Fabric storm panels, also known as wind abatement screens, are touted as an effective alternative to traditional plywood or shutters. You might find it hard to believe that fabric can provide sufficient protection against storm debris hurtling at over 100 miles per hour, but coverings are available that meet or exceed state building codes in Florida and Texas as well as the standards set by ASTM International for hurricane protection. Rolling Screen – Permanently attached device located above your windows or doors that can be lowered at a moments notice either manually or by electric motor. ImpactShield offers the same technology at a lower costs, and tighter weave, which withstands wind speeds brought about by a Category 5 Hurricane. Fabric is the newest segment of the hurricane protection industry, but grommets and strap-and-buckle systems are old technology…they cause pointloading to the fabric and are potential failure points. Galzing and paneling ideas are coming up due to unfavorable climatic conditions to save home doors and windows from storms.
As a licensed specialty hurricane protective’s contractor and certified installer I’ve worked with many (if not all) the above products. Many people are aware of the benefits of hurricane glass, such as noise reduction, safety, and hurricane protection. Companies like PGT and their Winguard line, or Cardinal, Therma-Tru, or Astor have been marketing their glass for hurricane protection for years around hurricane prone regions.
Most insurance companies do not cover the replacement costs for these windows and only allow for the value of a regularly priced window.
The idea of hurricane protection is to allow the hurricane protection to take the brunt force of the storms impact–and not your expensive windows. They also failed miserably during hurricane Wilma, which was the 1st widespread test of hurricane glass.
The United States hurricane testing standards are also pathetically low (who trusts government minimums anyway) at 35 MPH for the Miami Dade large missile impact test.

HONOLULU —One month into hurricane season, there have already been three hurricanes that have formed in the eastern Pacific. AstroGuard has undergone rigorous tests against high speed winds, pounding rain, and flying debris. AstroGuard has proven itself time and time again to be the most effective hurricane protection available. One of the best ways to minimize damage to your home during a hurricane is to cover your windows and doors with storm panels or shutters.
The old standby and least expensive option, plywood is not approved for hurricane protection by many state building codes. Buy plywood before hurricane season, since it can be in short supply when a storm is approaching. Touted as an effective alternative to rigid materials, fabric storm panels are made from a geo-synthetic, PVC coated fabric or Kevlar.
You wouldn’t think that fabric would provide sufficient protection for your windows against hurricane force winds and flying projectiles, but many fabric storm panels meet or exceeded state building codes as well as ASTM standards for hurricane protection. While most fabric storm panels are installed by the dealer, homeowners may be able to buy the material and install it themselves for around $5 per square foot for PVC fabric. I have a new and proven method of securing plywood over windows and doors that is much easier ans stronger than any method now used with the exception of storm shutters. Panel is required specially to save home furniture like doors and windows against storm and unfavorable climatic conditions.
They consist of a strong, lightweight layer of woven fabric that is coated with a geo-synthetic PVC material. All attempts to raise the minimum standard have been blocked by the hurricane glass manufacturers as they realize their products could not withstand impacts at 50 MPH.

You probably know that hurricane fabric is quickly displacing traditional hurricane shutters, and now AstroGuard has emerged as the next generation of hurricane fabric. No matter which type you choose, plan your project out well in advance of hurricane season and consider professional installation. Taking the time to board up your home when a hurricane is approaching and evacuation is imminent is not always wise. This reinforced material is then used to cover windows and doors, providing a barrier from flying projectiles and wind blown rain. The continuous contact of a clamp system on fabric is a sure fire failure if the screen has a windload on it while recieving an impact. While keeping wind, rain, and flying debris out, the mesh fabric allows light and some air to come through. Storm Catchers (Storm Smart) variety of hardware solutions and function are among the best we’ve run across with the new technologies in fabric wind abatement systems. My use is seasonal hurricane protection in that they’ll be removed as soon as danger has passed.
No – I don’t work for Strom Catcher but as a professional in the hurricane protectives industry I can recognize a better product when I see one.

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