Southwest Florida has some of the best beaches in Florida; the real estate is affordable, and there is a wide range of events nearly every day. Living in Florida does come with extra responsibility, though. The state experiences hurricanes, which means that property owners must be prepared with home storm protection. One method of preparation is to install impact windows. The first question many people ask is, “Can impact windows break?” The short answer is “yes,” but even a broken impact window is much safer than traditional glass during a storm.
What Is Impact Glass?
Impact glass is much more durable than traditional glass. This is because impact glass is not made with just one layer of protection, but three. The outer two layers of impact windows are made of traditional glass. However, between the two panes is a more durable inner layer made of polyvinyl butyral compound. Manufacturers use lamination techniques or heat treatments to fuse the three layers together. The window is then encased in an aluminum frame that is sturdy enough to protect the glass in very high winds. They also hold up to direct strikes from debris, such as 2×4 boards.
How Do Hurricane Impact Windows Keep You Safe?
When a hurricane hits, it causes the atmospheric pressure to rise outside. Closed windows keep that pressure from getting into your home or business, but traditional glass windows won’t be able to withstand the pressure difference for long. Eventually, they’ll shatter. Impact windows are created with shatter prevention in mind.
The composition of an impact window is much like the shatter-resistant glass you’d find in your vehicle’s windshield. If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of being in a collision that shattered your windshield, you likely noticed that even though the glass broke, it didn’t actually leave the frame. Impact windows work the same way. Even if they shatter, the inner resin layer helps them stay in place. Studies show that when doors and windows remain intact on a property during a hurricane, it dramatically reduces the amount of damage. There is one thing to keep in mind; because impact glass can bend, it is important to have strong weather stripping around the frame. This will prevent water from entering your property during a storm.
How Strong Are Hurricane Impact Windows?
Hurricane proof windows don’t exist, but hurricane-resistant windows do. While some impact windows can withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour, it is more common for them to withstand wind at around 140 miles per hour. A storm is considered a Category 5 if it has winds of at least 156 miles per hour. The bottom line is there is no exact answer to the question. Every hurricane is different, and most damage comes from flying debris, not the wind. However, you shouldn’t skip installing the windows just because there is no definite answer. After all, the higher the winds, the faster the debris moves, and protection is critical.
Can You Save on Insurance by Installing Hurricane Impact Windows?
In 2016, one out of 40 homeowners had to file an insurance claim due to wind and hail damages. Insurance companies in high-risk areas aim to cut back on these claims by providing discounts to property owners such as impact glass and roll-down shutters. Typically, the savings are up to $200 per year, not to mention the thousands of dollars you could save by protecting your home during a storm.
Are Hurricane Impact Windows Worth the Cost?
Impact windows are worth the investment, and not just because they protect your property from high winds and flying debris. There are other advantages, as well. Adding impact glass to your home also provides protection from UV light that could fade your home’s interior and reduces the amount of outside noise that makes its way into your house. Impact glass looks just like traditional windows, which means you won’t be stuck in the dark during a storm because of shutters. Did you know that impact glass can even protect your home from break-ins? It’s much harder for a would-be burglar to gain entry if the glass he or she tries to break doesn’t shatter. Impact windows increase the value of your home making it a wise investment for resale. Finally, they may even improve the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the heat entering during the summer and retaining it during chilly Florida winters.
Although some people think that impact windows must be replaced each year to stay effective, the truth is that unless the window has been broken by a storm or other strike, it will continue protecting your home for years to come.
Get Impact Windows from Alufab USA in Southwest Florida
Whether you’re a retiree or a young professional, Florida has a lot to offer. If you already own a house in the area or are planning to buy one, now is the time to start thinking about acquiring hurricane impact windows in Southwest Florida. Alufab USA has been providing professional services and high-quality protective products for years. We take pride in helping our clients find the best hurricane protection to meet their needs and their budgets. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a consultation for your impact windows, call us at 239-226-4872 or fill out our convenient contact form.