Hurricane resistant doors and windows consist of impact-resistant glass that is surrounded by a strong frame. The construction and design of these windows keep projectiles and hurricane winds from breaching the outer envelope of your home. The idea to use shatterproof glasses for glass doors and windows came from the automotive sector, where shatter-resistant glasses are used for several decades to protect the occupants.
Types of Impact Windows
Generally, there are two types of storm resistant glasses you can use for doors and windows. The first variety of glass consists of a shatterproof membrane that is sandwiched between two panels of glass. When the glass is hit by a projectile, it may crack, but the inner membrane of the glass will hold the pieces together firmly in the frame. These types of impact windows are designed to withstand wind-borne debris that is hurled at high speeds. Also, they protect your home from would-be intruders. The interior lamination of these glasses varies from 0.016 inches to 0.95 inches in thickness. When placing an order for storm resistant windows, you can choose from a variety of colors. These colored windows and doors will not only improve the decor of your home, but also prevent harmful UV rays from entering your home.
The second variety of impact resistant window is less hardy when compared to its predecessor. These glasses use a window film that is applied to the surface of the glass. Since shatter resistant film is pasted on both sides of the glass, it will keep the window shards in place when it cracks or breaks. Since these films are only added to the surface, they may not function as an effective system. Also, the durability of these glasses depends on how well the protective laminate and glass stay in the window assembly.
Benefits of Installing Hurricane Proof Doors and Windows
There are several benefits of installing storm proof doors and windows. Some important benefits are:
Protecting Your Home
Initially, manufacturers designed hurricane proof windows to save building structures from destruction. When a window is broken, it allows strong winds to enter your home. This increases wind pressure because the wind that enters your home seek an exit point. When there is a difference in air pressure inside and outside the building, it can cause the building to lose a window, door, wall, or even the roof. The only way of protecting the building during a storm is to prevent the wind from entering your home.
Most State Governments have understood the important installing hurricane proof doors and windows. These States have made it mandatory for residents to install a permanent shutter system or impact-resistant windows. Many residents have still not taken steps to protect their homes from hurricanes. If these residents are out of town or on a holiday vacation and they know that a storm is approaching, they have to return to their home and put up plywood or shutters over their window. However, if they had installed impact windows, they don’t have to take any special precaution because they know that their doors and windows will not be breached.
Strengthens The Glazing
The entire window system must be strong to make the opening impact resistant. Frames for hurricane resistant windows may be constructed from metal, vinyl, wood, or any combination thereof. However, these frames are generally heavier and stronger than the frames of regular window. This is because, a strong force may not break the glass, but it can cause the frame to give away. Frames of storm resistant windows have reinforcements and stiffeners inside that help them bear the impact of the strong force. Most homeowners reinforce the frame with steel which makes the entire window system strong and sturdy.
Protection From Theft
Doors and windows made using impact glass are extremely strong, so thieves and burglars will find it really difficult to break into your home. Since the frames of these glasses are strong and thick, most burglars will avoid your home and look for easier targets.
Reduce Electricity Bills
Installing hurricane windows and doors can help in reducing your energy bills. When you install ordinary residential windows, it increases the heat flow from inside and outside the house. This can increase your utility bills. Since impact glasses have low E coats, they reduce heat transfer, which reduces energy consumption during summers and winters. In summer months, they prevent hot air from entering your home, and during the winter months, they retain heat inside the house. This can bring down your electricity bills by a significant amount.
Get Discounts On Insurance Premium
You can get good discounts on your homeowners insurance premium, if you install impact doors and windows. Insurance companies are aware of the fact that hurricane resistant windows protect your home from storm. Since their risk is reduced, they offer up to a 40 percent discount on the insurance premium. To get this discount, speak to your agent before signing the agreement.
Today, storm proof windows are installed not only to protect against strong winds and debris, but also to reduce exterior noise. This noise reduction property of these replacement windows can be attributed to their thickness, which usually ranges from 6/16” to 10/16”. Also, the sealant or silicone coating used on both sides of the glass also helps in dampening exterior noise.
UV rays that enter our homes through ordinary window glass can cause fading. Even though these rays are not visible to the human eye, they can easily enter our homes through sliding glass doors and windows. Ordinary window glass can reflect only 25 percent of the sun’s UV rays, which means 75 percent of the sun’s UV rays can still enter your home. Impact glass protects your home from harmful UV rays by reflecting up to 99 percent of the sun’s UV radiation.
Companies That Manufacture Impact Glass
There are several companies that manufacture impact doors and windows. Some well-known manufacturers of these windows include:
- PGT Industries
- Andersen Windows.
- YKK AP Inc.
- Atrium Windows & Doors
- CGI Windows & Doors Inc.
- Custom Window Systems Inc.
Before you buy an impact windows, make sure it is certified by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM). If you buy a product that is certified by ASTM, you are assured that the product you buy will perform as advertised.