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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Storm Barrier FAQ's

A palm tree blows sideways
due to gale force winds

Since news first broke of megastorm Hurricane Sandy's impending arrival along the U.S. eastern seaboard, many positioned within the storm's path were left scrambling to find adequate protection for both their homes and their families.

The recent weather conditions are a perfect example of how a major storm can make landfall with little warning.  That's why it's imperative to prepare for serious damage well before a storm cell even becomes a blip on the radar.

When selecting hurricane window screens for your residential or commercial facility(ies), it's important to know what to look for in terms of impact resistance and test requirements.

Below are some frequently asked questions about hurricane screens and their uses:

1.  On which types of buildings are hurricane screens typically found? 
Hurricane screens are ideal for schools & universities, healthcare facilities, municipal buildings, emergency shelters, condominiums, commercial buildings and residential properties.

Hurricane screens on the Miami-Dade Police Department
2.  What testing requirements should storm barriers meet?  
At minimum, storm barriers should be designed to meet Miami-Dade county testing requirements, as well as tested to meet missile Level D, Level E and Enhanced Level C certifications.

3.  What are hurricane screens made of?
Storm barriers are typically constructed of virtually invisible stainless steel wire cloth (or perforated panel) with a main frame, sub-frame and support bar.

4.  Why choose hurricane screens over hurricane shutters?
Unlike storm shutters, hurricane screens offer some extra perks.  The first is solar shading, which softens interior glare, thereby reducing indoor cooling costs.  Hurricane screens also act as security screen which offer constant two-way damage control.  The security screening capability deters vandalism and helps to protect your windows against possible break-ins.

Hurricane storm barriers provide protection from
airborne debris, hot sun and vandalism
5.  What other factors should be considered when choosing hurricane storm barriers?
It's always a good idea to choose screens with no pins to install or remove, and no panels to store.  Not only does this make cleaning easier, it reduces the likelihood that loose components will be misplaced.  It's also smart to choose storm barriers with an emergency single-point egress for added safety and key-opened access for maintenance and cleaning purposes.

To learn more about hurricane storm barriers for applications in coastal regions 


  1. Storm windows are an inexpensive way to reduce energy costs for homes with loose-fitting windows. While they do not significantly increase the insulation performance of single-glazed glass windows in good condition, field studies show they can decrease air infiltration out of and into existing windows.

  2. Thanks for your input, Sustainable Architects. Have you ever worked with hurricane screens/storm barriers on any of your projects such as the type mentioned in this post, or is your experience solely with storm windows?