Living in a location that frequently experiences storm and hurricanes can be quite stressful because of the dangers of broken windows that can damage properties and injure people.
Ordinary windows would not work in such places that need stronger window systems capable of withstanding the gale force without shattering. High impact windows, also known as hurricane windows, are created specifically for countering the impact of high-speed winds and flying objects while keeping the window intact.
In most cases, the window glass can endure the forces efficiently depending on the extent of force and the quality of glass, but even if it is unable and the glass undergoes damages, there is no fear of glass pieces falling apart. The technology of safety glass manufacturing used in creating high impact glass ensures that the glass might crack but remain in place.
Safe Living and Cost Saving Should Be the Twin Goals for Installing Impact Doors and Windows
The use of impact-resistant laminated glass on heavy duty frame is the standard practice for manufacturing high impact windows and doors, and you must call for the services of impact window installers to do the job right. They use a special silicone glazing process that prevents the glass pieces from spreading around even after shattering.
The glass for impact windows is special and uses layers of reinforcement materials like polyvinyl butyral (PVB), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and liquid glass resins or some other glass-plastic hybrid to impart strength and resilience that it needs to withstand strong force.
It can effectively prevent damage from flying debris or any attempted break-in that makes it’s a popular choice for residential and commercial projects. Most importantly, your home becomes more energy efficient by installing impact windows, and the envelope of your home receives better protection.
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Heavy duty extruded aluminum painted with electrostatic paint is the best choice because although the cost is higher than vinyl frames, it requires low maintenance that offsets the initial investment.
Moreover, aluminum is an eco-friendly and recyclable material which increases its attraction. Vinyl is also good in terms of strength, low maintenance, and lower cost but is not biodegradable and hence not eco-friendly.
Window frames with 23/4 inches depth and sliding door frames with 51/8 inches depth with a nominal wall thickness of 0.062 inches are suited for most conditions to withstand strong winds. For smooth operations, the window installers use molded nylon antifriction guides.
Impact resistant windows and doors are available in various designs and styles like any other normal window. From single hung windows to horizontal roller windows and casement or projected windows to architectural windows and going up to French doors and sliding glass doors, everything is possible with a high impact window design.
For those who are inclined to more special styles could also go for Brittany and colonial styles with optional mountings. Since the style of windows and doors do not have any impact on the impact resistant properties, you can choose any style that fits your budget and meets your tastes and matches with the building architecture.
Impact windows are high performing windows, and you must know about the elements used for producing the special quality glass so that you can look for the appropriate features according to your needs.
The most important element is the interlayer or the lamination that reinforces the glass and makes it stronger. Different combination of lamination materials provides a different level of strength and impact resistance, and you must know the kind of glass that suits your purpose.
For use in Level C glazed areas, you must select 0.060-inch PVB interlayer, and for higher impact resistance related to Level D areas, you must go for the highest thickness of 0.090 inches.
In addition, you must look for high performance but low E-sections and glass tints that reduce heat. This would effectively lower your energy bills and protect artwork and draperies from fading due to excessive heat.
Focus on Quality and Performance
When choosing impact windows that are expensive than ordinary windows, you must focus on quality and performance.
Florida residents must look for a manufacturer with documented Notice of Acceptance by Miami-Dade County, or NOAs considered as a hallmark of impact-resistant windows and doors. If you are ordering customized products, check for the fulfillment of all specifications right from the size to the quality of glass as well as options requested by you.
To ensure that the windows meet the set parameters in energy saving as provided in the design, look for Energy Star rating of impact windows. Windows that bear the marks of Energy Star are tested and certified by NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council), an independent certification agency. The agency assigns energy efficiency measures for the entire window system by considering solar gain heat coefficient and U-factor.
Reduced Environmental Impact
The design of Energy Star rated impact windows typically comprise of two or more glass panes, improved framing material and warm-edge spacers between the window panes. In addition, it has low E-coatings, which are minute particles coated on the glass to provide a thin layer that keep the interior warm in winter and cool in summer.
It reduces the energy bills as well as carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the use of electricity and heating and cooling machines. By using Energy Star rated windows, you are not only saving money and improving safety but also doing your bit to improve the environment, which is a very big contribution to society.
While impact windows and doors might be an option for many people, for the Florida residents, it is a necessity. Since the region remains exposed to storm and hurricanes that cause wide destruction, protecting homes become a top priority. Florida showed the way for introducing impact resistant windows after the widespread devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Be ready to spend on impact windows and doors that can make your life easier and give peace of mind without as you stay protected from the fury of storms. The returns are much higher because impact windows save lives and property that becomes the most valuable contribution.