OCEAN CITY – Not even a piece of wood flying at 60 mph can crash through a hurricane protection product demonstrated last week, let alone crack it.
Last Tuesday, at Bob Holtzman’s Window Tint & More in Berlin, a new product was demonstrated in its ability to withstand up to Category 5 hurricane force wind and debris.
“It’s probably the strongest form of hurricane protection on the market today,” Evolution Hurricane Shutters, LLC CEI John Sortore said.
Sortore used an air cannon to shoot a nine pound board at the polycarbonate shield that mounts on the exterior of windows and doors, without breaking. The test started at about 120 pounds and shot the final test at about 160 pounds, which is around 60 mph.
The product is designed to remain over a window or door year-round, not having to be taken down and put back up like other hurricane protection products.
Sortore said test labs and different schools and universities in Florida have tested it against many other hurricane protection methods and nothing performs like this product, and nothing saves energy like this product.
“Once this goes over your window, it starts to save energy right away, heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer but the storm protection part of it is the same,” Sortore said. “It performs like a storm window with the strength of a hurricane shutter.”
According to Evolution Hurricane Shutters, the product will not only save money in energy costs by conserving heat and air conditioning within the building but also help reduce the fading of interior upholstery and other fabrics caused by UV rays, protect against flying stones from lawn maintenance, a brick from a smash-and-grab thief, kid’s misguided baseball, or errant golf balls from the fairway.
Compared to other hurricane protection, the product costs less than impact glass and a roll-down shutter, provides a clear, distortion-free view, adds curb appeal to a building or home, adds security protection and lowers insurance costs.
According to Sortore, currently the shield costs about $40 a square foot.
Sortore began working in the industry in 1979 and has worked with every material used in hurricane protection to this day.
“Everything including this product I have already dealt with so it was a perfect fit for me when Mr. Hughes came to me with this product,” he said.
The product was invented by John Hughes, who started working on it in 1994, patented it in 2001, and started his company, Hughes Windshields, in 2002. When Hughes retired he handed the product over to Sortore, and at that time he began his own company, Evolution Hurricane Shutters, LLC.