Impact-resistant hurricane windows protect your home from wind and water damage. Any point of entry—such as a broken window—allows wind to enter the structure. This air pressure will seek an exit, just like when you open windows to get cross ventilation on a pleasant day. In a hurricane, extreme pressure can cause a blown out roof or wall. Both air pressure and flying debris can result in window failure, which leaves your home open to the storm. This makes impact-resistant windows a valuable addition to your home.
For existing buildings, upgrading from standard to impact-resistant windows is a great precaution, especially if the homeowner leaves for extended periods of time. When this type of window is installed, you don’t have to worry about returning home to put up shutters or plywood.
Hurricane resistant windows have two specialized components: heavier frames and impact resistant glass. Frames can be made with all kinds of materials, but they are heavier than standard window frames. This is accomplished with stiffeners and reinforcement. Impact rated windows use laminated glass. However, not all laminated glass is impact resistant. Rated glass is tested for small and large missile impact effects. To be effective, the entire home needs to have these specialized windows.
Whether you have impact-resistant windows in new construction or have retrofitted your home with hurricane-rated windows, you must use them properly. If they are left open in a storm, they will not do their job of protecting your home from wind and water damage. It is a myth that windows should be left open.
To learn more about hurricane resistant windows, talk with the window specialists at Lee & Cates Glass.