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How Do Impact Windows Work?

May 07, 2020

Impact windows changed how we view the world from lots of perspectives.

In the early stages of the technology, the auto industry began to use laminated glass in vehicles. Laminated glass holds together upon impact with an object. If broken, it holds because of an interlayer that bonds two sheets of glass together.

It’s well known that when a home’s windows go during a hurricane, the winds rush through the house looking for an escape route. The force of the winds rushing in and straight up, coupled with the relentless pounding from outside often results in blowing the roof right off with the force of an explosion.

In the beginning…

After the devastation left by Hurricane Andrew, Miami-Dade in South Florida led the crusade for stronger window systems. In fact, the entire State of Florida got behind Miami-Dade, as a whole, and pushed for stricter building codes regarding hurricane resistance.

Since Florida’s adoption of new standard building codes in 2001, states from Texas all the way up the east coast have adopted hurricane resistant building codes.

Once they put their minds to it, it didn’t take long for the window industry to come up with a solution to the problem. If the auto industry could make our cars safer, surely this technology would apply to the windows installed in our homes, too!

How did they do it?

Strengthening the glass was not the only goal for researchers. Impact resistant is all well and good. Not to mention that keeping windows intact lessens the chances of losing your entire roof to a hurricane. However, windows that don’t blow apart and spray shards of glass virtually everywhere say a lot, too.

We have come a long way in this high tech world of ours. That said, developers didn’t stop with a bonding material that adheres two sheets of glass together, which is the case in laminated glass.

Today, tempered glass is commonly used in hurricane window construction. It is a safety glass in its own right. It is processed by controlled thermal and sometimes chemical treatments. These treatments increase glass strength when compared to normal glass. Not one, but two sheets of tempered glass provide reinforcement in the event of a hurricane.

But, wait!

There’s more!

The tempered glass is even further reinforced! A sheet of bonding material is added between the glass panes. Some of these materials apply to the glass in liquid form. However, some manufacturers use a high-tech polymer as the inner layer. This polymer sheet is virtually shatterproof!

Seriously.

Put to the test

When a manufacturer says their windows are hurricane resistant have to prove that claim before being rated as such. Windows go through impact testing as well as water-infiltration testing due to the relentless wind-driven rains.

The windows undergo both large and small missile tests.

Large missile test

A 9-pound piece of lumber, usually a 2×4, measuring 6 feet in length is hurled at the window. It is traveling at a speed of 50 feet per second. The missile must hit the window end on. If the window remains intact, it goes on for wind resistance testing.

Small missile test

Steel ball bearings or gravel of approximate size smash into the windows traveling at a speed of 80 feet per second. If the window withstands the assault, it, then, tests for wind resistance.

It makes sense that wind testing comes after the missile tests. Whatever damage the window sustains from impact proves not to have weakened the performance.

Whether encased in aluminum, vinyl, or wood, the entire unit must remain intact at the end of testing, from the glass right down to the glazing.

Double duty

Impact windows are always at the ready to protect your home during hurricane season.

There’s no need to drag out the shutters and wrestle them into place.

Blech!

Hey, we agree with you there!

That is a cumbersome task, indeed.

In addition to providing safe harbor during a hurricane, impact windows provide several added benefits.

  • Intruders know that windows offer the least resistance to a home. Smashing the window gets you in quickly and, in their eyes anyway, efficiently. Imagine the look of dismay when met with resistance. We hope you caught it on the security camera before they flee. It will provide a good ID for the police.
  • Noise resistance is another huge side benefit of impact windows. The world isn’t just busier. It’s louder! Whether its construction equipment, the neighborhood kids, or there’s a rock concert going on not far away, your windows provide a sound barrier that muffles or mutes all that stuff.
  • Energy efficiency is paramount! It just makes sense that if your windows aren’t letting hurricane-force winds enter your home, keeping our oppressive summer heat outside where it belongs is a given. Your utility bill is most likely going down some, friend.
  • Speaking of the sun, UV protection is another advantage of these windows. Let those rays shine in without fear of damaging your furniture and wall adornments.

To answer your question…

Impact windows work hard!

Built to the highest standards, put your confidence in the fact that they have passed rigorous testing to earn their rating. Not only are they impact resistant, but water resistant as well.

These windows significantly improve the safety of your home, from both storms and intruders! They provide you with UV protection and energy efficiency.

Not to mention, they ensure a good nights sleep in more ways than one. The serenity of peace and quiet is rivaled only by the serenity of peace of mind!

With all the advantages of these windows, it’s worth taking a good look!

Moreover, with virtually every style that you can think of available, you won’t be the only one looking.

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For a limited time, we're offering free installation on our hurricane windows. You'll be able to upgrade your home with sturdy windows that can handle anything Mother Nature throws their way—without breaking the bank. Now, that's an offer you can't refuse!

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