Some Window Manufacturers Quickly Rebound Despite Hurricane’s Havoc

October 30th, 2012 by DWM Magazine

While companies up and down the East Coast deal with the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, DWM caught up with a few window manufacturing companies today to see how they fared. Northeast Building Products in Philadelphia and Mathews Brothers in Belfast, Maine, made it through unscathed. This is good news as company representatives say business is up so they can’t afford lost production time. Others however may still be seeing the effects on their homes and businesses.

Bob Maynes, director of marketing and international sales for Mathews Brothers says although he lost power at his home residence the factory started at 8 a.m. this morning “just like any other day.”

“Thank God, ’cause we’re wicked busy and can’t afford to lose any production time,” he adds.

The same is true at Northeast Building Products, according to president Alan Levin. In preparation for the storm, Levin says he made the decision on Saturday to cancel production for Monday and start up production today at 4 p.m. He also kept a few maintenance people in the building overnight to keep an eye on the building.

“We battened down the hatches, put plastic over equipment and kept a few employees to keep an eye on things over night just in case a section of the roof ripped off,” says Levin. “We came back this morning and reopened and unpackaged equipment and started shipping again and taking orders.”

Levin adds he was somewhat surprised that “we are busy today and contractors are coming in and placing orders.”

He also reports that thankfully his customers haven’t had any serious damage as most called off installations.

Chuck Scalzott, chief operating officer, Vytex Windows in Laurel, Md., reported that the company didn’t make it through as easily, though was pleasantly surprised that they too never lost power. The company canceled manufacturing on Monday with the exception of a select few “so we could complete windows for scheduled trucks.”

The company also canceled production on Tuesday “due to a travel ban” and to ensure employee safety.

“We will complete all production schedules for the week and get back to normal deliveries most likely beginning Wednesday,” says Scalzott.

But companies like Vytex aren’t just worried about their businesses but their employees as well and Scalzott says “many of us had wind or water damage to our homes.”

“Our plight is pale in comparison to those along the Jersey Shore,” he adds. “I spent the night on the phone and text messaging with my son and his girlfriend. He had to vacate our house in Brigantine (New Jersey) on Sunday afternoon under mandatory evacuation. He went to stay with her in Egg Harbor Twp. where she owns a home near the bay … They sent me a video with the water about 6 feet up on the house and waves knocking at the front door. They retreated to the second floor … Fortunately, other than some pretty significant property damage, they along with their pets are both fine and a bit shaken. No word on my place in Brigantine …”

Most of the damage did occur in New York and New Jersey and calls and emails to companies based in those states including Crystal Window and Doors based in Flushing, N.Y., and Northern Building Products, based in Teterboro, N.J., went unanswered at press time.

However, the following message was posted on Crystal’s website from Steve Chen, executive vice president: “Due to the impending dangerous and widespread, Hurricane Sandy, Crystal will be closed beginning Monday Oct. 29th at 12 noon (EST) into Tuesday Oct. 30th. Window delivery schedules will resume on Thursday, Nov. 1 … The safety and well-being of our employees, window dealers and their families are of utmost importance. Crystal shall resume business operations on Wednesday, Oct. 31, providing electricity, public transportation and bridge services are in place.”

How did your company fare? Send your photos and stories to ttaffera@glass.com or post them on DWM’s Facebook page.

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  1. Sandy brought a little pain to Ideal Windows. Although the storm resulted in minimal structural damage and no water damage to any of our three plants in Bayonne, NJ the power was out in all locations. As a result, Ideal was forced to close down from Monday October 29th through Friday November 2nd. Electric power was restored to the Bayonne area on Sunday November 4th and we were up and running on Monday November 5th. Many of of neighbors throughout the Tri-state did not fair as well as Ideal. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those that are still in the dark and for their many losses.

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