Impact Windows and Doors: The Science of Protection
Recently, our area has learned firsthand how much damage a major hurricane can cause. While we can’t prepare for every possibility that a storm can throw at us, there are steps that we can take to assure that the most vulnerable points of your home can withstand nature’s fury. Doors and windows aren’t just entryways for people and sunshine.
Builder-grade windows and doors just aren’t getting it done when things get dangerous.
Debris becomes shrapnel; branches become missiles. Doors and windows that aren’t impact-proof don’t stand a chance. And when these entranceways are breached, destructive winds blow through the house, exponentially increasing the probability of far more damage — including blowing off the roof of your home. And then it’s game over.
Why do impact doors and windows make such a big difference? In this two-part series, we’ll break it down for you. Let’s talk about impact windows first. In part two, we’ll move on to a look at impact doors.
What Makes Impact Windows Different?
Impact windows were scientifically designed to withstand hurricane strength winds and the objects they launch.
Everyday windows are typically two panes of glass with a thin layer of gas or air in between. The glass is sometimes tempered to prevent some shattering, but they’re still just two sheets of fragile glass.
Impact windows are specially designed to be much more than a couple of panes of glass.
Impact Window Construction
First, the glass is always tempered. There’s also a heat-treating process it undergoes, which compresses the surface and edges of the glass to increase the strength dramatically. This creates shatterproof glass.
The second critical component is a layer of polycarbonate material that goes between the panes of strengthened glass. This force-absorbing addition is the invisible barrier that makes all the difference. An infusion of argon gas between the panes provides a concussive buffer.
An added bonus to this inner layer is UV protection — which keeps your home furnishings from fading in the bright Florida sunshine.
Lastly, a glass film with a tensile strength five times that of regular glass is applied to further reduce shattering, using the same principles used in the construction of car windshields.
An important component of impact windows is the frame. Constructed of aluminum, vinyl, or steel, frames are an important factor in the effectiveness of impact windows. Professional installation will assure that your windows will not only enhance the aesthetic of your home, but also be structurally sound to give you the utmost protection that your investment will provide. Wind Safe has experts that will make sure your home is as beautiful before a storm as it can be afterwards.
Protection Beyond the Storm
Impact windows offer benefits beyond storm protection. They dramatically reduce outside noise. They also increase security from human damage. No intruder can muster the force necessary to break through an impact window.
As recent events have shown, hurricane and flood insurance is a vital piece to consider as well. Insurance companies in Florida are required to offer discounts and other incentives to equip your home with storm windows and doors. Simply stated, when storms inevitably roll through, it’s in everyone’s best interests to prepare for the worst — precisely what impact windows guard against. Having windows that can withstand nature’s fury shouldn’t need to be financially incentivized, but it’s a bonus that makes it even more of a smart choice.
In southwest Florida, professionally installed impact windows are as important to protect your home as sunscreen is in protecting your skin. It’s a simple step to take that can make all the difference when things are at their worst. Contact us today!