Are Storm Windows Worth the Investment?
Living in a place prone to extreme weather, like Florida, can be stressful for homeowners, especially during hurricane season. If you own or are considering purchasing a home in a region that gets hit by tropical storms, storm windows could be an expense worth considering. They may be expensive, but the potential damage to your home in the event of a storm could be even more costly or dangerous.
Storm windows are designed to fit perfectly over your home’s existing windows. Some need to be installed before the storm season and then removed during the warmer months, while others can be permanently installed while still allowing you to open and close your windows.
Pinnacle Claim Services is available 24 hours to help you assess damage to your property and receive what you deserve from an insurance settlement. We can help get your life back in order quickly. Contact us online or call (954) 466-2954.
What Are Storm Windows?
Storm windows are special exterior fittings designed to help protect your windows during storms of up to 200 miles per hour. They are designed with impact-resistant glass that is treated with a protective layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). This resin material helps prevent your windows from shattering if they are hit by a flying object or debris. They aren’t 100% break-proof, but according to Forbes, the biggest advantage lies in the fact that they are built to remain attached to the window frame even when damaged, which is much less dangerous for homeowners. Further, they can reduce the intensity of exposure to the elements in the event your windows do get damaged.
Windows alone can cost between $600- $1000 per window, with installation costs easily doubling that amount given today’s contractor market. Storm windows are one way to protect your property in the event of a storm. Besides just protecting the windows, know that pressure changes brought about by blown-out windows and doors can cause cracks in your home’s foundation or lead to roof instability.
Benefits of Storm Windows
Storm windows provide numerous benefits beyond protection from storms, such as improving energy efficiency, reducing noise, and increasing property value, along with their ability to protect your home from flying debris, high winds, and extreme temperatures.
Installing storm windows can help to cut down on energy costs because they add an extra layer of insulation. Storm windows will reduce the amount of draft and outside air that enters the home, keeping the temperature more stable, which results in less heating or cooling of your home. The extra insulation also helps reduce noise coming from outside your home. They can reduce noise pollution by as much as 40%. This is particularly helpful if you live near a highway or a busy part of town.
Adding storm windows can also increase the value of your home. Because storm windows make your home quieter, prevent damage, insulate your home, and are long-lasting, they can make your home more valuable for a future buyer.
Types of Storm Windows
Most storm windows are available with a low-emissive coating that reduces heat transmission. Low-E glass has been treated with an undetectable metal or metallic oxide, which creates a surface that reflects heat while still allowing light to pass through. Not only do windows with this feature reduce home energy consumption, but they can also lead to decreased fading of fabrics in your home. These types of storm windows are made to blend in with the style of your home and allow for the operation of your existing windows. They are permanently mounted, so you do not need to worry about putting up or removing storm windows before or after the season.
There are also temporary storm windows that can be applied as window covers in the event of an active hurricane season but should be removed when the risks of major storms subside.
There are four basic configurations of storm windows: two-track, triple-track, two-track slider, and basement. The different configurations impact how the window can be used and opened.
For the two-track, the inside pane can be raised to allow fresh air to enter through the screen, while basement windows consist of only a single pane and are not meant to be opened.
How Much Do Storm Windows Cost?
The average cost of a quality storm window is approximately $100-400 per window, depending on the size and materials. Frames can be made of aluminum or steel, which are the most affordable options. Aluminum or steel frames are low-maintenance, can last up to 45 years, and usually cost around $160 per window.
Frames can also be made out of vinyl, which can last up to 40 years if cared for properly. Vinyl frame windows will run you approximately $200 per window.
Wood frames are also available, which can be painted or stained to match your home’s exterior. With regular maintenance, wood frames can last for around 30 years. Wood frames are the most expensive option at $290 per window. You can also add features, such as ventilation stops, weather stripping, or a stabilization bar, for an additional cost.
Properly maintaining storm windows can ensure that they last for a long time. This care is quite easy and involves regular cleaning. It is also important to check them to ensure they do not need repairs, such as glass coating, frame replacement, or caulking, to prevent air or water leaks.
Installation services can range anywhere from $2,500 to $14,000 per household, with the average being approximately $8,000. No small fee when you are already forking over a hefty sum for the windows themselves!
How Do I Know If I Need Storm Windows?
The answer to this question depends on the age of your home and the types of windows it currently has installed. Previous experience can also tell you if storm windows could have prevented certain types of wind or water damage, in which case they are highly recommended.
Storm windows were invented in the 1930s as a way to protect homes with older single-pane windows and with casements that allowed significant air to pass into the home. Without these precautions, sudden gusts of wind could rattle the windows, often causing them to break.
Early storm windows were designed to be installed and removed as needed during severe weather seasons. Permanent storm windows were introduced as a way to eliminate the hassle of temporary installation/removal while providing the home with other benefits.
By the 1970s, homes had begun to use double-paned glass windows more often. These windows offered additional protection from winds along with the added benefit of improved insulation.
Regular home windows have continued to improve, and many models are storm-rated for specific categories or wind speeds. If you have recently replaced the windows in your home, and you are confident that they can provide the performance you need to protect the windows in a severe weather event, then storm windows may be considered optional.
However, if you are concerned about air leaks, weak window sashes, or even energy consumption, know that storm windows can be a sound investment.
Also note: it may be advisable to board up the windows and other exposed elements of your home if weather forecasts indicate that your neighborhood lies in the likely path of a severe or named storm.
How Are Storm Windows Installed?
Storm windows are typically installed professionally as part of the purchase of the units. Many home supply companies or retailers that offer storm windows also offer installation services.
Consumers also have the option of purchasing storm windows separately and hiring their own professional service to install them. With the right tools and know-how, storm windows can be installed by the homeowner themselves in order to save money.
Many storm windows are designed to fit perfectly into the most popular sizes and models of window casements. Some window designs are even storm-window-ready, meaning minimal components are required. You can sometimes simply slide the storm window panes and screens into pre-existing tracks.
However, for older windows or those with atypical casement designs, the installation process can be more difficult. It may require cutting into the window opening or modifying the casement. In these cases, professional installation is highly recommended. Know that it may be possible for your insurance benefits to be reduced or denied in situations where the insurer alleges that improper storm window installation by a homeowner led to otherwise-avoidable wind or water damage.
Public Adjusters You Can Trust
If your property is damaged during a tropical storm or hurricane, Pinnacle public adjusters can help get you the money you deserve. Our public adjusters in Naples and throughout Florida work for you, not the insurance company. They can help you assess the damage, interpret your policy, and file a claim.
We have built long-standing relationships with experienced technicians to help you get the repairs you need quickly. Our trusted technicians can provide essential services such as disinfecting and cleaning affected areas, removing debris, water extraction, deodorizing the property and drying your structure.
To get a free consultation and review, call us at (954) 466-2954 or fill out our contact form. We are available 24/7, so do not hesitate to call, and one of our Florida public adjusters will help you examine your options.