Just How Tough Are Impact Windows?Jul 23, 2019
That’s a question we can’t wait to answer! We love to tell people about the benefits of installing impact windows in their home. Answering the question regarding how tough they are is the best place to start.
However, you may be surprised to discover the fringe benefits these windows possess.
First things first
If you live anywhere near the coast your home risks withstanding a hurricane. In fact, after Andrew ripped Florida apart in 1992, a call for stricter building codes instigated the invention of impact windows. Window manufacturers looked to the auto industry. They had been using a shatterproof technique for years. They got to work and soon revolutionized the window industry!
Also called hurricane or hurricane-resistant windows, they are usually manufactured by using two or more sheets of tempered glass that are adhered to either side of a high-tech polymer sheet. The sheet provides outstanding reinforcement against the phenomenal force of the storm’s winds. And, we must mention the amazing job they do against all manner of debris that slams mercilessly into them over and over.
To be rated as impact-resistant, the entire window unit must survive a rigorous set of tests. The rating received depends on the amount of damage sustained.
The missile tests
The first test performed on the window unit is called the large missile test. The weapon of choice is a 6 foot 2×4 weighing 9 pounds. That’s a substantial piece of lumber! They load the 2×4 into a cannon aimed to hit the window head-on. If the window survives the test, it goes on to the next.
The small missile test entails hurling steel ball bearings in unison at the window. They cover a distance of 130 feet per second smashing into the glass full force. The window must survive the force of impact.
Again, as long as the windows remain intact, they receive a rating. No damage, of course, receives the highest rating.
The elements tests
Next, the windows are subjected to tests that mimic hurricane-force winds and the driving force of the rain. Even the window glazing must remain intact and continue to block moisture from gaining entry to the home.
These windows were built with hurricane protection in mind, but homeowners across the country see their benefits.
Speaking of strength
We have a lot more sun and fun days here than ones that threaten the impact of a hurricane. Life is busy and we’re away from home a lot. Impact windows provide your home with protection from home invasion 24/7. Intruders expect to gain easy access to a home through the windows. Imagine their confusion when the glass emits a sound thud rather than the anticipated crash!
Odds are the intruders won’t be hanging around to figure out another way in.
Savings say something
Your new windows begin to pay for themselves upon installation. The tempered glass and polymer combo provide excellent insulation! The hot air doesn’t gain access to your home and the a/c will actually catch a break during those long summer days!
You’ll be seeing a difference in the utility bill. These windows are so energy efficient that they will, eventually, pay for themselves.
Save your sofa
Do you keep the drapes drawn at certain times of the day so the sun doesn’t fade your furniture and carpet? After installing impact windows, you can let the sun in without fear of two-tone everything becoming your new decor.
Protection from the sun’s damaging ultra-violet rays is another reason homeowners find these windows nothing short of amazing.
The silent treatment
Lastly, impact windows keep outside noises outside. Especially if you live in an older home, you won’t believe the amount of noise reduction you experience. No more barking dogs, construction noise, or kids playing, oh, so jubilantly in the pool. You may not even have a clue the neighbor’s son installed a new sound system in his car!
Wrapping it up
Making the decision to further protect your home from the force of a hurricane is a wise idea. Your family may be inside weathering the storm! If you evacuated, you hope to find everything as you left it when returning home.
Many people choose to reinforce their roofs, attaching them to their home with hurricane clips or straps. Reinforcing doors and garage doors is a fairly inexpensive way to add valuable protection. Once the hardware is in place, the braces install quickly when needed.
Hurricane shutters are a popular form of protection. Some styles remain on the home year-round. Panel style shutters that cover the windows entirely come out of storage when the storm is approaching. Which of course, may result in them not being put up at all.
One last thought
One reason people consider installing impact windows rather than shutters is due to the light factor. Some hurricane shutters filter in varying amounts of light. However, some block the light entirely. Impact windows will allow you to better keep an eye on the storm without fear of shattering glass.
Impact windows may crack, or even “spiderweb,” but they will not come apart.
No fear of shattered glass and debris suddenly bursting its way into your home means a lot. The thought of the harm that could come to our loved ones if that happens is overwhelming. That, besides the fact, that once the winds enter your home, the odds of losing your roof go way up!
The wind rushes to the attic forcing against your roof from the underside looking for any tiny place to escape. Our home isn’t airtight, no matter how hard we try to make it that way. The pushing force from one side coupled with the storm’s force outside can literally rip your roof from your home.
When you choose to install impact windows, you have peace of mind for many reasons. You know you’re ready for the hurricane season. Furthermore, your home is safer, sounder, and protected from UV rays.
Both today and for all those to come.