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Impact Resistant and Hurricane Windows

If you live in a coastal community that is subject to high winds and severe weather, you should become familiar with hurricane resistant windows if you aren’t already. Installing impact resistant windows can mean the difference between light damage and total destruction to your home in the event of a hurricane or a strong storm. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t want to drive your car with a windshield that wasn’t impact resistant would you? The bottom line is, if you live in an area of the country where strong storms and hurricanes are commonplace, you should take steps to ensure that your home and your loved ones are properly protected.

In the past, the best way for homeowners to protect their homes was to place plywood over their windows when they knew a storm was coming. Unfortunately, time doesn’t always afford us that luxury especially for those who do not live in their homes year round. Regardless, without some sort of protection over the window, your entire home (not just your windows) can be put at risk. Once one of the windows is broken and air or water enters the house, the resulting change in pressure can compromise the entire stability of the home. If the wind and water enter through the windows, there is more pressure inside the home which can cause the roof and walls to more easily collapse.

How are Impact Resistant and Hurricane Windows Made?

Luckily, thanks advanced research and modern technology; you no longer have to put plywood on your windows before every storm. Today’s window manufacturers make products that are built to withstand flying objects, high winds and flooding. In fact, the window technology used in coastal homes was developed from auto windshields which offer shatter-proof glass and added protection for the driver in the event of an accident or debris that may hit the glass while driving. The key to making a protective home window is in the additional laminate material used. Today’s window manufacturers will put multiple laminate layers in between two panes of glass. The glass is then heated to remove any air and to allow it to become clear. The sandwiched laminate material keeps the window from shattering when hit by flying debris and also gives the window much more strength to withstand high winds or high pressure from water that may surround the window in the event of a flood. As an added benefit, the laminate can provide UV protection and increase energy efficiency for your home.

Another extremely important factor in the strength of a window is the frame surrounding the glass. If the glass withstands the blow from flying debris but the frame does not remain intact with the glass on impact, the window is useless in the event of a storm. That is why it is important that your windows are installed correctly and that the fusion between frame and glass is solid. Typically the strongest window frame material available is aluminum. Unfortunately, aluminum is not the best material for energy efficiency so many window manufacturers also offer wood, wood-clad, and re-enforced vinyl material in their impact resistant window lines. As these windows have become more popular, they are offered in more and more styles and designs to meet the needs of your home.

Testing Standards for Impact Resistant and Hurricane Windows

So how does a window pass the test to be certified as impact resistant? Each window must meet strict standards set by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM). Tests include subjecting the windows to flying debris which includes ball bearings or pieces of wood (wood weighing up to 8 lbs) which are thrown at a window at speeds of 30 to 50 miles per hour. Further tests include subjecting the windows to high wind pressure and ensuring that they do not break. If your windows are certified as impact resistant, you should see a seal on them that states that they have passed these tests.

Help Finding a Contractor who offers Impact Resistant and Hurricane Windows

If you need further assistance or have further questions regarding storm windows, hurricane windows, or impact resistant windows, we offer Free Window Price Quotes from top local window contractors. There are no obligations to purchase and with our free help you can ensure that your home is same from severe weather.

 
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