Your house must be prepared for severe weather if you live in a storm-prone area. Rather than scrambling to install shutters or plywood before a storm arrives, installing impact windows can offer a long-term solution that reduces stress and protects your home.
Investing in impact windows is an investment, but they provide many benefits that make them worth the cost. These include:
We’ve all seen the pictures post-storm of 2x4s speared through windows and furniture ripped from homes. These results from hurricanes, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and other weather phenomena that can cause catastrophic damage if suitable protective measures are not in place.
The key to protecting your property from such harm is Hurricane Resistant Windows. These windows and doors feature a laminated inner layer of polyvinyl butyral, which is similar to that used in windshields. When pressed between two panes of glass, this inner layer prevents the window from shattering. Instead, the glass might crack but won’t break into shards, which could be dangerous to people in the home.
In addition to protecting the home and its inhabitants from debris, burglars, and other harmful elements, impact windows are energy efficient and can help reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs. Florida building codes require all new construction and replacement windows and doors to be impact resistant.
After the destruction of Hurricane Andrew, Florida began requiring all new construction and renovations within a certain distance from the coastline to use impact-resistant windows. This window type can protect your home and lower your insurance premiums by reflecting outside heat, regulating the interior temperature, and blocking harmful UV rays.
The polyvinyl butyral layer (PVB) that sits compressed between the two panes of heat-strengthened glass makes impact windows energy efficient. These thicker layers help to insulate your home, reducing outside noise and saving you money on your energy bills.
You can also get an even greater level of energy efficiency by selecting a tint on your impact glass or adding a coating to the panes. It helps separate heat and light to reduce energy costs and may qualify you for tax credits!
For homeowners in hurricane-prone areas, impact windows may be a no-brainer as they protect their homes from severe damage and can qualify them for a lower insurance premium. However, these sturdy windows also provide several side benefits, including noise reduction.
Imagine sleeping on a Saturday morning, unaware of your neighbor’s roaring lawn mower or their unruly children. Sound pollution is one of the most common irritants for suburban and city home and condo owners, but with impact windows, you’ll enjoy the quiet you need to relax in your own home.
Like standard windows, impact windows feature laminated glass. Still, they also have a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) layer pressed between the outer layers to prevent the glass from shattering on impact. This inner PVB layer helps to reduce noise from noisy neighborhoods, street traffic, airplanes, and trains. When shopping for impact windows, look at the STC rating to understand how well they block out noise.
Unlike standard windows, impact-resistant ones are built with heavy-duty security framing and thick tempered safety glass. They are put through rigorous tests to withstand high wind pressures and debris.
This testing involves launching 2x4s and small projectiles at the windows at fluctuating speeds. They must withstand this force without breaking, and their ability to do so is measured by the number of points left unbroken on the window after the test.
Impact windows also have the advantage of preventing forced entries. Thieves often break into homes by picking a lock or kicking in a door, and the solid plastic laminations of impact windows make it nearly impossible to smash them through.
Investing in impact-resistant windows will cost more than covering your home with plywood panels during a storm. Still, this investment could pay off in the long run through reduced homeowners insurance premiums. For new construction, the additional cost of these windows is quickly recovered when factoring in the savings in insurance costs.