Storm Catcher Hurricane Wind Abatement Screen FAQs

What is Storm Catcher?

Storm Catcher is a line of wind-abatement screen products manufactured by Storm Smart Industries, Inc.; one of the largest manufacturers of hurricane protection products in the United States. Storm Smart Industries, Inc. is based in Ft. Myers, Florida.

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What are the benefits of choosing Storm Catcher?

The flexibility afforded by Storm Catcher provides solutions that other products simply cannot offer. Because of its light weight, the screen can be installed by anyone and can provide maximum protection from hurricane force winds, flying debris and driving rain for virtually any opening. Storm Catcher is fast and easy to install and allows light to enter – so you are not left in the dark. The product meets insurance premium reduction criteria and is approved by the Florida Building Commission, the Texas Department of Insurance and meets or exceeds the International Building Code.

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From what type of material is Storm Catcher made?

Storm Catcher hurricane screens are constructed of polypropylene, woven mono-filament geotextile threads. Thousands of these fibers are woven in each direction per square foot, creating an extremely tough fabric that can stand up to hurricane force winds, driving rain and flying debris. It’s like a bullet-proof vest for your home.

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Will Storm Catcher keep out wind-driven rain?

Storm Catcher provides a protective barrier to wind-driven rain penetration. It dramatically reduces driving rain and cuts destructive winds by up to 97 percent; Storm Catcher reduces 150 mph winds to a gentle breeze and prevents significant water damage to your property.

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Will Storm Catcher prevent my glass from breaking?

Florida Building Code approved hurricane products protect the envelope of the building; preventing high velocity wind from penetrating the openings and pressurizing the building. This could result in the roof blowing off and the windows blowing out, with the consequent loss of the building. Storm Catcher is a flexible fabric so if it is installed on a window and a missile hits it, the glass may break. However, the Storm Catcher prevents the wind from getting through and so protects the building envelope. When the storm is over, and if a window cracks, standard plate glass is inexpensive to replace.

Keep in mind, if a window is “impact” rated, it may still fracture when struck by flying debris and the cost to replace an impact window is significantly more when compared to a non-impact window. Additionally, it is widely accepted that many impact windows are prone to leak from wind-driven rain. Many property owners have installed Storm Catcher over impact windows to prevent water penetration and the damage from the wind-induced “sandblasting” effect on coastal properties experienced during a hurricane.

Plywood, steel and aluminum opening protection coverings can also deflect when hit with a missile and can cause your window to break. Rigid products are permanently deformed when hit and must be replaced. Missiles simply bounce off the Storm Catcher.

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How much does Storm Catcher weigh?

Storm Catcher screens weigh eight ounces per square yard. An average home would require about 50 pounds of material. In comparison, for an average home equipped with steel storm panels, the metal panels would weigh approximately 350 pounds. This is an enormous difference in weight and storage space requirements.

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Does Storm Catcher need any special care or storage requirements?

No, the Storm Catcher does not require any special care. It is not damaged by heat or humidity and can be stored in your garage or attic without harm. It can be pressure washed with soap and water or bleach and will not be harmed.

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What about deterioration from the sun?

Storm Catcher is treated with a UV inhibitor composed of titanium dioxide to resist the sun’s ultraviolet light effects. Storm Catcher is warranted for five years.

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Is the Storm Catcher difficult to put up?

No. Compared to storm panels and other removable systems, Storm Catcher is far lighter and much easier to put up.

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What colors does the Storm Catcher come in?

The Storm Catcher is available in beige, black, gray, white and bone. See samples of the colors.

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What is “span” and “non-span”?

Span is defined as the distance between two opposing anchored sides, or in other words, the direction in which the load is borne. For example, if the system is installed using a two-sided attachment design, the span is the distance between the fastened ends of the screen. The non-span is the other direction. For example, if you are attaching the screen top and bottom (height) that is the span. The width would be the non-span direction. Conversely, if you attached the two sides, that would be the span and the height would be the non-span direction.

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How large an opening can be covered with the Storm Catcher?

With a two-sided attachment design, our product approvals allow a maximum span between fasteners of 154 inches, almost 13 feet. There is no limit in the non-span direction. However, a very large screen can be quite cumbersome to deploy so in cases of very long openings; the screen can be broken up in two or more units and overlapped or fastened together with straps and buckles.

For example, if you had a lanai that was twelve feet high and thirty feet long, you could fasten the screen top and bottom and meet the engineering requirements. Alternatively, if you had an opening twelve feet wide and thirty feet high, you could fasten the two sides and meet the requirements.

In the case of a large lanai with brick pavers over sand, you could fasten the top and two sides to cover a maximum opening width of 229 inches (19.0 feet) and 154 inches (12.8 feet) high. The bottom need not be fastened. In this case, a manual or motorized roll screen could also be used to cover this opening. The roll screen is approved for spans up to 24 feet.

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What happens if the screen gets cut by a sharp object?

The Storm Catcher screen can be cut, but it will not run or tear. A sharp object may pass through the screen but even with hurricane force winds, the opening will not tear. A small cut or even one a foot long would not permit enough high velocity wind to pass through and cause a problem. When the storm is over, the screen can be patched or if need be replaced.

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Can the Storm Catcher be used as a means of egress?

Yes, we can manufacture a screen using a combination of grommets and straps-and-buckles to allow you to install the screen from outside an opening (such as a sliding glass door on an upper level balcony) then get back inside and complete the installation from inside. Storm Catcher Rolling Screen is available with an optional manual operator that can be configured to operate from the inside.

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For what wind speed is the Storm Catcher rated?

Hurricane protection products are not tested in wind speed velocity; they are tested, rated and approved by wind pressure in the metric (PSF) pounds per square foot of load. Storm Catcher is currently rated at a maximum of 60 PSF. Building codes require a safety factor so Storm Catcher was tested to 1½ times the desired design pressure to get the 60 PSF rating. In other words, the system was tested to 90 PSF to get the 60 PSF design load. The design pressure (DP) requirement for each opening of the building needs to be calculated to determine how to correctly design the covering for that opening. There are a number of input data items that need to be considered in calculating the DP for each opening including; the wind zone in which the building is located, building distance from tidal water or open terrain, mean building height, whether the opening is on the end or middle of the building and other minor factors. The hurricane protection product must then be designed and installed to meet the calculated design pressure.

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What is the High Velocity Hurricane Zone?

The High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) is the area that that borders Miami-Dade and Broward counties in South Florida. You can Google “Wind Zone Maps” to see in which wind zone your building is located.

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Is Storm Catcher approved for installation in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) that includes Miami-Dade and Broward Counties?

No, Storm Catcher is not approved for use in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone

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