Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Will removing screen panels from my screen enclosure keep my enclosure from being destroyed during a hurricane?
- Answer: Maybe.
Removing screen panels from your enclosure will reduce the wind load imposed on the structure created by the screen panel’s resistance to allow wind to pass through it. The amount of resistance is directly related to the screens density. Screen with more threads per inch create more wind resistance and impose more load on the structure. However simply removing panels from your enclosure will not guarantee that the structure will survive.
- 2. What wind speed is my enclosure going to be designed to?
- Answer: It varies.
There is no one number that applies to every structure. The building code requires the engineer to take into consideration many factors when designing an aluminum structure. The location of the structure within the county where the structure is to be built determines the wind load and exposure category the structure must be designed to.
For example, a structure that is going to be built where there is a large open area behind it such as a lake is likely to encounter a higher amount of wind load than one that is surrounded by other structures such as another home. Therefore, it would require a higher design load than the latter.
- 3. Are there different types and grades of screen?
- Answer: Yes.
Screen comes in several different sizes and density. Screen is measured in threads per inch. Sales people may say to you that a particular screen is 18/14 mesh. That means that the screen has 18 threads per square inch one direction by 14 treads per square inch the other direction. 18/14 mesh is the standard and most widely used screen in the industry.
There are denser screen fabrics available such as 20/20 mesh however this creates another issue. The more dense fabric has more wind resistance and imposes more wind load on the structure. This means the structure must be designed to withstand the higher wind load and this usually results in a more costly structure.
A common mistake that some people make is to have their screen enclosure re-screened with 20/20 mesh screen when it was not designed for that. As far as the quality of the screen fabric is concerned, the screen fabric used by almost every contractor including us will last approximately 14 to 15 years before needing replacement under normal circumstances.
- 4. Do I need a building permit to construct my project?
- Answer: Yes.
The reason for this is that the building department requires that you obtain a permit for just about anything that you do to your home. There are a few exceptions, however, they are limited. In addition, you should always hire a licensed contractor. Beware of anyone who you are considering making a contract with that is asking you to obtain your own permit. Although you as a homeowner can obtain your own permit if you are doing the work, doing so exposes you to other risks when you then hire someone to do the work for you. The end result could end up costing you thousands of dollars, especially if someone gets hurt in the process of completing the work.
- 5. Can a screen enclosure be constructed that will withstand a hurricane force wind event?
- Answer: Yes.
A screen enclosure can be designed to withstand any wind speed and exposure category that a person wants it to be designed for. The truth is that hurricanes are rated in categories ranging from 1 to 5. Each one getting increasingly higher in wind speed. If you design a screen enclosure to withstand a category 3 event (111 to 130 MPH) then it would be reasonable to assume that it should survive unless the hurricane winds reached the category 5 (155 MPH and above) range.
The hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 produced wind speeds that were in the category 5 range. Hurricane Wilma in 2005 produced wind speeds of 185 MPH as reported by the National Hurricane Center. Ads containing statements claiming 160 MPH enclosure designs could very well be true but ask for proof from the engineer if that is truly what you expect to get.
- 6. Will hurricane 'Impact Glass' break?
- Answer: Yes.
Hurricane impact glass will break. In fact, in some cases, depending on the type of impact glass, it will break easier than tempered glass. The primary difference is that impact glass has a polycarbonate interlayer as well as a different method of glazing the door or window that allows the glass to break, but not come out of its frame. This still provides protection from wind and debris entering the structure.
- 7. Are all accordion shutters the same?
- Answer: No.
There are many types of accordion shutters available on the market and although they all seem to look alike, they are vastly different when it comes to performance.
The main consideration is the location where the shutter going to be installed and what the wind speed and exposure category can be at that location. Not all shutters can withstand the same wind loads. For example a shutter covering a sliding glass door may be 7’ wide and 7’ tall. Depending where the shutter is located on the home, where the home is located, and what floor the shutter is on will determine what type of wind load will need to be resisted by the shutter. There are shutters that will not meet the design load required for an opening of this size under certain circumstances.
Many companies advertise that they have shutters that will withstand 240 MPH wind. That could very well be true, but you may not be told that the shutter is only 2’ wide by 2’ tall for installation on the first floor of a home in the lowest wind speed zone and the lowest exposure category.
If you live in a one story home, in any wind zone and exposure category of the county then just about any shutter on the market will provide you with sufficient protection from a hurricane. Even then, be sure of the quality of the components used in the manufacturing of the shutters.
- 8. Why should I use East Coast to build my project?
- You should use our company because we are what we say we are. We have extensive experience and knowledge of the products we offer and provide the most professional service. We know that our customers work hard for their money and they deserve the best value for their money when they decide to spend it.
By value, we mean products that will last and will not require costly repair or maintenance within a year or two after being installed. We provide our customers with the information they need to make an educated decision before they purchase from us or any other contractor. We feel that offer the best prices while also providing the best quality work. We will never pressure you to buy from us, but we do strive to be the kind of company that you will want to buy from.
Our goal is to make sure you are so satisfied with the work we have done that you will feel comfortable recommending us to other people. We are a small company, owned and operated by family members who have been working together for many years. We try to offer our customers more personalized service and hope you will give us the opportunity to serve you. Even if you do not choose to buy from us, you will at the least learn enough about the product you are purchasing to feel good about the decision you make.