process or damage is found from leaky windows or termites that will require repair of the stucco, framing, or window sills. The window company can do minor repairs, but extensive damage may need to be repaired by a stucco company or carpenter in the case of damaged framing. Once the old windows are removed, it’s important to thoroughly clean the window opening and remove any debris or old sealant.

Next, you’ll need to prepare the window opening for the new hurricane windows. This may involve inspecting the window sill for any signs of damage and making necessary repairs. Additionally, applying a waterproofing membrane to the window opening can help prevent water infiltration and enhance the overall performance of the windows.

Once the window opening is prepared, it’s time to install the new hurricane windows. This step requires precision and attention to detail. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, ensuring the windows are properly aligned and securely fastened.

After the windows are installed, the final step is to seal them properly. This involves using a caulking gun to apply a high-quality sealant around the edges of the windows. The sealant creates a watertight barrier, preventing water infiltration and enhancing the windows’ ability to withstand high winds.

Remember, the installation process is a critical factor in the performance and longevity of your hurricane windows. Taking the time to follow the correct installation procedures will ensure that your windows provide the maximum protection and durability they are designed for.

Post-Installation Tips

Once the hurricane windows are in place, a few post-installation steps ensure their optimal performance and longevity.

To close out your building permit, your municipality will have to do a final inspection. You should leave the window stickers on the windows for the inspectors to verify the proper product has been installed and meets local building codes. 

Checking for Proper Installation and Sealing

The inspector will look to see that the correct fasteners have been utilized following the manufacturer’s instructions. They will Inspect the installed windows for any gaps or spaces that may compromise their effectiveness. Proper sealing is essential to prevent air and water infiltration. Use a high-quality sealant recommended by the manufacturer to seal any areas that require attention. Regularly check the seals for any signs of wear and tear and address them promptly to maintain the windows’ integrity.

Once the windows pass inspection, you should move quickly to remove the window stickers before they get baked on by the sun.   You should soak the window stickers with warm water and a detergent for ten minutes, then remove the stickers with a utility knife.  

Maintenance and Care for Hurricane Windows

Maintaining hurricane windows is relatively straightforward. Clean the glass regularly using a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the glass or the window frame. Additionally, lubricate the window tracks and hinges periodically for smooth functionality. These simple maintenance practices will ensure your hurricane windows’ longevity and proper functioning.

Hiring Professionals vs. DIY Installation

Deciding whether to hire professionals or undertake a DIY installation of hurricane windows depends on various factors, such as your level of expertise and resources.

When to Consider Professional Installation

If you have limited experience with window installations or lack access to the necessary tools and equipment, hiring professionals for the installation is highly advisable. Impact windows, by nature, are heavy, large, and unwieldy. Depending on the number of openings, it takes an experienced crew one or two days to complete an installation. They have the expertise, knowledge, and tools to ensure a seamless and secure installation, saving you time and ensuring peace of mind. You should also look for a window company with its own in-house installation team.   If the installation work is contracted out, there is a significant risk of not getting an expert window installer to do the work. 

Tips for DIY Installation

If you are confident in your abilities and have the necessary tools and resources, DIY installation can be cost-effective. However, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions diligently and always prioritize safety. Take your time, seek assistance if needed, and don’t hesitate to consult professionals if you encounter any difficulties.

In conclusion, installing hurricane windows is crucial in safeguarding your home and loved ones during severe weather events. By understanding the benefits of hurricane windows, considering important pre-installation factors, following the correct installation process, and taking proper post-installation care, you can ensure the optimal performance and longevity of these impact-resistant windows. Whether you choose professional installation or tackle the project yourself, the peace of mind and protection provided by hurricane windows make it a worthwhile investment.

GM Door, Window & Screen is a family-owned and operated business. GM has been servicing South Florida since 1968. Call us for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.     

By |2023-08-23T18:14:04+00:00August 23, 2023|Hurricane Windows, Impact Windows|

Impact Windows and Doors Frequently Asked Questions

What are Impact, also known as Hurricane, Windows and Doors?

Impact windows and Impact Doors are products tested for wind code requirements and impact for residential and commercial structures.   One of the most stringent testing requirements is referenced in the High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) section of the Florida Building Code, which applies to Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Wind load is the pressure that can be exerted without causing failure.   An independent laboratory tests the product to 150% of the design pressure rating. There is also testing for wind-borne debris striking an impact-rated window or door during a hurricane. This is done by firing a wooden 2×4 weighing 9 pounds out of an air cannon at an impact window. The 2X4 travels 50 feet per second to see if the window or door fails. 

How do Impact Windows and Doors save me on my homeowner’s insurance rates?

To qualify for insurance discounts on the wind coverage portion of your policy, your insurance company will request a wind mitigation inspection. All home openings must be enclosed with a hurricane-rated product, including all windows, exterior doors, and even your garage doors. This can result in substantial savings.  

What are some added benefits of installing Impact Windows and Doors?

Security – Impact windows and doors are virtually impenetrable. Breaking a window or kicking in a door and almost always how thieves gain access to your home.   Impact windows and doors are virtually unbreakable. Thieves will move on to easier targets if you have impact windows or doors. 

Sound Protection – Though not soundproof, adding impact windows and doors will greatly reduce the amount of exterior noise entering your home. 

UV Protection – Tints are often added to the windows to provide better UV protection from the sun’s damaging light, providing protection from fading for expensive furniture, artwork, and floors.

Are Impact Windows and Doors worth the cost?

In South Florida, as far as home remodeling projects go, replacing your windows has one of the best returns on investment of any home remodeling project, consistently ranking in the top 10 for ROI. Next, if you ever decide to sell your home, new windows will shorten the time it will sit on the market. Also, water leaks from old windows can cause significant damage and mold. Furthermore, old windows can leak air, causing your AC to work overtime and significantly increasing your utility bill. Old windows readily allow UV light to enter your home, which will prematurely fade furniture, artwork, and other prized possessions.

There are many variables when it comes to pricing the replacement cost of windows and doors. It is best to meet with a professional to review your options to see the best option for your needs and budget.  

When it comes time to replace my windows are hurricane windows required? 

If you are looking to replace your windows and live within one mile of the coast, Florida Building Code requires you to do the replacement with impact windows or provide hurricane protection such as hurricane shutters.   If you are doing window replacement that involves less than 25 percent of the glazing on your home, you are not required to have impact windows or shutters for the replacement.   It is best to check with your local municipality and HOA, as applicable, regarding the requirements for your community.   All of Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and the Coastline of Palm Beach County are located in what is designated as a high-velocity wind zone. Given that designation, these areas have some of the most stringent building requirements in the country regarding storm protection. It only makes sense when doing window replacement to do so with hurricane-rated products. That way, you are always ready in the event a storm threatens.  

Do I need a permit to replace my windows and exterior doors?

Just as important as purchasing quality impact windows and doors is to ensure they are properly installed. One of the first questions we get is – “Do we need a permit from the city?” And the answer is yes. Our expert team will guide you seamlessly through the process. An inspection ensures the impact windows and doors you select meet local building code requirements for both impact resistance against flying debris and meet the specified wind load requirements. The inspector will also confirm the windows and doors are installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Improperly installed windows and doors are subject to failure when you need them most, or just as bad a small leak from a poorly installed window or door can, over time, cause tremendous damage to the structure. Be cautious of companies that use subcontractors or use a handyman to do your installation.

How do impact windows work?

Impact windows are laminated glass consisting of two or more clear panes of glass bonded together with a clear plastic-like film (usually polyvinyl butyral) sandwich between the two. The inner filling can be ordered in various color tints to help reduce UV damage. If cracked or broken, the glass fragments will adhere to the plastic interlayer preventing water, wind, or debris from entering the home. Impact windows generally have heavier frames than regular residential windows.

What should I look for when it comes time to replace my front door?

In South Florida, you should replace your exterior doors with an impact-rated door, which will provide a number of added benefits. Your entry door is the first impression when people come to visit; it should be as beautiful as it is strong. A new impact door that is hurricane ready will provide you with peace of mind in storm-prone South Florida. Plus, there is an additional level of security when you have an impact-resistant entry, side, or garage door. Kicking in a door is one of the main ways thieves use to gain access to a home. Thieves know impact-resistant doors are so difficult to breach that they will opt to move on and choose an easier target.

How long does it take to have impact windows and doors installed?

If you plan to replace your old leaky windows and doors with hurricane-impact windows these days, you need to plan ahead. In the past, you could expect to have your windows installed in 4 to 8 weeks once the contract has been signed and the deposit received, but those lead times can now be 16 to 20 weeks depending on the product you select. Supply chain issues have affected many parts of our everyday lives, which is also true for windows and doors, so it is vital to act quickly. New windows and doors are part of a complex environment of raw materials, components, manufacturing, and labor that all come together to form the end product. Glass, resin, and vinyl are all in short supply due to hurricanes impacting chemical plants and refineries along the gulf coast. In addition, the slowdown of foreign supply lines that provide some of the raw materials needed to produce windows has also contributed to delays. This, coupled with strong demand and labor shortages, prevent the plants from operating at full capacity. Replacement windows are custom manufactured and ordered for the exact specification of your home, so it is not possible to buy a prefabricated product for installation off the shelf. Since product delays impact all window companies, you should deal with a company that has been in business for a long while, has roots in the community, and has expert installation.

GM – Door, Window, and Screen is a family-owned and operated company that has been doing business in South Florida since 1968. We pride ourselves on providing the best products with experienced craftsmen to handle your installation, and we will work within your budget. Call us for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.

Reducing the cost of your Homeowner’s Insurance in South Florida

Impact Windows by GM Door Window and Screen in Plantation, FL.
Impact windows and doors can help you mitigate the high cost of home insurance. improvements that mitigate potential storm damage to your home are one of the best ways to reduce your homeowner’s insurance cost. In 2022 the cost of homeowner’s insurance has gone up dramatically. The average price for homeowner’s insurance for a $300,000 home is $9,700 in Broward County, $11,400 in Miami-Dade, and $8,600 in Palm Beach County.   Adding impact windows, and doors, including your garage door, will help you reduce your insurance cost. It should be noted to receive those discounts, all exterior openings on the home must be protected with impact-rated products.  

Aside from reducing your insurance cost by making these upgrades, you will benefit from energy savings, added security, and a reduction in outside noise. Adding impact products to your home will also benefit you when it comes time to sell your property.   You can ask for top dollar, and your home will spend a shorter time on the market once these improvements are completed.   Finally, adding new windows and doors can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal.

If you want to replace your old windows and exterior doors, call the pros at GM- Door, Window & Screen. We offer quality and great value. Selecting replacement windows and a perfect front door can be overwhelming, but our expert staff will guide you through the process. From choosing the ideal style for your home to your final installation, we walk you through the entire process. At GM, we have our in-house team of installation professionals who will ensure the job is done correctly.   We are family-owned and operated and have been in business since 1968. Give us a call for a Free Estimate – (954) 797-0797. 

By |2023-02-10T17:45:00+00:00August 8, 2022|Door Category, Homeowner Insurance Savings, Impact Windows|

Special Savings for Window and Door Replacement in Florida

If you have been looking at replacing your old windows and doors with impact-rated products, now is a great time. The State of Florida enacted a bill offering a temporary Home Hardening Tax Exemption program for 2-year starting July 1, 2022. This means you will pay no sales tax on impact-resistant doors and windows replacement. The sales tax savings applies to both residential and commercial properties.  

Impact Window and Door Installation
Sliding impact door installation.

Homeowners and businesses who take advantage of the tax-free program will save not only on the cost of installation of impact windows and doors but will be eligible to save on their insurance premiums by having an inspector provide wind-mitigation certificates on the upgrades.

The State of Florida is reacting to increased insurance costs by offering this tax relief savings to encourage home hardening upgrades to protect their home and businesses in the event of a storm. By making these upgrades and getting a wind mitigation inspection, you can significantly reduce your insurance cost. 

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Revenue.    GM Door, Window & Screen is a family-owned and operated business. GM has been servicing South Florida since 1968. We are experts at installing impact windows and doors. GM has its own in-house installation teams. Call us for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.     

By |2023-06-14T15:21:40+00:00July 14, 2022|Door Category, Impact Windows|

How Condo Associations and HOA’s look at Window and Door Replacement

If you live in a Condominium or have a Home Owner’s Association (HOA), there are usually strict rules about making improvements to the outside of your home or unit.  As hurricane season rolls around each year, you might be looking at replacing your old windows, entrance doors, or sliding glass doors with hurricane-rated products. Here are some guidelines that you should understand before making any home improvements to the exterior of your unit or home, and who might be responsible for payment. These questions always depend on the restrictions outlined in the unit owner’s association’s declaration.   

How do Condo Associations and HOAs look at Window and Door Replacement?

Generally, there are private and shared elements to a condominium or HOA.   It is as if you bought a private home and shared interest in the common spaces. The community’s declaration defines the shared elements, broken down into common elements and limited common elements. A common element is normally defined as all parts of the condominium or community other than the units. A limited common area is a common element that is restricted for the exclusive use of one or more but less than all of the unit owners. Limited common elements may include things directly connected to individual condominiums, such as entrance doors, windows, and balconies.   Maintenance, repair, and replacement of a limited common element in a condominium is usually the association’s responsibility, except to the extent the declaration shifts that duty to the unit owner. In an HOA, the homeowner is almost always responsible for window and door replacement. 

For some condominiums, the condo association may decide to replace all exterior doors, windows, and/or sliding glass doors to maintain a consistent aesthetic of the property. The association would cover the cost and would likely require a vote and an assessment, if needed, to cover the cost.   Having all impact-rated products throughout the building will likely reduce insurance costs and help offset the expense. Again, the unit owner’s association’s declaration will determine if that would be the case. 

Condominium Associations and HOA Approvals for Window and Door Replacement?

If the unit owner is responsible for window or door replacement, they will need written approval to replace their entrance doors, windows, and sliding glass doors. This includes submitting plans and a building permit from your local municipality. Your contractor will help you with this process. In addition, the contractor most likely must be approved by the association to do work on the property. Also, the contractor must adhere to the condominiums or HOA’s rules, such as hours and days in which the work can be performed.   The association will often have regulations about the color and style of entrance doors or windows you may select for replacement. They may also mandate specific products or manufacturers be used for replacement purposes to maintain a consistent look to the community. 

Door Installation by GM Door Window and Screen in Plantation, FL.
Read your Condo or HOA”s declaration carefully to make sure you understand all the rules and get all the needed approvals for your window and door replacements.

What to look for in a contractor to satisfy your Condo Association and HOA?

Many condo associations and HOA’s require that contractors be properly licensed and insured as part of the approval process for architectural review. Often contractors must submit a written proposal describing the scope of work to be performed and work schedule prior to commencement of the work. As applicable, the plans must be certified by a registered architect and/or engineer and must state all work that shall be performed in accordance with the State of Florida in addition to any applicable municipality’s building codes. And the answer is “yes” to the question “Do I need a building permit to replace my windows and exterior doors?” In addition, the association and/or manager must approve all contractors and project submissions.   The contractor will be responsible for removing all construction debris, and deliveries are only permitted during authorized hours. 

You must work with your contractor to read and follow your association’s declaration to ensure the work goes smoothly.  

Call the pros at GM- Door, Window & Screen. We are licensed and insured and have been in business since 1968. Having done thousands of window and door installations over the years, we have already dealt with many condo and homeowner associations. We are well-versed in following all the rules and regulations associated with window and entrance door replacement in condominiums and units within an HOA. Our expert staff will guide you through the process. We have our own in-house team of installation professionals who will ensure the job is done right.   GM- Door, Window & Screen is family-owned and operated. Give us a call for a Free Estimate – (954) 797-0797. 

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