Anyone who lives in an area prone to hurricanes or other severe weather events knows the importance of fortifying their home against damage. One of the most essential elements to consider is your windows.
Hurricane-rated windows can be expensive, but they offer many benefits that can save homeowners money over time. Here are a few of the main benefits:
Hurricanes bring dangerous wind speeds that can tear a roof off a house or send debris flying through windows. Impact-resistant glass to your home can protect it from these flying projectiles, reduce property damage, and lower insurance premiums.
All hurricane windows are tested to determine how much force they can withstand, known as their design pressure (DP) rating. The higher the DP number, the more resistance the window has to high winds.
To achieve this rating, the windows undergo a series of tests, including launching a nine-pound 2X4 at 50 feet per second, or around 35 mph, towards the window. If the window remains intact, it has achieved a hurricane-grade rating. The other components of a hurricane-resistant window also make it stronger, such as pultruded fiberglass or aluminum frames that are much more durable than vinyl. These materials can withstand more direct impacts from projectiles and have better stability in high temperatures.
If you live in a region that is prone to storms, hurricane windows are a smart investment. They can withstand high winds and help protect your home from flying debris and intruders. Unlike alternative storm protection methods (such as hammering plywood panels over your windows), hurricane resistant windows offer year-round peace of mind.
Another benefit of hurricane windows is that they have powerful noise-reduction capabilities. Adding the PVB layer between the glass panes blocks out street noises, blaring horns, and other annoying distractions. This provides a relaxing, quiet environment for your family.
Additionally, hurricane windows are more energy efficient than standard windows. They keep the cool air inside during summer and prevent heat from escaping in winter. This can significantly reduce your energy bills. Depending on your location and insurance provider, this may qualify you for tax incentives.
Many homeowners have the option to install hurricane-proof windows in their homes. Even if they aren’t required by building codes in their area, these windows are a great addition to any home.
These windows have two glass panes bonded with a laminated plastic layer called polyvinyl butyral (PVB). They also feature heavy aluminum frames to add more strength and durability. This combination allows them to withstand Category 5 wind conditions and protect a home from rain, debris, UV rays, noise, and forced entry.
Unlike standard windows, hurricane windows must pass specific tests to meet hurricane standards. These tests include the significant missile impact test, which launches a nine-pound 2X4 at 50 feet per second toward the center of the window to see if it will shatter or stay intact. The results of these tests prove that the windows will remain a strong, durable, and safe choice for your home.
Most homeowners living in hurricane-prone areas understand that they must take preventive measures to protect their homes and property. While some rely on cardboard and duct tape to shield their windows, impact windows are a much more efficient solution.
In addition to their hurricane resistance, impact windows can also reduce energy costs and improve a home’s aesthetic. They are often insulated with a low-E coating and feature thicker glass. This can significantly reduce the heat entering a home, resulting in lower energy bills. Additionally, the tinted inner layer of the window can help to reduce UV rays, which can damage fabrics and carpets in a home.
It’s important to note that non-impact windows will not hold up against the force of wind-propelled debris. This is why it’s essential to invest in the best possible protection. Regarding hurricane-resistant windows, homeowners can choose between plexiglass, standard, and tempered glass.
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