Frequently asked questions


The Florida Building Code requires impact resistant windows to be installed on any homes within one mile of the cost or where wind speeds reach up to 110 mph. For example, if you live on any cost of Florida most homes are required to have impact-resistant windows.

To check whether your home is in a hurricane rated impact zone, visit ATC Hazards by Location. Enter your street address and check the Risk Category II number. If your zone is over 140 mph, then you are in a wind-borne debris region and must get impact rated windows. You can always call the office and one of our project consultants can look it up for you.(727) 472-4405

What Should I Do If There's a Hurricane Approaching My Area?

If you are located in or around areas prone to hurricanes, during an emergency, your LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM should always be consulted regarding evacuation orders.

If I have stayed in my home, what is the safest room?

If you are riding out any hurricane in your home — be it a single-family residence, apartment or townhouse — it’s important to identify a safe room.
  • The best safe room location is an interior room on the first floor of your home. Think closets, bathrooms or small storage rooms with only one door and no windows.
  • The safe room should ideally be in a part of your house that is the least susceptible to flooding and firmly anchored to the house’s foundation to avoid tipping over.
  • Bathrooms are usually rooted, so, they are a viable option if they are not along an outside wall and have no windows. The National Weather Service (NWS) said the plumbing within the walls is thought to add some structural strength to the room.

Where can I call for emergency information?

All Florida Residents: 1-800-342-3555
State and Federal Government Other

Should I leave my windows and doors open during the storm?

No! All doors and windows should be closed and shuttered. When necessary, board up your non-impact windows or shut wooden or metal shutters before the hurricane. If windows are left open, the winds can enter the home and devastate the structure in a matter of seconds.

What do the letters on the National Hurricane Center storm forecast mean?

D: Tropical Depression – wind speed less than 39 MPH

S: Tropical Storm – wind speed between 39 MPH and 73 MPH

H: Hurricane – wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH

M: Major Hurricane – wind speed greater than 110 MPH.

Where can I find information on the wind strength of the storm?

The National Hurricane Center’s public advisories show the maximum sustained winds in the center of the storm as well as the speeds of winds on the outer edges. The outer bands of most hurricanes bring hazardous winds and a risk of tornadoes. You can access their website by clicking here.

What should I do after a hurricane if there is damage?

Although the first concern should be safety, it is important to be aware of the need to act promptly when filing claims for damages inflicted to your property by a hurricane.

  • Have your policy number available.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
  • Make a list of damages, photos are required in most cases.
  • Fill out claim forms from insurance company and return them promptly.
  • Be sure you understand the claim process. If you are unfamiliar, then ask a representative for a full explanation.
  • Contact your insurance company before an emergency to see if you are prepared if a disaster should occur.

How is a hurricane ranked?

  • A tropical cyclone becomes a hurricane when sustained winds reach 74 mph.
  • According to the Saffir-Simpson scale, a category 1 hurricane has winds of 74-95 mph.
  • A category 2 hurricane has winds of 96-110 mph.
  • A category 3 hurricane has winds of 111-130 mph.
  • A category 4 hurricane has winds of 131-155 mph.
  • A category 5 hurricane has winds of 156 mph and greater.
  • Category 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes are also classified as major hurricanes or intense hurricanes.

Replacement Window Frequently Asked Questions

Ease of use?

The stainless steel constant force coil spring balance system allows the sash to raise and lower smoothly, ensuring a lifetime of trouble-free operation.  

Does the frame have built-in strength?

Sliding Glass Doors

Fusion-welded frame and sash increase weather resistance and durability, while the reinforced sash profiles add to the structural integrity of the window.

Are they water repellent?


Traditionally, most windows were side-hinged windows, referred to as casements, and sliding sash windows. New opening mechanisms such as friction and pivot hinges are increasingly popular. Then we need to consider the glass that goes in the window, for Florida, we will always recommend the hurricane impact windows. Window materials, shapes, and sizes vary considerably, as does terminology but with a specialist like Karoly Windows & Doors,  you will never have to guess at what something means.

Triple-Stepped Sloped Simonton Sill® forces water away from the window more quickly than flat conventional sills helping protect your home from water infiltration even in heavy rains.

Are vinyl windows low maintenance?

Vinyl is virtually maintenance free and will never rot, chip or flake. Double Hung windows also feature a tilt-in/lift-out sash so both sides of the window can be cleaned from inside the home.

Are vinyl windows energy-efficient?

StormBreaker Plus Double Hung windows can be ordered to meet ENERGY STAR® performance levels with Simonton’s regionally specific ENERGY STAR glass packages.

Are the windows tested?

All of our windows are tested and certified to meet the AAMA standards for the Florida Building Commission.

What is the difference between double hung windows and single hung windows?

On double-hung windows both sash in the window frame are operable, meaning they move up and down. The sashes on a double-hung window also tilt in for easy cleaning. On single-hung windows, the top sash is fixed in place and does not move, but the bottom sash is operable. 

What windows options do I have?

There are several different types of windows. Traditionally, most windows were side-hinged windows, referred to as casements, and sliding sash windows. New opening mechanisms such as friction and pivot hinges are increasingly popular. Then we need to consider the glass that goes in the window. For residents of Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, Anna Maria Island, or Bradenton, we will always recommend Impact resistant windows. Window materials, shapes, and sizes vary considerably, as does terminology but with a specialist like Karoly Windows & Doors, you will never have to guess at what something means.

Window Types:

What is the difference between new -vs- replacement windows?

A new construction window includes nailing fins used to fasten the window in place and to flash it, helping to make it airtight and waterproof. This usually requires installation of new interior woodwork, and sometimes touch-up painting of the interior drywall. 

A replacement window fits inside of the current window frame, leaving the original exterior & interior window frame & trim in place. This is a quicker and less expensive method of replacing windows. 

Should I replace my old windows?

Replacement Windows Karoly Windows Clearwater Pinellas Hillsborough St Petersburg Tampa Largo Palm Harbor

Chances are that the main reason you are considering replacing your old windows is to upgrade to more energy efficient models. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to figure out which windows are right for your home.

Karoly Windows & Doors is here to help you make the right decisions based on your needs and your home. We offer top of the line products from SimontonPGT, and CWS.

New window replacement offers added home security and savings. Many new windows have been tested for forced entry and often come with multiple locks to ensure the safety of the property owner and anyone inside.

This added home security will give you the peace of mind in knowing that your home is as secure as possible whenever you leave.

Will my impact windows actually be hurricane resistant?

hurricane windows

Most people think of a window’s function as simply to allow light and air into the home. However, a Florida home is different in regards to its needs: it must allow the sun’s light to pass through, but not the sun’s heat.

Windows also help keep cool conditioned air inside, but not allow condensation to form on the surface of the glass. It must not allow hot, humid outside air to leak into the home in summer, nor allow warm inside air to leak out of the house in winter.

As a result from Hurricane Andrew, it’s now realized that windows are a key point of entry for wind, rain and wind-borne debris and that vulnerability is not to be taken lightly because of the destruction and damage.

The Florida Building Code (FBC) requires windows to be impact-resistant or protected if located within one mile of the coast where the wind speed is 110 mph or greater. (Of course, even if your home is not located in this area, this may still be a good idea.)

There are testing standards set forth by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) and/or others that must be met before a window is certified as being impact-resistant.

One of the most stringent testing requirements is referenced in the High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) section of the Florida Building Code.

Every exterior opening, residential or commercial, must be provided with protection by shutters or impact-resistant windows against wind-borne debris caused by hurricanes.

Information from www.floridabuilding.org

Why should I buy vinyl windows?

Vinyl frame windows are the most affordable — as little as half the price of comparable wood frame versions. They’re also especially energy efficient, thanks to a honeycomb of chambers that boost insulating ability by trapping air and can be built to fit any size opening. And unlike wood, they never need repainting.  

Benefits of vinyl windows:

  • Requires no painting.
  • Can help lower your utility bills.
  • Enhance the beauty of your home.
  • Increase the value of your home. 
  • Increases the strength and endurance of your property.
Energy Start Rated Products Rebates Available Call for Details Karoly Windows and Doors Clearwater Replacement Windows

I live near a railroad, will new windows help with the noise?

Sliding Glass Doors

New/Replacement windows will significantly reduce ambient noise by absorbing sound rather than transmitting it, keeping outside disruptions where they belong.

Our door is always open.

Our project consultants are standing by to take your calls. We also have a showroom in Clearwater you can visit during normal business hours.

Get on Brandon’s schedule by calling (727) 472-4405 today!
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