Your floors are an often overlooked but very important part of your home. Dirty, tattered, outdated or ugly floors can make your home look far less attractive and valuable than it may be. In contrast, beautiful and well kept floors give your home a special sparkle. It is especially important to pay attention to your flooring if you are thinking about selling your home. By installing clean and beautiful new floors, you can increase the value of your home far more than the cost of your flooring. My background as a real estate agent has taught me what potential buyers want in floors, and now I'm going to teach you. Make your home all it can be with floors that say your home is the best.
If you live in the Midwest, you're probably accustomed to occasional tornado watches (and even warnings) as unstable summer weather patterns travel through the region. However, in addition to herding your family into the basement when inclement weather strikes, you may feel hard-pressed to do much to protect your home against tornado-related structure damage. However, reinforcing one of your home's most vulnerable points -- its windows -- can do a great deal to help minimize storm damage. Read on to learn more about when hurricane windows may be a good idea for your home.
What are hurricane windows?
Unlike most typical double-paned windows, which include a wooden or fiberglass frame surrounding the two panes of glass, hurricane windows have a steel or aluminum frame that is designed to resist impacts both from inside and outside the home. These windows also include stronger, reinforced glass that can handle high-speed winds, rain, hail, and even flying debris. It takes significantly more force to break or crack a hurricane window than most typical household windows.
Can these windows help protect your home against tornado damage?
Hurricane windows are popular in coastal areas, where strong sea winds can hurl debris and water horizontally toward these windows at very high speeds. However, despite their name, they can be very useful in other parts of the country -- particularly those vulnerable to other types of storms (like tornadoes) or earthquakes.
Often, much of the damage to homes during a storm is caused by the initial breach in the outer "envelope" of the home by a single broken window. After this window has been broken, the home may depressurize, making other windows more vulnerable to breakage. After this, wind can carry rain and other debris inside, causing water damage to your floors, electrical systems, and appliances. Preventing the entry of water into your home by reinforcing your windows can go a long way toward making your home storm-proof.
In addition to the tornadoes common in many parts of the Midwest, if your home is located near the New Madrid fault line, it may also be prone to occasional small earthquakes. Because of their solid metal frame, hurricane windows are uniquely designed to withstand shifts in the ground beneath your home, and can remain solid even if your home sustains damage to its foundation. As with tornadoes and other storms, avoiding a breach in the envelope of your home will significantly minimize the total damage.
As a bonus, hurricane windows are extremely energy-efficient -- due to their solid construction, they don't allow for much conduction and can help insulate your home from cold outside temperatures in the winter and hot air in the summer. Lowering your energy bills can help offset some of the costs associated with installation, and depending upon the claims history of your home and its risk of storm damage, you may be able to lower your homeowners insurance premiums as well.