Impact Windows Offer Much More Than Protection, They Offer Increased Home Value and Savings.
Insurance Discounts – Most Insurance Companies Offer Major Discounts For Installing Impact Windows and Doors on Your Home.
Energy Savings – Impact Windows Insulate Your Home and Offer Huge Energy Savings.
Noise Reduction – Impact Windows Are Much Thicker Than Standard Glass And Eliminate Most Noise.
Hurricane Protection – Impact Windows Are Built To Withstand Hurricanes and Major Storms Without Having To Install Them For Every Storm.
Intrusion Protection – High Impact Windows Will Not Allow Criminals To Break Into Your Home While You Are Sleeping Or Away From Your Home.
Little or No Maintenance for Life – Once Impact Windows Are Installed On Your Home They Require Little or No Maintenance And Are Always Ready To Protect You.
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If you live in an area that sees hurricanes frequently, you’ve probably heard of impact windows. Created to withstand hurricane-force winds or debris that is flying around like branches from trees, impact-resistant windows are a pretty popular choice for homes found along the coast. Most people believe that impact-resistant glass is unbreakable, and that it gives you a barrier that can’t be penetrated. But, do they really work? Are they really strong enough to withstand severe blows and still not break?
To answer this question, an impact-resistant window does what its name says, it resists impacts. Impact-resistant windows or doors combine laminated glass that is impact-resistant with heavy-duty frames and a glazing process that uses a special silicone that stops glass from breaking inside the frame. Made of two separate panes of glass, impact-resistant glass is bonded together with an internal layer of clear polyvinyl butyral. With this internal layer, any attempted breaks or debris flying around will keep the door or window intact instead of cracking on impact. This is a good barrier to keep burglars from breaking in or a high, destructive wind from damaging your window. When you replace regular windows with windows that are impact-resistant, you not only cover your home with a protective layer, but you also gain a new level of energy efficiency.
Can Hurricane Windows Break?
Yes, hurricane windows can break. While an impact-resistant window is not impact-proof, it is created to handle really heavy blows. This is why this type of glass is usually used as windshields. But like a vehicle’s windshield, it can be broken when it is hit with excessive forces.
How Do Impact-Resistant Windows work?
Instead of using new-fangled technology, impact-resistant windows use regular physics to protect your home. As a storm approaches, the pressure in the atmosphere increases. Windows that are closed will stop the pressure from also increasing inside your home, whether or not they are impact-resistant windows.
As the storm strengthens, the pressure outside will keep increasing creating a large difference between the pressure in your home and what is outside. Not many people realize that this high atmospheric pressure is actually one of the most dangerous parts of any hurricane. You only tend to find out exactly how dangerous once a window breaks. If any type of debris flying around hits your home and breaks a regular window, it will shatter. All that high-pressure air outside will not enter your home quickly, following the laws of physics. This huge rush of air can then cause even more damage inside your home.
How is Impact-Resistant Glass Constructed?
Using three layers, hurricane windows use a layer of glass, then a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVD) compound, then another layer of glass. The layers are then heat-treated or laminated creating a durable and strong glass that can withstand a wind speed of 200 mph as well as direct hits by flying debris.
Even though impact-resistant glass can break, it won’t shatter thanks to the internal PVD polymer that keeps the glass in place. This provides a layer of safety until you can replace the window. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, impact-resistant windows are a perfect choice since they can provide extra safety during a hurricane, but they can also help stop break-ins after the storm.
What Types Of Materials Are Used In Frames?
You can find frames in either vinyl or, for a finish that requires low maintenance, heavy-duty extruded aluminum that is painted with electrostatic paint. On sliding glass doors, you will find a minimum depth of 5 1/8 inch and 2 ¾ inch on windows. They will also have a minimum wall thickness of .062 inches which helps to stand up to those strong winds.
To make sure they open smoothly, look for sash guides made of molded nylon for anti-friction movement. The frame is just as important as the impact-resistant windows when considering the amount of strength you need. If you have a weak frame, it can cave in during a strong storm causing you to have the same situation as you would with a window that is shattered. So, similar to a strong window, the frames of the windows need to be stronger than typical frames.
Keep in mind, though, that these frames can bend. So, it’s important to invest in weather stripping around the window preventing water from getting into your house if the frame bends. This gives you another protective layer against a hurricane, so that water doesn’t leak into your home during a storm.
Plus, as time passes, a window frame can crack or shrink, especially in harsh weather conditions. If you use weather stripping, you are sealing in the cranks and stopping the damage that can occur from any size storm, plus, weather stripping makes it easy when opening and closing your windows.
How is shattering prevented?
Stronger than typical windows, impact-resistant windows do not shatter as easily during a hurricane. It’s all about how the window is designed. Using laminated glass, impact-resistant windows use two different pieces of glass with a special type of resin place between them. Add in a sturdy, aluminum frame to keep the two panes of glass protected, you get a total impact-resistant window. The design of the laminated glass pretty much makes it impossible to break the window. And if it does break, it will not shatter easily since it was designed to take on an onslaught of flying debris during a hurricane.
How Is Broken Impact-Resistant Glass Repaired?
In the event that your impact-resistant windows are damaged by a burglar or by a storm, you can easily get them repaired by the same company that installed them. If you use a certified contractor, they can quickly check out the damage and remove the glazing or laminate before replacing the damaged glass with a new piece of impact-resistant glass of the same size and thickness.
From What Type of Damage Do Impact-Resistant Windows Protect You?
During a storm, you will have a lot to worry about. If you are sitting out a hurricane or tropical storm, you will have to deal with high winds that can blow at incredibly high rates. Winds aren’t necessarily your biggest problem, however. Flying debris like patio furniture and loose branches, as well as other objects, can go flying as soon as the wind picks up. And this can end up with a direct hit into your windows.
If you have standard windows, this debris will cause your windows to shatter. Once your window is broken, then you can have the added problem of water entering your home, since most storms, especially hurricanes, can bring heavy rains with it.
Anyone who has dealt with water damage knows it is not easy to fix. Water can damage the floors and walls of your home which can then cause mold to develop and grow. And, keep in mind, mold can end up costing you thousands of dollars to have removed.
What Type of Impact-Resistant Window Styles Can You Choose From?
You will find that impact-resistant windows and doors come are available in all types of styles and designs including French doors, sliding glass doors, architectural and picture windows, projected/casement windows, horizontal roller windows, and single hung windows. You can also find impact-resistant windows in Brittany and colonial styles with optional mountings.
What Are Some Important Impact-Resistant Window Features To Look For?
You should also look for high-performance features when choosing impact windows. This includes hi-performance low-E selections, glass tint windows that reduce heat, and glass that feature an insulated lamination. You may also want to consider features like custom-made orders, having your windows sized to fit your specific project exactly, and other options that suit your needs.
Quality and performance are the two main things to look for when deciding on impact-resistant windows. If you have a quality product, you know that it will not have reported failures and it has been extensively tested.
What Does It Mean For An Impact-Resistant Window to be ENERGY STAR Qualified?
Meeting a stringent set of energy-efficient specification put forth by the Department of Energy, the ENERGY STAR label tells you that a window has been tested and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). This third-party is an independent certification agency that gives out energy efficiency measures to complete window systems, not only the glass.
If you purchase a window that is ENERGY STAR qualified, it will have more than two panes of glass, framing materials that have been improved over typical window frames, warm-edge spacers that are found in between the panes of glass, and a Low-E coating that will keep heat in during the cold winter months while keeping out in the summer. ENERGY STAR Qualified impact-resistant windows to help to decrease your energy bill and give off less Carbon Dioxide emissions, which will reduce your environmental impact.
Can Impact Windows Prevent Burglary?
Yes, an impact-resistant window can stop burglaries. Not only do they protect your home from being damaged by bad weather, but they also stop burglars from entering your home. Since the most common way a burglar will enter your home is by breaking a door or window to reach a lock, having windows that can withstand an impact will stop them in their tracks.
Since it only takes a burglar a few seconds to get into your home after breaking a window or door, having windows that splinter and not shatter like a regular window will slow down anyone from reaching through to get to a lock. Although they are not completely burglar-proof, it requires more work to break into this type of window, and, since burglars do their work quickly and stealthily, their chances of getting caught increases when they encounter an impact-resistant window. It will take a lot more time and work than a burglar is willing to deal with making it more likely that they will leave your home once they realize what they are up against.
So, we know that impact-resistant windows can be broken, but they won’t shatter in the process. Even though they may not be impact-proof, these windows are the best choice if you live in a hurricane-prone area to protect your home against high winds and flying debris. They provide an additional layer of security when it comes to defending your home against burglars and other uninvited guests.
Why Impact Windows are so Much Better Than Accordion Shutters
To ensure your home is safe during a hurricane or any other major storm, you need to protect the windows of your home with impact windows.
If you decide to upgrade your home and protect your family with impact windows, always research impact window contractors with the Florida Impact Window Association, if you are looking for impact windows in the space coast area, Storm Impact Windows is a great company to work with and has very high ratings from customers on ImpactWindow.com.
If you are considering adding impact windows or accordion shutters to your home but can’t decide which one to choose, you should without a doubt choose impact windows.
Here Are a Few Benefits of High Impact Windows Over Accordion Shutters:
• Accordion shutters will not Always Provide Protection – These storm windows have to be manually opened and closed. If you’re out of town and suddenly a storm hits, chances are your windows are not being protected by your accordion storm shutters, leaving your home unprotected.
• Provide No Sunlight – Once accordion shutters are closed, there is no looking out and no sunlight coming inside. During a storm, it is likely that your power will go out. If this occurs your home will be completely dark inside even during the day which can become an unsafe situation in a hurricane.
• Have an ugly appearance year round – Impact windows beautify a home, but accordion shutters leave unsightly heavy shutters on the sides of your windows year round and can even lower the value of your home to some buyers.
Storm impact windows allow adequate amounts of sunlight to enter a home during a day storm, as windows are installed to provide clear-view protection all year long, which makes them:
Always available during an Emergency – You can leave your home without worrying about your home in a storm or from crime, with impact windows you are always protected.
Energy Efficient – Protects against UV rays and various season changing extreme weathers (Hot and cold).• Keeps Inside Comfortable – A properly installed storm window will provide additional insulation to save on electric bills.
Impact windows are shatter proof, providing extensive safety from burglars.
Impact windows offer noise reduction by 65% and adds value to your home. In addition, homeowners receive better insurance premiums.
Impact windows provide a much better return on investment so they actually end up costing less than accordion shutters in the long run. When comparing to accordion shuttered windows, when selling your home, you are likely to see a 85% return on your investment vs. a 50% return with according shutters.
If you are in the market for storm protection for your windows, impact windows is the clear choice to make. They are convenient in terms of sunlight, window protection and storm preparation, and provides a great advantage of energy efficiency. When hurricane and storm season is in effect, its better to be safe than to be sorry.
Whether you are looking for accordion shutters or impact windows, Storm Impact Windows will gladly help you, please give us a call and ask about any discounts we are offering at 954-284-0523