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St Petersburg Window Installations

Can Impact Windows Really Withstand Hurricane Winds?

Whether you are a new Florida resident or a long-time resident, you know that hurricanes can significantly impact much of the state. What you may not know is how to protect yourself against this tremendous force of nature. One upgrade you should make is to add impact glass to your windows. But can impact windows really withstand hurricane winds?

It should be noted that according to the Florida building codes, if your home is within one mile of Florida’s coast, you are required to install impact windows when building or remodeling your home. Additionally, you will want to ensure that your windows are rated for the zone ratings and hurricane categories of your specific location. These requirements should also speak to the effectiveness of impact windows against hurricane windows. 

Hurricane impact glass and windows are made with several layers of glass or synthetic materials which are incredibly difficult to break or penetrate. This serves to protect you and your home’s contents from debris during a hurricane. Most hurricane impact windows are made with a combination of tempered and laminated glass. Tempered glass is heated and cooled to thicken and increase its durability, while laminated glass is created by bonding two or more panes of glass with a thin layer of film or vinyl in between. The combination of tempered and laminated glass means that impact windows are built with two layers of protection.

The other reason impact windows can withstand hurricane winds is because of their framing. Unfortunately, the most impact resistant glass is nearly worthless in old and brittle frames. However, true impact windows will have both impact resistant glass and frames made from materials such as aluminum or vinyl, which are higher-strength. To further strengthen the frames, the impact glass is treated to a special silicone glazing process. This process helps ensure the glass will not break away from its frame.

Hurricane impact glass doesn’t only protect your home against hurricanes but it has a number of added benefits. These windows offer UV protection and can help protect your valuables against fading with long-term exposure to sunlight. Impact windows also offer noise protection and help improve energy efficiency allowing you to save on monthly utility bills. Installing impact windows can also help with the resale value of your home as potential homebuyers will see these as a draw to purchase your home. One additional benefit of having hurricane impact glass is it can help decrease your insurance premiums due to the amount of protection they provide. If you are looking for assistance, look no further for your Tampa Bay Residential Window needs!