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Old 07-07-2010, 02:29 PM
 
96 posts, read 145,100 times
Reputation: 38
Default How to Prep a Skylight for a Hurricane?

We have 2 skylights in our new house. Anybody know what we should do to prep them for a hurricane?
(:
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:44 AM
 
385 posts, read 670,551 times
Reputation: 108
Hmm, I have 2 skylights too but don't do anything to them in preparation for storms. I have Storm Catchers on all windows and doors but skylights are exposed. I have had them checked for leaks and the seals are tight. I'll have to come back and see if anyone does anything to theirs too!
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Florida
51 posts, read 166,360 times
Reputation: 54
Default How to hurricane proof a skylight by PE

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkfreeamerica View Post
We have 2 skylights in our new house. Anybody know what we should do to prep them for a hurricane?
(:
Today’s skylights are designed with impact glass in them. Check your labels and research the number or manufacturer on yours.
You should be able to tell if its impact design. Most of the newer ‘flat’ glass designs are – but if you have one of the older bubbles it can be expensive
to replace with a complete new one.

One idea on a retrofit: (see photo attached)

Lexan plastics (the bullet proof stuff) can be shaped to fit ‘over’ your old one.
Take a look at one we did for a client who wanted to retrofit his old skylights to keeps cost down.
The flat Lexan gets extruded to the bubble shape at the manufacturer. We ordered this one a few inches higher and wider for deflection – then attached it with some aluminum angles into the frame structure. We used good quality ‘quad’ caulk to stop leaks. We did not cut miters tight so we could provide water or weep channels for run off.

A local company in Tampa "Sabic Industries" extruded the shape for me - total cost in materials = $108 for a 36 x 36.



I realize he has an old roof but he just wanted to make his skylight hurricane proof.
Note you can see is old bubble skylight under the new Lexan impact one.

Last edited by preparedness expert; 07-08-2010 at 02:10 PM.. Reason: had error in price
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:51 PM
 
458 posts, read 800,129 times
Reputation: 149
So, preparedness expert, your telling me that with that lexan bubble you guarantee 100% hurricane protection against anythings flying through the air at 75 to 150 mph?
Depending on how well that skylight was fastened or secured down to the plywood and the plywood was fastened to the joists below will determine also how well the skylight holds up. You just added another layer of clear covering over the existing glass which now will fog up when there is humidity trapped in between, which will eventually just discolor from the sun and moisture and the homeowner will not be happy. Now with the added height and angle iron frame (that really does not look good as you pointed out,) that adds wind resistance which when a strong hurricane blows in, could rip it out depending on again, how it's attached to the structure. But if this was explained to the homeowner at the time of estimating and they still agreed to do it, your off the hook. The problem is that people do not want to spend their money for the proper protection that is needed and they rely on you to know it all and advise wisely.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:42 PM
 
96 posts, read 145,100 times
Reputation: 38
hurricane preparedness expert: thanks so much for all of the info. if i am rigth in gathering that you are a seller of such hurricane jazz, i'd love to talk with you in your store when we get to town. can you pm with your information?
i am so thankful for everyone who posts here. coming from far away and moving from the desert to a foreign land feels a lot less stressful with everyone here so generously giving their time. i used to do citydata a few years ago (cannot for the life of me recall my user name and password!) and i love that, overall, everyone is jsut about helping others and sharing information. this board is so awesome! thanks (:
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Florida
51 posts, read 166,360 times
Reputation: 54
Default Hurricane Contractor Not "Off the hook"

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjstrain View Post
So, preparedness expert, your telling me that with that lexan bubble you guarantee 100% hurricane protection against anythings flying through the air at 75 to 150 mph? Depending on how well that skylight was fastened or secured down to the plywood and the plywood was fastened to the joists below will determine also how well the skylight holds up. You just added another layer of clear covering over the existing glass which now will fog up when there is humidity trapped in between, which will eventually just discolor from the sun and moisture and the homeowner will not be happy. Now with the added height and angle iron frame (that really does not look good as you pointed out,) that adds wind resistance which when a strong hurricane blows in, could rip it out depending on again, how it's attached to the structure. But if this was explained to the homeowner at the time of estimating and they still agreed to do it, your off the hook. The problem is that people do not want to spend their money for the proper protection that is needed and they rely on you to know it all and advise wisely.


Yes - the Lexan bubble will hold up as “hurricane protection against anything flying through the air at 75 to 150 mph” – that’s what it was designed for. You are correct –“Depending on how well that skylight was fastened or secured down to the plywood and the plywood was fastened to the joists below will determine also how well the skylight holds up”. Yes - we ” just added another layer of clear covering over the existing glass”. We have engineered several of these same types of skylight retrofits over the past 10 years, I have not seen skylight trap humidity in between the cover and old bubble yet. A double pane window traps no more humidity then a skylight - it's just a window on a roof. Lexan has built in UV protectant into its plastics so they don’t discolor. This photo is of a skylight 3 years old – the homeowner was pleased and has not reported any moisture problems. I visit back to our clients homes regularly to check and service our work. In this case I wanted to check to make sure the skylight was holding up and didn’t contain any moisture an issue that I agree with you could happen. But remember it’s contained over the old skylight.

You’re correct – “the added height and angle iron frame (that really does not look good) adds wind resistance” AND strong hurricane winds shouldn’t rip it out if you take care to attach to the structure. Everything “out of the ordinary” should be explained to the homeowner at the time of estimating.

I don’t think a contractor is ever “off the hook”. The contractors reputation is on the line. It’s very hard to build a good reputation but very easy to ruin one if you build inadequate hurricane protection. Regardless, you're never “off the hook” – when the hurricane comes we all will be responsible for our work.

Its true people do not want to spend their money for the proper protection that is needed and they rely on us for advice they don’t always follow. It’s best to walk away from jobs that may not hold up to qualified safe techniques then be judged or responsible for someones losses be it home or life.
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