Florida sees some of the worst hurricanes every year, sometimes multiple times. These storms destroy many residential and commercial properties, and they’re no less than a nightmare. Hurricanes pick up objects and debris as they move; due to the heavy pressure and rapid winds, these objects can break through the windows and doors of your house.
If you’re living in the Sunshine State or planning to move here, you need to replace your current windows with hurricane windows to stay safe. Hurricane impact windows protect from the wind, debris, and rain and withstand harsh weather conditions. Besides that, they’re also energy-efficient windows and provide insulation.
As a leading window provider in Florida and Alabama, we’ve prepared this guide to help you learn all about hurricane windows to choose the best one.
How Are Hurricane Windows Different From Regular Windows
Hurricane impact windows are strongly built with two laminated glass layers wrapped around a thin and flexible yet strong polyvinyl butyral (polymer) layer. When anything hits the window during the storm, it’ll only damage the outer layer of the window, and the polymer layer will prevent it from getting inside. The glass used in these windows is not the usual glass; it’s tempered through a heating process to withstand the impact of objects hitting it.
On the other hand, your regular windows have ordinary glass that can’t even survive the heavy winds of storms, let alone resist the impact of objects striking it.
Their glass isn’t the only thing that makes them stronger than regular windows. Impact windows require frames made with fortified wood, vinyl, metal, aluminum, or composites to last during the harshest storms. If your impact window has regular frames, it might not be effective against strong winds.
These vinyl frames are hardened using special reinforcing techniques to boost their strength and are sealed with silicone.
· Impact Testing
Hurricane windows then go through an impact test to ensure their effectiveness against hurricanes. They are tested in two phases and get a performance certification accordingly. The first test checks the window’s strength against various projectiles shot at a pre-determined speed. The second test requires them to withstand intense wind pressures, similar to storms.
Features To Look Out for in Hurricane Impact Windows
1. Code Compliance
In Florida, specific stringent building codes require windows to withstand the pressure of hurricanes. These codes vary from region to region. Ensure that the window you’re buying is compliant with your building code. You can check your building code from the local governing authority.
Make sure your window is durable enough to withstand high winds, rain, airborne debris, and wind-driven objects. If you only replace the windows and keep the same old frames, it won’t work. Ensure that you’re getting a new set of windows with impact-resistant frames to be completely safe.
3. Impact Resistance
There are two kinds of impact windows, depending on their resistance. One type can only resist small missiles, while the other is suitable for larger missiles. It’s best to get the windows according to the hurricanes occurring in your area. However, we’d suggest going for the latter option to ensure better safety because Florida weather can be unpredictable.
4. Style & Design
Protecting your home from hurricanes doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice its style and aesthetics. Nowadays, you can get many designs in hurricane windows that complement your house’s architecture and overall theme.
We offer single-hung and double-hung hurricane windows along with reinforced vinyl frames, making them impact-resistant and stylish at the same time.
Additional Benefits of Using Hurricane Windows
Besides offering hurricane protection, these windows have many surprising benefits:
Since the glass in hurricane windows is tempered, it reduces outside noise transmission to your house. It helps you relax at your home without the disturbing sounds of construction, traffic, and lawnmowers.
Insurance Cost Reduction
Many companies reduce their rates for houses with hurricane windows. So if you install them in your existing or new home, you can enjoy fewer insurance costs.
Intruders and thieves mostly break into the homes through the windows. However, they won’t be able to break the tempered glass of hurricane windows, offering you safety and security.
Since these windows are made of multiple layers of glass, they help protect you from heat and harmful UV rays. We all love the natural lighting in our house, but unbearable heat forces us to draw curtains. Moreover, these rays also harm the furniture and our skin. Installing hurricane windows will keep the dangerous rays out without blocking the natural light.
Hurricane windows’ insulation quality makes them energy-efficient and helps you save hundreds of dollars on electricity bills. Also, they are built to seal the windows tightly during hurricanes. Even on regular days, they keep your home’s temperature regulated, making it feel cool in summers and warm in winters.
Increased Home Value
Homebuyers in Florida always prefer homes with hurricane-resistant doors and windows. So if you install these windows, it’ll automatically increase your home’s value, and you can sell it at a higher price in the future. These windows are also energy-efficient, which will benefit your potential buyers.
Regular windows are fragile and quickly damaged, so you have to bear repairing or replacement costs. Hurricane windows are doubtlessly sturdy and reliable, so they’ll last you a long time, making them cost-effective.
Who Needs Hurricane Windows
Hurricane windows aren’t only for the residents of Florida. You can install these windows if you live in any coastal state such as Alabama, Texas, etc., where hurricanes often hit. These states may also have county building codes that require you to install impact windows and doors.
Installing impact windows alone won’t be enough to protect you from the hurricane and its aftermath; you’ll also need impact doors. They are specifically designed to stay intact during heavy winds and resist the impact of wind-driven heavy objects.
You can read more about them here: The Benefits of Having Impact-Resistant Doors
If you’re looking for a complete solution to keep your home safe from hurricanes, you can reach out to EcoView Windows & Doors. We provide durable and energy-efficient impact windows and door replacement in Florida and Alabama. You can shop from our wide range of fiberglass doors, steel doors, double-hung windows, and more from our website.