Winds and debris in hurricane-prone areas can easily damage homes that don’t have impact windows. These windows create a barrier between high outdoor and internal lower pressure, protecting your home from internal destruction.
They also prevent harmful UV rays from entering your home, which can fade and discolor furniture, draperies, and pictures. They also reduce energy bills and help homeowners save on insurance premiums.
1. Impact Resistant Glass
The key to impact-resistant windows is in their glass. They are made with a special blend of laminated and tempered safety glass, reinforced with polyvinyl butyral to make them strong enough to withstand direct “attacks” from debris or flying limbs during a storm.
The glass is bonded with an interlayer to prevent breaking apart during high winds and impacts. They also have heavy-duty frames that help them hold up under these conditions.
These sturdy impact windows can protect your home from everything from large hail to shattered tile and drywall. They can even keep burglars away. A quick search of YouTube videos will reveal that these windows are extremely hard to break through, and the shattered pieces will have small holes that can’t be used to enter your home. For these reasons, impact windows are an excellent investment for any homeowner — especially those in areas that experience severe weather.
The heart of impact windows is a laminated glass with a near-invisible plastic interlayer sandwiched between two panes of tempered window glass. First created for car windshields, this strong laminate prevents projectiles from breaking windows during a storm, protecting your family and reducing the risk of injury.
This thick inner layer also holds shattered glass in place, making impact windows significantly less likely to break than traditional windows during high winds and flying debris. They can withstand the equivalent of 2x4s speared into them at over 100 mph.
Laminated impact glass also reduces UV ray damage to furniture, carpeting and other valuable interior items. It also absorbs sound and cuts down on outside noise transmission to create a calm, comfortable indoor environment for your family. And with their energy efficiency, impact windows help keep home temperatures stable during the summer and winter, reducing stress on air conditioning systems. That’s one of the reasons they can qualify you for lower insurance premiums.
When hurricanes or severe storms roll through, impact windows prevent windborne debris and other materials from slamming into the home. This protects property, reduces noise pollution and may even lower insurance premiums and resale value.
Manufacturers rigorously test impact-resistant glass and frames to meet the highest standards. In addition, homeowners can find a permanent mark on the corners of their impact windows to identify them as such. Alternatively, there may be a temporary label that gives the same information.
Another feature of impact windows is that they are tempered, which means when broken, the glass splinters into small pieces instead of sending sharp, dangerous shards flying. This makes them safe for children, seniors and pets to be near. In addition to protecting the house from debris, tempered windows help keep it insulated and cool during the summer, cutting energy costs. If you’re considering replacing your old windows with impact-rated ones, choose a qualified and experienced installation contractor.
Hurricanes, tornadoes and straight-line winds can wreak havoc on homes without the right windows. Not only do non-impact windows expose homes to expensive damage and a higher insurance premium, but they can also leave properties vulnerable to break-ins and decrease their resale value.
Impact windows are rigorously tested to make sure they can withstand the environment. The forces present during a hurricane or other extreme weather event are replicated in this test, known as missile testing.
Laminated glass is a crucial component that distinguishes impact windows from conventional windows. A layer of bonding resins, such as polyvinyl butyral or ethylene-vinyl acetate, holds together this particular kind of glass. This makes it almost hard for burglars to enter your property and keeps shattered glass from flying throughout a home during a storm. Limiting the quantity of solar heat that enters the house also helps to cut energy expenses.