home windows

How Impact-Resistant Windows Can Protect Your Home From Severe Weather

Whether you live in an area prone to hurricanes or other severe weather conditions, impact-resistant windows and doors add value to your home. In addition to preventing water, wind, and glass shards from entering your house when window glass shatters, they also defend against break-ins.

Wind Resistance

Today’s impact windows use laminated inner layers of polyvinyl butyral between two sheets of glass. They are more than twice as strong as a car windshield and can easily withstand the force of flying debris in a storm or a projectile from a criminal act. Impact windows have a design pressure (DP) rating indicating the wind the window can withstand. These ratings are based on air, water, and structural testing. However, they do not consider the accompanying tornadoes and projectiles that could also be present during a hurricane. The newer performance grade (PG) rating was invented to provide more accurate measurements of an impact window’s efficiency.

Debris Resistance

During severe weather events like hurricanes, wind-borne debris can cause significant damage to homes and property. Windows and doors that break are a major source of this damage because they create a hole in the envelope of a house, increasing interior pressure and potentially leading to roof blow-off. Impact-rated windows feature an inner layer of shatterproof plastic called polyvinyl butyral between two sheets of heat-treated tempered glass. This design is stronger than a car windshield and, unlike regular tempered glass, won’t break into sharp shards when hit by debris.

According to professionals in impact resistant windows West Palm Beach, this layered construction also provides solar protection to safeguard your family and belongings from harmful UV rays that can fade window treatments, damage furniture, and flooring, and cause skin damage and sunburn. And because they block 99% of UV rays, these windows and doors are also an energy-efficiency solution for homeowners.

Water Resistance

Unlike standard windows that break into sharp, dangerous shards when struck by debris during a storm, impact windows don’t shatter. Instead, they crumble into pebble-like chunks, much less likely to cause abrasions or lacerations. The frames of impact-resistant windows are also built stronger than regular residential windows. They are constructed from pultruded fiberglass, aluminum, or clad aluminum and are designed to resist water, wind, and debris stresses. They can even withstand the pressure shifts when a window is broken during a severe storm. Without the right protection, these sudden differences in air pressure can compromise a home’s building envelope and lead to serious interior damage and even roof collapse. This is not a risk you want to take.

Energy Efficiency

Many communities in hurricane-prone areas now require impact-resistant windows and doors for new construction and replacement windows and doors. In addition to the safety and security benefits of impact glass, it can also help save money on energy bills. Today’s impact-resistant windows consist of tempered glass or laminated glass sandwiching a layer of polyvinyl butyral, a plastic, between the two panes. This helps the glass resist shattering into sharp fragments during an impact and offers extra security because it will hold together instead of breaking up. The thick multi-layered design of impact windows also means they do a good job of keeping out drafts, heat, and cold. This can save homeowners up to 30 percent on their heating and cooling bills.

Noise Reduction

Today’s impact windows sandwich a plastic inner layer between two sheets of glass. While the glass may shatter under the impact, it won’t break into large shards that could cause injury. The inner lamination also has sound-dampening properties. This feature can help create a more peaceful indoor environment.

In addition to protecting against debris, impact windows protect against sudden changes in interior and exterior pressure that can compromise a building’s envelope and blow out its doors and windows. And they can do it without the need for bulky shutters or plywood. Not only do impact windows prevent water, wind, and glass shards from entering your home, but they can also reduce noise, decrease energy usage, and block harmful solar rays. This helps increase your comfort, safety, and home value.