Hurricane impact windows are among the latest trends in home upgrades, and with good reason. Depending on the area you live in, they can be a lifesaving addition to your property, one that we aim to explain in this article. Since not many people understand the subtleties of hurricane impact windows, we thought we would give you a quick guide on the subject, explaining all the basics.
So, first things first, what are hurricane impact windows? And why are they different from regular windows?
As the name suggests, a hurricane impact window is ready to sustain the impact of a full-on hurricane, whereas a traditional window is not. A hurricane impact window gets its name from the way it is designed, which makes it more resistant and necessary for those living in hurricane-heavy areas.
At a first glance, a hurricane impact window may look just like a normal one, but upon closer inspection, you soon realize some subtle differences between the two.
- Impact-resistant glass – the first and most important way in which a hurricane impact window is different is, of course, the glass. In building hurricane windows, manufacturers will use heavy-duty materials, such as polyvinyl butyral (PVB), or tempered glass. Why? These materials are a lot sturdier than your regular glass. They have added heat strength and have been marked safe and resistant in case of a storm, or a hurricane.
- Sturdy frames – while the glass itself is a huge component of building hurricane resistant windows, it is not the only thing you need. Storms and hurricanes also impact the frame of the window itself. Depending on the intensity of the hurricane, it can shatter or dislodge the window frame itself. So, it stands to reason that hurricane resistant windows should also have sturdy frames, made from materials like aluminum or even vinyl.
While these are the two main differences, hurricane windows will also offer other added benefits, such as better insulation and heat-resistant properties.
Who needs hurricane impact windows?
As we were saying, not all people need hurricane impact windows, mostly those living in high-risk areas, such as Florida. Indeed, the south of Florida has been among the most affected by hurricanes in recent years, which is why it is recommended to install hurricane impact windows if you live in South Florida.
And while most of the people putting in hurricane windows are doing it to withstand storms and hurricanes, there is also the safety aspect to consider. Because of the way they are built, hurricane impact windows offer a lot more safety and peace of mind than regular house windows. If a burglar was trying to break the glass of hurricane impact windows its impossible for him to simply penetrate two (2) heat strengthened pieces of glass. This is the added security feature that is beneficial to any home.
Still not sure if hurricane impact windows are for you? Do not worry, you are not the only one. In fact, the best way to determine whether or not your property needs hurricane impact windows is to have it professionally inspected. At the very least, such an inspection can help determine the condition of your current windows. It can spot cracks and potential weak points before you spot them yourself, and thus save you a lot of trouble in the long run. But we recommend anyone in high hurricane areas to get them. You do not want to be messing with shutters or prepping to put wood up right before a hurricane comes.