Have you lived in St. Louis for a while? Or are you new to the area?
Either way, you’re probably aware that you’re living in the so-called ‘Tornado Alley‘, where serious adverse weather events are common.
Dealing with storms is part of life in St. Louis, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful when your own home is damaged by extreme weather.
If you’ve suffered broken windows after a storm, you’ll probably be wondering how much they’ll cost to replace, how long the replacement will take, and how you can choose windows that will be more resilient during future storms.
This guide takes you through every step of purchasing replacement windows after a storm, from assessing the initial damage to choosing new windows and making them storm-proof.
Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Assess the Extent of the Damage
Before you even consider buying new windows, you’ll need to assess the full extent of the current damage.
Check the forecasts and wait until the storm has passed to inspect your windows. It makes no sense to risk your safety, so don’t rush into things.
Have you noticed flooding, downed power lines, or other electrical issues? If so, call 911 right away and don’t try to deal with them yourself.
Once you’re sure it’s safe, spend some time inspecting the exterior of your windows. Don’t touch any broken glass or splintered wood, and look out for any falling debris that could be dislodged during your inspection.
You might notice dented, shattered, or broken glass cracked glazing, or damaged frames.
You should also look out for water damage, which isn’t always as obvious. You might see condensation inside your windows, damp on the interior of your home, or warped window frames.
Take photos of all the damage – these will help when you come to make an insurance claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Worried that replacing your storm damaged windows is going to cost a fortune?
Luckily, that shouldn’t be the case – as long as you have insurance.
Before you touch anything that’s broken, be sure to document the damage thoroughly and take as many photos as possible. Include every single affected area, inside and outside your home.
The quality of your documentation can affect your claim, so don’t rush and be sure to take note of absolutely everything – from totally shattered windows to small areas of damp inside.
Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to submit your claim and should do so as soon as possible. Most companies have a one-year time limit, so don’t delay.
After you submit your claim, a representative from the insurance company should come to inspect your home and give you a quote, which you can then compare to quotes from local contractors.
Make a note of all the contact you have with your insurance company, just in case there’s an issue further down the line.
Cover Broken Windows to Make Your Home Safe
Now that you’ve documented the damage to your windows, you’re usually okay to secure your home without damaging your chances of a successful insurance claim. However, check with your providers first – just to be on the safe side.
Got the okay from your insurer?
If you have any windows which are broken or dented, you should board them up using plywood cut to size. This prevents the broken glass from escaping and causing injury, keeps your home safe and secure, and reduces the risk of break-ins.
If you notice any leaks, soak up as much water as you can and then patch the leak using plastic sheeting. It’s not a permanent solution, so you’ll want to get new windows installed as soon as possible to avoid mold, mildew, and damp.
Boarding up windows obviously isn’t ideal long-term, so contact a local window company as soon as you can to arrange installation of new windows. They’re likely to be busy soon after a bad storm, so don’t delay.
Invest in Specially-Designed Storm Windows
Are you having nightmares about investing money in new windows, only to have them damaged by the next big storm?
When you choose specially-designed storm windows, you can be confident that they’ll withstand future extreme weather events, saving you loads of time, money and stress.
You should choose a reliable local contractor with experience in storm-proofing, and ask them to provide you with a quote. This can then be sent to your insurance company who should approve it for you.
If in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for quotes from a few different contractors – it never hurts to get a second opinion.
What Are Storm Windows?
Storm windows are generally designed using two frames of tempered glass and a layer of film, offering heavy-duty protection from even the heaviest storm.
The glass is impact-resistant, while the film prevents shattering in the unlikely event that it does break. This offers great peace of mind, especially if you have children or pets in the home.
Storm windows can withstand winds of up to 200mph. If they do break – usually because of impact from flying debris – the glass will be contained, with no loose shards.
Storm windows do cost more than regular windows, but you’ll save yourself having to replace them every few years. Some insurance companies even offer discounts when you choose storm windows, since they reduce your chances of having to make another claim in the future.
They also provide excellent sound insulation, which is a nice bonus if you’re often kept awake by violent storms.
If you live in an area where you’re particularly susceptible to weather damage, it’s worth considering the additional protection measures below.
Consider Having Storm Shutters Installed
Want to go the extra mile and make your home feel even more secure?
Having storm shutters installed could be right for you.
Storm shutters, also known as hurricane shutters, are protective barriers that stop flying debris from hitting your windows and smashing the glass.
Rolling shutters are a popular retractable option that you can slide open and closed, and keep out of sight when there’s no storm on the horizon.
Accordion shutters are another common variety that open and close easily.
The style of shutter you choose will depend on the shape and size of your windows and the design of your home. Having unusually-shaped windows doesn’t mean that you can’t get shutters installed, but you may have to pay a little extra.
If you want a guarantee that your new windows won’t smash the next time a big storm rolls in, shutters are a smart investment.
Choose a Local Window Provider That Understands the Climate
Struggling to choose a contractor for your new windows?
You’ll want to go for someone who’s local to St. Louis and understands the unique climate.
Not only will they be able to recommend the right windows, films, and shutters, they’ll also understand the local weather well enough to know exactly when to carry out the replacement project.
If there’s another big storm due, they might hurry your job – or help install temporary measures and postpone it for a few days.
They’ll also be close by to help out in the unlikely event that you have any issues with your new windows.
Try talking to colleagues and neighbors in the area and asking for recommendations. The best window companies are sure to have tons of happy customer ready to sing their praises.
If you’re unsure about a contractor, always ask for a few references and take a look at examples of previous work on their site.
Why Get Replacement Windows as Soon as Possible After a Storm?
Thinking that you can get away with boarded-up windows for a while?
Leaving broken windows is dangerous – loose shards of glass could blow into your home and cause serious injury.
They make it easier for thieves to break in – and evidence that the break-in was preventable could stop you from making an insurance claim against any theft.
You’ll also risk letting water into your home, which could lead to expensive issues with mold, damp, and flooding. Imagine having to replace all your carpet because you didn’t get your windows repaired quickly enough.
If you’re a responsible homeowner, you’ll arrange for replacement windows to be installed as soon as possible.
Ready to get your windows replaced? Contact us for a free estimate today.