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Protect or Replace your Garage Overhead Door ?

Florida’s Mitigation Inspection requires all openings to be Impact rated or be protected with an Impact rated device in order to receive the protection credit and discounts. We are often asked whether it is better to protect or replace your Overhead garage door. Since this opening is a large one, economics plays a big role in making the decision to replace or protect. Garage overhead doors are generally 8’ wide for a single bay garage and 16’ wide for a double bay garage and door heights are typically 7’.

If your Garage door is in good shape and functioning properly, it is hard to justify the investment in replacing it. The “payback” of this investment can be many, many years. Protecting your Garage door with Hurricane Fabric Panels is the most economically viable way to achieve the required “Large Missile Impact Rating”.

As most homeowners know, there is a wide variety of quality and style of garage doors and subsequently, prices also vary. Despite this, using Hurricane Fabric represents the fastest payback in the protection industry. With the easiest to deploy protection product, Hurricane Fabric is the choice of an increasing number of homeowners.

It should be noted that the cost of a door lift has not been included in this analysis. Impact rated Overhead Doors weigh significantly more than a non-impact models and often require a larger lift which will add $200 to $350 to the door replacement cost.

The table below demonstrates the economic advantages of using Hurricane Fabric. Savings from 43% to 90% are observed.

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Note; The installed cost of Garage Overhead Doors were derived from the website of a major Home Improvement Store. Installed cost of Hurricane Fabric is typical for the retail market. DIY cost of Hurricane Fabric is our current pricing of $5.99 per sq. ft. (2015).

 

Hurricane Fabric Product Approval Questions

We are often asked “what Product Approval do I need for my Hurricane Fabric application”. Product Approval requirements for Hurricane Panels are influenced by several factors. The most significant is the “Authority having Jurisdiction”. This means whomever has the permitting authority for the address where you are installing the Hurricane Panels. It can be a County, Township, Village or the State.

Let’s first discuss the State of Florida. Hurricane Fabric Products have both a Statewide Approval as well as a Miami Dade County Notice of Acceptance. The Florida Department of Business Regulation issues all Product Approvals and our Astroguard Hurricane Panels have Florida Product Approval #15208. Our Astroflex Hurricane Panels have Florida Product Approval #15186.

The State of Florida is comprised of the “Wind Born Debris Region” (WBDR) and the “High Velocity Hurricane Zone” (HVHZ). The HVHZ consists of only Miami-Dade and Broward counties with the rest of the state being the WBDR. Miami-Dade and Broward counties are the only area of the State that has its own Approval Standard. Both these counties use the Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance (NOA). This NOA differs from the Statewide Approval as it has a specific requirement for glass separation that is not required anywhere else in the state. It requires a minimum separation from the glass when the Hurricane Screen is under specified wind pressure. This separation requirement can be satisfied by the inherent window/door setback of construction or by the use of “Storm Bars”, “Offset Tracks, angle mounting or “tenting”. Hurricane Fabric Astroguard Hurricane Screens are approved for installation in the HVHZ under Miami-Dade county NOA #12-1004.02. Hurricane Fabric Astroflex Hurricane Screens do not have a Miami-Dade NOA and therefore cannot be installed in the HVHZ.

In the case of Florida Insurance Mitigation requirements, a protective device has to meet any one of the four listed testing standards;

• Miami-Dade County PA 201,202 and 203

• Florida Building Code Testing Application Standard (TAS) 201, 202 and 203

• American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E 1886 and E 1996

• Southern Standards Technical Documents (SSTD) 12



Our Florida State Product Approval makes reference to both TAS and ASTM testing approvals and are approved by all Insurance Carriers for Mitigation discounts.

Outside of the State of Florida several different approvals apply. In Texas, we are approved by the Texas Department of Insurance Product Evaluation SHU-204 which uses ASTM E testing standards. In many other coastal areas, both in the Gulf Coast and up the Eastern Seaboard, States are guided by the International Building Code (IBC) which refers to ASTM E testing protocols. Since these states have no product approval system, you need only show compliance with ASTM E1886 &  E1996. These standards are listed on page one of our engineering documents.

It should be noted that all Hurricane Fabric Hurricane Panels have Product Approval information labels for easy identification. All Hurricane Fabric Hurricane Screen Product Approvals are available on our website for convenient downloading at www.hurricanefabric.com

Hurricane Fabric’s Astroflex and Astroguard Products

We often receive inquiries asking the difference between the Astroflex and the Astroguard products.

Astroflex was the first generation of Hurricane Fabric protection. It was first introduced in the late 1990’s and is a Polypropylene material that is often referred to as Trampoline fabric. This type of   Hurricane Panel has evolved very little in the past 15 years. The Polypropylene type Hurricane Shutter meets the minimum impact requirements for code approval but has had other challenges. Some Polypropylene Hurricane Screen manufacturers have used a system of straps and buckles in an attempt to strengthen their product. This has proven unsuccessful, as the buckle system proved to be a failure point during Hurricane event deployment. As these Hurricane Screens were subject to high wind loading, buckle failure contributed to compromising the opening protection objectives.

Hurricane Fabric dealt with strengthening the Hurricane Panel by using our innovative Clip, which added flex to better absorb projectiles. Another issue facing the Polypropylene Hurricane Shutters, was their inherent requirement to be sewn and seamed. Although the Hurricane Fabric product only required sewing to prevent edge raveling, all other manufacturers needed to sew and seam the edges to accept  straps and buckle or pressed  in grommets. The grommet areas of these Hurricane Screens were then subject to the effects of UV thread degradation which further compromised the Hurricane Panel attachment points.

Hurricane Fabric LLC, decided to bring a better product to the Hurricane Shutter market and introduced Astroguard, which is a Ballistic-Grade Nylon fabric. Unlike previous polypropylene Hurricane Shutters, Astroguard does not require any sewing or seaming. Our patented Clip sandwiches the Fabric and is attached with stainless steel fasteners. Unlike other fabric Hurricane Panels, the Ballistic Nylon product can be field modified and cut if necessary. Additionally, the Astroguard Hurricane Screens go through a coating and sealing process that provides excellent UV stability.

Testing has proved the Astroguard Hurricane Screens to have a burst strength two times greater than the Polypropylene material. Astroguard has been tested to the Australian “Large Missile Impact Test” standard which is more than twice the U.S. standard (74 M.P.H vs 34 M.P.H.). Since the Astroguard is clearly a superior product, we have focused our marketing on Astroguard.

Although both Astroflex and Astroguard meet the Florida “Large Missile Impact Test”, only the Astroguard is approved for use in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone” (HVHZ), consisting of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Astroguard has all relevant code approvals including Florida Statewide, Texas Department of Insurance and is International Building Code compliant.

Hurricane Season 2014 was among the quietest on record

Hurricane Season 2014 was among the quietest on record. The US has not been impacted by a major hurricane in over 9 years. This is the longest period of time without a hurricane since the 1800’s. Those who have put off protecting their home or business with hurricane shutters have played the odds very well. How much longer will this bet pay off?

Business With Hurricane Fabric Protection

Business With Hurricane Fabric Protection

Business WithOut Hurricane Fabric Protection

Business WithOut Hurricane Fabric Protection

The lack of activity makes it very easy to become complacent. It is also easy to forget the impacts of a major hurricane and the benefits of having a product like Hurricane Fabric. The residents and property owners in Cabo San Lucas had just such an impact with Hurricane Odile. This storm was the most intense to hit the Cabo Peninsula since record keeping began. Odile should serve as a reminder that preparation is always important. Those that were equipped and had properly installed hurricane shutters, suffered little damage. Whether you install hurricane panels, hurricane fabric or hurricane screens, you are doing your best to be prepared. Since Odile, insurance providers in Mexico are now looking to require some sort of hurricane panel or storm protection. The Astroguard hurricane Fabric and Astroflex hurricane screen will be approved for these programs.

In the US, many hurricane prone states have incentives for mitigating loss. Florida, for example, mandates that all wind insurance providers give rate incentives or discounts for homes with hurricane fabric. No matter where you live, contact your insurance carrier and ask about a discount for hurricane shutters. If your provider does not offer a discount or offers a small discount, shop your policy with other companies to see who has the best incentives. The average in Florida is about 20%.

States that do not have mandated insurance cost reductions may have other options. One such option is to look for an insurance carrier that subscribes to the IBHS (Institute for Business and Home Safety) “Fortified” program. This program has different levels of certification that enable increasing amounts of savings for mitigation. From impact protection to roofing improvements, the savings could be significant. Hurricane Fabric, hurricane screens and hurricane panels are all certified for these programs.

When considering Hurricane Protection, remember that it is more than just reducing your insurance cost. Protecting your home or business is also a way of protecting your building and its’ contents. There are certain things that insurance cannot replace, not the least of which is your safety and peace of mind.

Make the call or email today.

Florida Insurance Mitigation Issues

Since the State of Florida initiated the Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form in 2007, Homeowners have found it increasingly more difficult to keep discounts for Hurricane protection devices. The Inspection requirements have become more stringent with revisions to the Form in 2010 and 2012. If a Homeowner has Hurricane Shutters on the majority of their windows, but have one or two windows that are unprotected they are considered non-compliant and discounts are removed. In addition, Hurricane Panels that are not certified and labeled as having passed the Large Missile Impact Test, are also considered non-compliant. These Hurricane Panels must be replaced by certified products. Some Insurance companies have gone beyond removing discounts and have threatened Policy cancellation until all openings are protected. Many Homeowners have found it difficult to comply as some openings cannot be protected with traditional steel Hurricane Panels. Windows flush to an adjacent wall or soffit are often neglected, as hardware and tracks required by Hurricane Shutters cannot be installed. Furthermore, openings with ornate trim will not tolerate the hardware used with standard Hurricane Shutters. The solution to these difficult openings is Hurricane Fabric. These versatile Hurricane Screens, with their unique attachment Clips, can be used with direct mount anchors to satisfy the most unique opening characteristics. The Hurricane Fabric product can be wrapped around obstructions, can be cut to odd dimensions and shapes and can be attached to the structure horizontally or vertically. An additional benefit is that these Hurricane Screens can be field modified if obstructions are encountered. Hurricane Fabric has enabled many Homeowners to provide the required, code approved, protection for their unique situations. Hurricane Fabric is often the only choice for Homes located in Historic Districts where no tracks, protruding hardware or stacks of panels are permitted. Using direct mount flush anchors, results in an aesthetically pleasing installation. The use of high tech fabric Hurricane Screens has allowed more and more Homeowners to comply with Insurance Company requirements and enjoy the Discounts associated with sound Hurricane Protection. Insurance Agents are recommending this product to assist their clients in complying with the latest Mitigation requirements.

What is Hurricane Fabric?

Hurricane Fabric manufactures the safest, most aesthetically pleasing and cost effective hurricane protection systems on Earth.

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Hurricane Fabric is:

Made in the USA.

Lightweight.

Easy to install.

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Convenient storage.

Built to last (10 year warranty).

ImpactWater & Pressure Resistant.

Transparent Astroflex & translucent Astroguard (conquers the “dark cave” effect created by traditional hurricane shutterssuch as plywood and metal products).

Yields as much as a 58% discount on homeowners insurance (read testimonial).

Currently the only fabric hurricane protection sold at The Home Depot and Lowe’s.

The Global Leader in Hurricane Protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

1)   Q: What is the difference between Astroguard and Astroflex?

Astroflex: A polypropylene (trampoline) fabric, with a reinforced sewn edge border.
Sold for $4.60 per square foot DIY, custom cut & includes all hardware required for installation.
Installed on average* for $8 per square foot (*pricing will vary depending on size of job, surface that anchors will be mounted into & geographic location)
Transparent
      Astroguard: A resin coated ballistic nylon fabric with a heat-sealed edge.
Sold for $5.75 per square foot DIY, custom cut & includes all hardware required for installation.
Installed on average* for $10 per square foot (*pricing will vary depending on size of job, surface that anchors will be mounted into & geographic location).
Translucent
Impact tests 3x’s higher than Astroflex
*Astroflex requires the extra layer of manufacturing (reinforced stitching) because polypropylene is inherently weaker than ballistic nylon.
2)     Q: Will my home owner’s insurance company accept it?
                  A: YES! Both products have an A+ rating with ALL insurance carriers.
ASTROGUARD exceeds all International Building Code, Florida Building Code & Miami Dade requirements. In fact, Astroguard recently became the 1st American Made Hurricane Protection System to gain approval in Australia- where testing standards are more stringent.
ASTROFLEX fulfills IBC & FL Building Code requirements & is Category 5 approved to install anywhere in the world OTHER THAN DADE & BROWARD COUNTY*
3)     Does the hardware come with the fabric or is it extra?
               A: Do-It-Yourself pricing includes all hardware required for installation, including a drill bit & driver!
Dealer/ Wholesale pricing includes custom cut fabric & attachment clips (calculated based on 12” on center spacing on 2 sides);
Additional clips are sold for $1.25 each (top/ bottom set- which includes (8) #8 x ½” Stainless Steel Screws)
Typically, we do not supply hardware for our dealers, but is available upon request.
4 ) Q: Is Hurricane Fabric approved for my location?
A: see q:2; But, yes Astroguard is Category 5 rated and approved for use anywhere in the world.
Astroflex is CAT5 approved everywhere other than Dade & Broward County
5)     Q: How long does it take to receive once my order is placed?
             A: All orders ship within 1 week of receiving payment. However, we are generally able to accommodate expedited requests at no additional cost.
6)     Q: Do you cut it to fit?
A: Orders placed on hurricanefabric.com are all custom cut to your specification; In fact, custom arch & geometric cuts are available for NO EXTRA CHARGE.
Astroguard is also available on the homedepot.com in six pre-cut generic sizes which can be adjusted to your      specifications on the job site.
7)     Q: How do I get a quote?
A: Log onto hurricanefabric.com & select the quote tab & specify which fabric
OR email sizes to info@hurricanefabric.com
8)     Q: Is there anyone that can install it for me?
A: Yes, we have a global network of dealers eager to assist you.* Please provide your location, # of openings, surface mount & we will have a dealer contact you within 24 hours.
In addition, we have an excellent instructional: How to Measure and How to Install Videos on our website which will enable any handy man to get the job done.

Choosing the Right Hurricane Protection

Cost comparison based on Home Depot D-I-Y pricing:

1) Astroguard:

Comprised of ballistic nylon fabric, the American made Astroguard hurricane shutter by Hurricane Fabric is non porous (blocking 100% of wind & rain), lightweight (weighing 1.33 oz per square foot), easy to store (easily folds into a 30 x 40″ storage bag), higher strength (impact rated at more than twice the industry standard- true capacity unknown, because testing maxed out below product potential at 76 mph) and lower cost alternative to traditional hurricane shutters.

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Measuring only .25″ in diameter, the Astroguard flush mount anchoring system

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provides a chameleon-esque finish because cover is stainless steel (paintable), and anchor does not protrude from surface like traditional panelmate/ wing-nut anchoring hurricane protection systems. Astroguard provides full protection, without detracting from the look of the home.

Translucent Astroguard solves the dark “cave effect” created by traditional shutters such as metal or plywood panels. Multi-attachment point clips solves egress limitations & fire suppression activities 
of traditional panels (a fabric can be cut quickly during a fire emergency, metal/ wood can’t be). 10 year warranty included.

Cost: $2.82 per square foot

2) Metal Panel:

The weight of shutter, in addition to its sharp edges, make installation and deployment a nightmare for home and business owners.

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This product becomes even more dangerous when installing on higher floor’s, or when a storm is approaching and winds speeds are increased. Impact and wind rating are building code compliant, but carry a lower rating/ level of protection than other products available at comparable cost (less than 1/2 of Astroguard’s impact rating). Bulk of product creates storage issues as well. 1 year warranty on material and workmanship.

Cost: $4.67 per square foot

3) Accordion Shutters:

Permanently attached to structure, this shutter is best for customers in need of rapid deployment. Many accordion shutters can be locked with a key, and may provide a theft deterrent. Customers who relish: “out of sight, out of mind” hurricane protection, will not be happy with the yearly maintenance requirements and associated cost. Impact and wind rating is comparable to metal shutters, but 1/2 of Astroguard’s industry leading impact rating. A solid option when comparing with other pricier, permanently affixed hurricane protection systems, such as impact glass or louvered shutters. 1 year warranty on material and workmanship.

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Cost: $27.81 per square foot

4) Louvered Shutters:

A nice aesthetic option for customers in need of a fast and easily deployed, albeit costly, hurricane protection option. Two-piece shutters that attach to the wall beside each window, and fold together to protect the window. Decorative shutter that also provides hurricane protection, and can easily be made storm-ready by one person. The permanently affixed nature of the shutter does not require additional storage space. The slatted nature, however, does allow water and air flow to pass through the shutter which may cause interior water damage. Furthermore, certain louvered shutters, such as colonial shutters require a storm bar to lock the shutters in place, which may increase installation time and cost. Customers seeking uniform hurricane protection for their entire home will be precluded from purchasing louvered shutters, because they do mot protect doors.

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Cost: $30.66 per square foot.

5) Impact rated windows and doors:

According to a leading manufacturer impact glass is designed to resist impacts so even if the glass cracks, the fragments will adhere to the interlayer, so the shards remain within the frame. ImpactGard protection also meets the nation’s toughest building codes. These codes specify that windows must withstand a nine-pound 2×4 traveling at 50 feet per second (34 miles per hour)- Astroguard impact tests at more than double this rate, on a more difficult test to pass. The most expensive hurricane protection option (other than a concrete dome), is a practical choice for commercial structures, but often considered to be unattainable for the average homeowner.  Impact glass eliminates the need for additional hurricane shutters (however according to the Miami Herald: “even impact-resistant glass can be penetrated by high-speed projectiles, so the best (and most expensive) combination would be impact-resistant glass and shutters.”). Ideal for snowbird’s whom are not typically at the home during hurricane season, and thus unable to deploy shutters if and when the home resides within the “cone of uncertainty.” Although impact glass often requires significant structural and aesthetic alterations to the home, which may not be ideal for homeowners seeking to preserve a historic or retro aesthetic, impact glass will provide a seamless appearance once installation is completed.

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Hurricane Protection for Atrium Windows

Citizens insurance new clearinghouse program (“with the mission of demonstrating to Florida homeowners the state-backed property insurer isn’t necessarily their only or best option”- Sun-Sentinel) has generated a lot of excitement and confusion among Florida homeowners in 2014. While exploring insurance options, many homeowners have realized that they were not receiving the discount on their homeowners insurance they were entitled to; Subsequently, burning thousands of dollars unnecessarily each year. Hurricane Fabric was contacted by a homeowner that had all but one opening (atrium window pictured below) on their home protected with wind and impact A rated doors, windows or shutters. More expensive traditional hurricane protection such as impact glass and metal, roll-down, accordion, Colonial or Bahama Shutters could not be installed to protect this opening without costly and unattractive structural changes being made to the home. Therefore, the atrium remained unprotected, and the home uninsured from hurricane’s (all openings must be protected to obtain hurricane coverage- and as much as a 58% discount on homeowner’s insurance policy in Florida. Using our patented high modulus, multi attachment point, carbon fiber clip

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 the homeowners were able to install A-rated hurricane protection for this challenging opening, and not compromise their financial or aesthetic sensibilities. Upon completion of this installation, the homeowners were able to obtain the Opening Protection “A” rating and enjoy a significant reduction in their annual Windstorm premiums. Every policy is different, and the savings are based on a number of variables; However, in this particular, and many other instances, the insurance savings will pay for the additional protection within a few months. Protect your home and your bottom line: install hurricane fabric, it’s a win-win!
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Hurricane Fabric Preserves Exisiting Aesthetic

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Many Florida homeowners know that they are eligible for as much as a 58% discount on their homeowners insurance by having hurricane protection. However, most people don’t realize that every opening of the home (even that pesky small bathroom window on the side of your house) must be protected in order to be eligible for the discount. The reason for this is simple: if any portion of the homes “envelope” is compromised, wind and rain will enter the home, and the pressure may ultimately tear the roof off the home.
The picture below illustrates how Hurricane Fabric solves traditional hurricane protection (metal shutters, impact glass, etc..) challenges. In this instance, the homeowner lost the Hurricane Protection Mitigation discount portion of his homeowners insurance policy because one opening was not protected  (single picture window below). This window is a large “curved” window overlooking the Pool and Spa area. The window has multiple panes that are connected with a silicone seal, which provides a clear vista from inside the House. The homeowner did not want to replace the window with an impact window as that would require aluminum mullions between each pane and destroy the open view (not to mention the increased cost- roughly 5x’s the cost of our fabric). Moreover, Steel Panels and Accordions Shutters were ruled out due to the unattractive, permanently affixed Tracks and Accordion Stacks on the exterior.
HurricaneFabric.com provides a direct mount, easy to install hurricane shutter with chameleon-esque stainless steel attachments that are paint-able and flush with the homes exterior (no ugly wing nuts to look at all year round); In fact, most customers report that visitors can’t even tell they have hurricane protection. The Homeowner got back his mitigation discounts and retained the aesthetics of his pool area. One more reason to use Hurricane Fabric.