Hurricane Shutters and Window Films

Hurricane Shutters and Window Films

The Renaissance windows and sliding glass doors were designed to survive wind in excess of 100 miles per hour. Nevertheless, some residents might be concerned about wind-blown debris that could break a window or patio door. The Renaissance I Association does not necessarily recommend any window shutters, panels or films. But since the Florida Condominium Statute addresses storm shutters and permits condominium Boards of Director to promulgate storm shutter standards, the Renaissance I Board of Directors has passed a resolution mandating that all storm shutters and window films must conform with the Renaissance I Storm Shutter Specifications. You can view a version of the document below:

Window hurricane films are professionally bonded directly to the inside surface of window glass. If a foreign object hits a film-protected window and breaks it, the window glass theoretically will not shatter and fall away, but will be held together by the plastic film, maintaining the watertight integrity of the window and probably preventing wind and rain from entering the premises. Of interest, taping of windows with duct tape or masking tape is no longer recommended by storm preparedness experts. In addition, these tapes are affected by UV solar radiation, which can quickly bond the adhesive to the glass, making it extremely difficult to remove the residue completely. 

Some Renaissance I residents have installed approved hurricane film on the inside of their windows. Please be aware that any window film must be absolutely clear and may not impart a hue, color, or reflective coating. The Building Manager can help you to find vendors that have installed window film that meets Renaissance I design standards.  In 2002, some small samples of hurricane film were installed in the catering kitchen and the Club Room. See the Renaissance I Storm Shutter Specifications document for further details about the Renaissance I window film standard. 

Hurricane shutters are also sometimes installed over windows to prevent wind and rain from entering a broken window or door during a hurricane. Generally, the higher up in a building your apartment is located, the less likely that your windows will be hit by an object large enough to break the glass. Balcony railings also provide a measure of protection from large flying objects in a storm. Window shutters may not necessarily protect against water intrusion through a broken or damaged window, but may offer a level of confidence to lower-level residents that wind-blown debris or falling trees will not break a window. As this is written, no owners of units in the Renaissance I condominium have found it necessary to install storm shutters. 

Because of the fragile exterior façade of the Renaissance I building, approved hurricane shutters are only permitted on windows and doors that are readily accessible from an adjacent balcony or patio. Windows that are not accessible from a balcony may nothave outside shutters or storm panels. Installation restrictions are very specific and do not permit any penetration of the finished facade of the building because of concerns about water intrusion. The alternative to storm shutters is either hurricane film, inside storm panels, inside shutters, or reliance on the integrity of the Renaissance windows which were designed to meet wind loads in excess of 100 miles per hour. 

In summary, the Renaissance I Association does not recommend any specific vendors or brands of window films or storm shutters, makes no claim that shutters or films will or will not protect your premises in a storm, and encourages you to perform your own due diligence before committing to the installation of storm shutters or window films. If you choose to install protective devices on your windows they must be approved in advance by the Renaissance I Association and conform with Renaissance I Storm Shutter Specifications, viewable below:

The Renaissance I Hurricane Shutter Specification

Two general types of hurricane shutters are addressed in this Renaissance I Condominium Hurricane Shutter Specification: shutters that cover relatively inaccessible fixed windows (those that cannot be installed, inspected or serviced without scaffolding or other temporary exterior rigging equipment); and shutters that cover fixed and movable (slider) doors and windows that are directly accessible from balconies and patios for installation and maintenance. Hurricane window film standards are also included in this specification. 

The terms “storm shutter,” “storm panel” and “hurricane shutter” are used interchangeably throughout this specification. 

Outside Hurricane Shutters Prohibited on Inaccessible Windows

Hurricane shutters may only be attached on the INSIDE of fixed, inaccessible windows (that is, windows not accessible from a directly adjacent balcony or terrace) because of the technical problems associated with rigidly attaching frame and shutter hardware to the exterior of the building without seriously compromising the structural and watertight integrity of the Renaissance I facade system. 

Inside hurricane shutters or inside storm panels are permitted, but must be professionally installed and the Renaissance I Association must approve in advance any storm shutter, panel, or related attachment system that will be installed on an interior wall or frame element adjacent to a window or doorway. Removable inside storm shutters or panels may not be stored in the common elements, limited common elements, or on balconies. Inside storm shutters or panels must show a neutral white color when placed over a window. 

Hurricane Window Film

Window safety “hurricane” film may be installed on the inside of windows but must meet Renaissance window glass color and transparency standards: Window film must be totally clear, with no visible tint, color or reflective coating. It must not produce visible moiré patterns or change the appearance or the reflectivity of the window glass when viewed from the outside. Window film installations and materials must receive approval from the Renaissance I Association before work can begin. 

Outside Hurricane Shutters on Balcony-Accessible Windows and Doors

With prior Association approval, removable hurricane shutters may be installed on the outside of balcony windows provided that they are only attached to the existing outside metal framework of balcony windows and doors, and that no attachment or element pierces or touches the exterior of the building wall system, stucco or finished surface, decorative lintels or frames or any other outside decorative or structural building façade element. All screw and attachment points must be installed in the existing metal window frame and all attachments must be permanently gasketed, sealed and caulked to prevent the entry of water under all storm and wind stress conditions. Existing window or balcony caulking must not be disturbed during shutter hardware installation. Drilling or screwing into the concrete floors or ceilings, or exterior wall surfaces is absolutely prohibited. 

Shutter material must be clear, impact-resistant, non-yellowing, shatterproof and transparent (Lexan XL-10 or certified equivalent). Shutter systems may not have reel mechanisms, roll-up boxes, through-wall cranks, locks, bolts, lag screws, or similar mechanical attachments; there may be no visible or concealed storage bays, extended sliders, tracks or other wall, ceiling or surface-mounted elements. Mounting flanges for the shutter system must be powder coated or anodized white metal that matches the color of the existing door or window metal frame elements and there must be a positive mechanical method of rigidly securing each individual panel so that it cannot be dislodged or broken free by storm-condition winds. All shutters must meet the current Florida building and hurricane codes. Removable storm shutter components, panels or hardware may not be stored in the common elements, the limited common elements, or on balconies or patios. In electing to install shutters or storm panels, apartment owners acknowledge that they are responsible for: 

All repairs to the building common elements and consequential damages that might be caused by the shutter system; 

Wind-borne failed or destroyed shutter elements that might cause damage to other property or persons; 

Water intrusion into the building caused, or facilitated by, the installation of shutters, the mounting system or related hardware.

Contractor Guidelines – Notice Required 

All work associated with the installation of window film, hurricane shutters or storm panels must be in accordance with all provisions of the Renaissance I Home Improvement Rules. The unit  owner must provide a copy of the Contractor Guidelines document to any contractor who provides an estimate or who performs any work in the Renaissance I building. The Contractors must sign in and out each day at the Renaissance I Reception Desk. Like any home improvement project requiring the assistance of a professional, installation of storm shutters must be approved by the architectural review committee.  Click here to obtain a small in unit job packet.  

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