If you’re in the market for windows, odds are you’ll be choosing impact windows. If your home is under construction, the FBC (Florida Building Code) requires them, of course. However, any homeowner considering window replacement should take a look at these amazing windows.
They’re built to last a lifetime.
In fact, many manufacturers provide a lifetime guarantee. Some even give homeowners the ability to transfer the product guarantee to a new owner if they ever decide to sell their home.
Window replacement is on the high end of home maintenance expenses. However, new windows, especially impact windows, are one investment that you will never regret.
Packed with benefits
First and foremost, impact windows were created to increase a home’s ability to withstand a hurricane. Installing them actually increases the structural integrity of your home. When the windows go, your family is at greater risk of injury. In addition, your home risks catastrophic destruction.
Winds rush in gaining access to your home, but it’s not their intent to hang around. They instantly rush upward in search of a way out. Our homes aren’t airtight. When it reaches your attic, the wind forces its way into every available space to squeeze their way through. All the while, the pressure is building in your home. It combines with the force of the storm ripping at your roof from the outside. The combined force may rip your roof right off your house.
Impact windows can be a saving grace.
However, these windows don’t just provide peace of mind during hurricane season, they offer homeowners year-round benefits too.
Protect yourself against home invasion
Impact windows provide your family with protection against home invasion. Intruders consider a window to be an easy point of entry to a home. They may even risk entering when seeing an alarm sensor on the inside glass because they bank on being in and out before the police arrive.
Impact windows thwart the attempt and will likely send intruders scurrying on their way.
Protect your stuff
Impact windows provide excellent UV protection. No more problems with sun fade. The sun won’t affect furniture, carpets, or wall decor even if you let the sun in all day every day.
Protect your wallet
We mentioned that replacing your windows is an expensive home maintenance expense. Technically, though, impact windows begin paying for themselves the minute installation is complete.
They are extremely energy efficient. That means that your a/c will actually catch a break!
You’ll catch one, too, every time the utility bill hits.
Protect Your Sanctuary
Has a sigh of relief ever escaped your lips when you close the door behind you at the end of a long day?
We all think of our home as our retreat from the world. However, sometimes it’s impossible to relax and kick back when there are kids loudly playing, neighbors mowing, or construction work going on somewhere nearby.
Impact windows provide noise reduction. Those distracting sounds fade into the background.
Built to last
Impact windows also called hurricane resistant windows are still relative newcomers to the industry.
After the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, Miami-Dade County officials realized it must change the building codes to require new construction include as much hurricane protection as possible. In the midst of the change, they challenged window manufacturers to create a window capable of taking a punch.
They accepted the challenge and got to work. It didn’t take long for them to look to the auto industry for inspiration. They’d been using tempered glass for years.
Impact windows are constructed with tempered glass because it breaks into round pellets rather than shattering into shards. This reduces the risk of serious injury to anyone near the glass if it brakes to pieces.
That was a good start.
The finishing touch
Developers, then, tried adhering the glass panels to either side of a sheet of high-tech polymer.
What a discovery! Even if struck with enough force to crack or shatter the glass, it remained intact.
Windows must pass a series of tests to meet the current Florida Building Code (FBC) requirements and qualify as hurricane resistant. Other states have adopted the FBCs codes for use and reference them in their own state’s building codes. Still more followed suit and developed their own building codes requiring hurricane resistant building materials.
Tests to determine that the window can withstand wind-borne debris include using a 9 pound 2x4 and steel ball bearings. The missiles are fired from a cannon with enough force to equate to debris hurled by a hurricane-force wind.
If the window withstands the impact without coming apart, it goes on for wind and rain resistant tests. The hurricane protection rating depends on the window unit’s overall ability to remain in one piece.
Although intended to last a lifetime, that’s not always the case. Improper installation leaves you at risk of experiencing future problems. Poorly installed windows may allow moisture to invade the interior of your home.
Once that happens, damage begins and it only grows worse over time.
Moisture problems are a concern for all homeowners. Mold and wood rot eventually set in and spread. Left unattended, serious structural damage can occur. This, of course, not only means window replacement but other costly repairs as well.
Ensuring that your windows are professionally installed is important. Make sure your contractor is experienced. Asking for references isn’t out of the question and neither is doing a little online research. People aren’t shy about sharing their true feelings on a keyboard!
We’ll note, though, that if good reviews are suddenly torn apart by a very poor one, it might be an attempt to undermine the company.
Overall, well-maintained impact windows should last a lifetime. Check the manufacturers’ guarantee and see if your installer offers a guarantee of workmanship.
Chances are that once you decide to have impact windows installed in your home, you’ll be checking window replacement off the home maintenance list for good.