Any Floridian can attest to their state’s often unpredictable weather conditions. While you can’t stop hurricane season or sudden severe storms, you can take the precautions necessary to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Enhancing safety in your Florida home is crucial, and solutions like the My Safe Florida Home initiative, led by Alco experts, can provide you with the resources you need to protect your home.
Improving safety measures in your home is possible with Alco’s impact windows, designed to bare the brunt of even the harshest storms. Our windows are created with robust materials to resist high winds and debris tossed around during storms, making them vital to a completely storm-proofed home.
Understanding the My Safe Florida Home initiative and how Alco’s impact windows can contribute to your home’s overall security can help you prepare for future weather conditions and protect your home in advance to avoid any last-minute surprises. This article will take you through the My Safe Florida Home initiative and explore the benefits of impact windows to safeguard your home.
What is the My Safe Florida Home Initiative?
My Safe Florida Home is a program enacted by the Florida Legislature. The program is designed to help single-family homeowners safeguard their property against severe weather conditions, such as frequent hurricanes in the state.
The My Safe Florida Home initiative is built on two core components:
- Wind mitigation home inspections: Owners of site-built, single-family, and residential homes can apply for a wind mitigation home inspection under the My Safe Florida Home initiative. The inspection identifies your home’s construction and areas that can be strengthened to lessen future damages caused by storms.
- Wind mitigation grant awards: These grant awards are granted for home construction purposes. Homeowners undergoing the wind mitigation inspection may qualify for grant funds to make the necessary home improvements.
Eligibility for a Mitigation Grant
As you gear up for the 2023 hurricane season, which takes place between June 1, 2023, and November 30, 2023, you need to ensure that your home can take on whatever harsh conditions might come.
While experts believe that the 2023 hurricane season will be average, with a likely range of 12 to 17 named storms, where 5 to 9 may become hurricanes and 1 to 4 may develop into major hurricanes in categories 3, 4, and 5.
However, not all individuals are eligible for the mitigation grant possible through the My Safe Florida Home program. The My Safe Florida Home initiative and mitigation grant is eligible for Florida homeowners that meet the following criteria and who have undergone a wind mitigation inspection:
- Homeowners must provide proof of homestead exemption to qualify for the grant
- Homeowners must provide documentation proving that their home is insured for $500,000 or less
- The home must fall in the wind-borne debris region of Florida, accessible here
- The home’s initial building construction permit must have an issue date before January 1, 2008, or the home is not eligible for the grant
- Homeowners must allow re-inspection after construction is complete
Information on the Grant Process
Researching the grant process is crucial if you believe you’re eligible for the My Safe Florida Home program. For instance, not all upgrades are eligible to be funded by the mitigation grant, making it essential to know what in your home needs to be reinforced.
Grants can be used to cover the following home improvements:
- Roof coverings
- Improving the strength of roof deck attachments
- Roof-to-wall connections
- Secondary water barriers for roofs
- Exterior door upgrades
- Garage door upgrades
- Window upgrades, such as Alco’s impact windows
Florida legislature allows eligible homeowners to receive up to $10,000 in their mitigation grant for hurricane mitigation improvements. The My Safe Florida Home program also provides $2 in total grant funds for every $1 the homeowner contributes. Homeowners can receive the maximum grant if they provide $5,000 for their home improvement project.
Additionally, Florida State Legislature offers tax exemptions for home-hardening initiatives under the My Safe Florida Home program that will last until June 30, 2024. Sales tax is exempt for homeowners purchasing impact-resistant windows, garage doors, and other doors.
It’s important to be aware of the protocol surrounding inspectors and contractors for determining your home’s eligibility and receiving grant-approved repairs and improvements on your home.
After applying for a wind mitigation inspection, you cannot select your own inspector. Instead, you will be assigned an inspector to complete the process according to the rules outlined under the My Safe Florida Home program.
If your home is approved to receive improvements, you must choose a contractor based on a list of approved contractors provided to applicants by the Department of Financial Services.
What are Impact Windows?
Understanding the role that impact windows play in enhancing home safety is integral to a well-rounded, storm-proof home security system. Impact windows are created and fitted with glass that can withstand harsh weather and protect against wind and debris.
Along with protecting your home from storm damage, impact windows are crucial to protect your home from any potential forced entry attempts.
Impact windows are composed of several layers of polyvinyl butyral, or PVB, enclosed between two planes of glass. This combination creates a unique, impact-resistant glass that’s highly resistant compared to traditional windows.
Given the robust materials, impact windows are incredibly difficult to pry open. Alco’s impact windows have a built-in locking system for added security to comply with the My Safe Florida Home initiative.
How Much Damage Can Impact Windows Protect Against?
Some homeowners are hesitant to install impact windows because they aren’t aware of how highly secure they are built to be. If you’re considering applying for the My Safe Florida Home program, knowing the level of safety you can expect from your new home upgrades is crucial.
Impact windows keep your home safe in several ways. Alco’s impact windows are built with shatter-resistant film applied on both sides of the panes to seal the window’s glass, meaning that even if your window is hit by debris and high-pressure levels, it will remain intact, and the glass won’t shatter.
Additionally, homeowners can feel more secure in their homes with Alco’s impact-resistant windows, which incorporate an inner membrane to fill the space between the window planes, preventing the glass in your windows from blowing outwards.
When these solutions are combined, your windows can withstand wind speeds of 200 mph, the same level as a Category 5 hurricane. Impact windows have a robust frame created using materials like aluminum, vinyl, and steel to stay sturdy over time.
The Impact Window Testing Process
Impact windows like those provided by Alco Impact Windows enhance your home’s safety and are tested to ensure proper functioning. These windows undergo a design pressure test to simulate weather conditions similar to conditions that occur during severe storms or hurricanes.
During the impact pressure testing process, windows are tested for the following:
- Air pressure: This factor is tested with an air filtration system that simulates pressure to test how well an impact window responds to high atmospheric pressure.
- Water penetration: The second element of impact window design testing measures how well the window withstands water and how much water the window can keep out at varying pressure levels.
- Structural: The final test focuses on the structural strength of an impact window by testing the window’s glass and frame. A higher rating indicates that the impact window is structurally solid and thick enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Notable Features and Benefits of Alco Impact Windows
Though impact windows are integral to meeting the safety standards outlined by the My Safe Florida Home program, not all designers of impact windows take the same security precautions, leading to different window ratings.
The impact windows from Alco offer the best features and advanced safety precautions to guarantee that your home is safe from even the harshest weather conditions.
Alco’s impact windows are created from the most durable materials, with numerous features and benefits that make them the best option for your home safety. Below are some of the primary advantages you can expect from Alco’s impact window features.
Reliable Storm Protection
Alco impact windows are built to be the most reliable window solution for Florida homeowners. Unlike most other windows, your windows will remain strong and in place in weather emergencies.
Additionally, impact windows are long-lasting and will protect your home for years, separating them from traditional windows, which are highly prone to breaking.
Robust Home Security
A significant benefit of impact windows is their ability to protect against natural and man-made damages. Beyond protecting your home against unavoidable and unpredictable weather conditions, Alco impact windows can prevent invasions by making entering your home through your window difficult. These windows are built to withstand harsh impacts without fracturing.
Features like Alco’s two layers of tempered glass protect the window’s inner layer, composed of shatter-proof polyvinyl material, to offer a massive obstacle for any burglars trying to enter your home. With Alco impact windows, you can feel safe from any outside damage that threatens your home.
Exterior Noise Reduction
Another benefit of impact windows is the noise reduction features in models such as Alco’s impact-resistant windows. Because impact windows are designed with a layer of thick, laminated glass and robust framing, they can significantly decrease external noises and disturbances that interrupt your day or your rest.
Choosing impact-resistant windows is the best option for people that want their home to be a peaceful, restful escape from the rest of the world.
UV Ray Filtering
Many homeowners are unaware of the damage UV rays can cause to your skin, even indoors and away from direct sunlight.
However, sun filtering in through traditional windows doesn’t provide adequate protection from harmful UV rays, leaving your skin vulnerable to UV damage and causing damage to your home’s interior features.
Installing impact windows can benefit your home by providing advanced protection from UV rays to reduce the worst effects of the sun, keeping your skin safe, and preventing interior issues like fading flooring and furniture.
One of the biggest trends for homeowners looking to modernize their property are energy efficient solutions. An energy-efficient home is vital to reducing your monthly energy bills and can save you hundreds of dollars otherwise spent with traditional windows.
Impact windows are energy-efficient, lower heat gain during the intense Florida summer, and maintain heat in your home during winter. By upgrading to Alco impact windows, you’ll save significant amounts of energy–and money–in the long run, making your home a better place to live.
Boosted Property Values
There’s always a possibility that you’ll want to sell your home in the future. Even if you aren’t planning on leaving your property any time soon, installing impact windows can keep your home safe in the present and boost your property value for a bigger profit in the future.
If you’re hoping for a higher return on your investment when you decide to sell your home, impact windows are one of the best purchases you can make.
Create a Safer Living Environment With Alco Windows and Doors
Enhancing your home’s safety is integral to feeling comfortable in your space. Florida homeowners who are applicable to receive the benefits of the My Safe Florida Home program should consider impact windows from Alco Windows and Doors as one of their top solutions to safeguard their homes against external damage.
At Alco, we are committed to helping every homeowner get the impact products they need to keep their homes safe. That's why we offer impact-resistant windows and doors to withstand even the harshest weather conditions, including hurricane-force winds.
We believe every homeowner should have access to these products, so we offer a free financing guide to help you get started. Our financing options are flexible and affordable, so you can get the protection you need without breaking the bank.
So if you're looking for a way to protect your home and your family, download our free financing guide today and see how Alco can help.
Contact Alco Windows and Doors experts today to book a free estimate and learn more about our impact windows for your Florida home.