Hail damaged windows

Hail Damaged Windows

I want to start this post on my soap­box for a minute. I am cel­e­brat­ing 20 years in the win­dow and home improve­ment busi­ness this year: This isn’t my first rodeo. I think after 20 years we might have some­thing fig­ured out. To this day, I can’t help but get a lit­tle offend­ed when some­one says what I’ve giv­en 20 years of my life to doesn’t work. Who says such things, you ask? A con­trac­tor manip­u­lat­ing the sys­tem; that’s who!

It’s fun­ny, after all these years, how the same dilem­ma is seen entire­ly dif­fer­ent depend­ing on who’s writ­ing the check. The bulk of our sales are direct-to-con­sumer retail. To a home­own­er that has rot­ted wood sash­es or fogged glass, we’re the great­est idea ever!

We save folks thou­sands of dol­lars by replac­ing just their failed sash instead of tear­ing out the whole win­dow. Now take that same solu­tion and apply it to hail dam­age when the insur­ance com­pa­ny is expect­ed to pro­vide all new win­dows. It doesn’t work! Fake news! Oh, you can’t do that. Nope. You need $100,000 of all new win­dows”, says the contractor.

But they are wrong; it can be done.

After all, what’s the dif­fer­ence between rot­ted wood and dents in the met­al? Noth­ing. A new sash solves either problem.

Hail dam­aged win­dows are repaired eas­i­ly by remov­ing and replac­ing the dam­aged sash by a Fen­ster fac­to­ry-trained tech­ni­cian. See, most of the time, clad win­dows are built with a wood frame sash cov­ered in a thin met­al skin. Case­ment win­dows are most sus­cep­ti­ble to hail dam­age because the sash sits out even with the frame and makes up most of the sur­face you see from the out­side. The frames, how­ev­er, are usu­al­ly built of a much heav­ier gauge met­al to retain their shape and strength. Typ­i­cal­ly, the frame is designed with min­i­mal sur­face, or edge, exposed to the ele­ments. I won’t say nev­er but rarely do I see any sig­nif­i­cant hail dam­age to the frame edge. It’s the sash with the thin­ner skin and more sur­face area that gets the brunt of the hail damage.

Before I go fur­ther, I want to dis­pel a com­mon myth we hear. We get folks look­ing for cladding” all the time. The thought here is since just the cladding is dam­aged, we’ll just replace the cladding.’ Gee, I can’t imag­ine where home­own­ers get the impres­sion that their insur­ance com­pa­ny is try­ing to short­change them.

I’ll make it sim­ple: This can’t be done.

Yes, some­one is going to read this that was a Pel­la ser­vice tech once upon a time and say Pel­la sold them replace­ment cladding. How­ev­er, Pel­la did that for like 30 sec­onds and regret­ted it 29 sec­onds lat­er! They nev­er did it again, and no oth­er com­pa­ny, to my knowl­edge, has ever sold JUST replace­ment cladding. Here’s why;

  1. Sup­ply chain. If the brand is still in busi­ness and the mod­el of win­dow is still in pro­duc­tion, then, maybe. But in most cas­es, the biggest hur­dle to this idea of just replac­ing cladding is get­ting the cladding in the first place.
  2. Sash con­struc­tion. Depend­ing on how the sash is con­struct­ed, the cladding may not even come off. You have two sce­nar­ios here. One: you’re going to have so much labor in dis­man­tling the sash and replac­ing the cladding that you’ll exceed the price of a whole new sash. Or two: you’ll dam­age or destroy the sash try­ing to get the cladding off. (And then have to replace the sash anyway.)
  3. Expe­ri­ence. I’ve built and repaired win­dows for 20 years, and I’m telling you this doesn’t work. I’ve also spent the last sev­er­al years look­ing for win­dow repair pro­fes­sion­als across the coun­try. The tal­ent isn’t out there to pull this off.

Ah, but there’s got to be a bet­ter way, you say?! Yes, replace the whole sash!

We at Fen­ster Com­po­nents design and build after-mar­ket replace­ment sash­es for hail-dam­aged win­dows. Our sash­es are your best solu­tion for hail dam­age. I know you’re going to ask, Why won’t you sell just the cladding?” Great ques­tion. Now you’re dig­ging into why Fen­ster is so special.

What makes us the true inno­va­tor is in engineering.

See, when a brand goes out of busi­ness or dis­con­tin­ues a mod­el, all of those com­po­nents dis­ap­pear with it. While there are very few patents on win­dow design, the sup­ply chain is con­trolled by the man­u­fac­tur­ers. I’ve men­tioned in oth­er posts about how all win­dows are kin­da built all the same, which is true to a point. Where you real­ly get into the tech­ni­cal details is where one brand’s com­po­nent is not inter­change­able with another’s, although they look very sim­i­lar. This is the genius of Fen­ster Components.

While we can’t get the orig­i­nal brand’s parts, we can get parts that look very sim­i­lar and adapt the design to fit those com­po­nents we now call our own. In sum­ma­ry, what I’m say­ing is, we can’t sell just cladding because the orig­i­nal cladding doesn’t exist. We can, how­ev­er, build a new sash that looks just like the old one with our parts!

Back on my soap­box real quick to wrap this up: This move­ment of change in the indus­try has to start with the insur­ance com­pa­nies. Right now, we’re an after­thought: A sec­ond opin­ion after some storm chas­er has turned in a six-fig­ure win­dow bid. Once we bid, we’re a great idea to the insur­ance car­ri­er, but the con­trac­tor has con­vinced the home­own­er we’re a sham and that the insur­ance com­pa­ny is screw­ing them, and for no oth­er pur­pose than not to lose his over-inflat­ed replace­ment bid.

Trust the experts. Trust the expe­ri­ence of 20 years of inno­va­tion and inge­nu­ity. After all, 20 years and 50,000+ sash­es built and sold says we must be work­ing for someone!

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