Hurricane Impact Window Purpose

Hurricane Impact Windows were born out of the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, when counties in South Florida realized the necessity of stronger windows. Studies have shown that a roof will be less impacted if you can keep the exterior windows intact. This could lessen the overall damage to a building when impacted by a hurricane or large storm.

Impact windows were developed using laminated glass, which is a type of safety glass that does not fall apart when struck by an object. It is held together by an interlayer of PVB or EVA, between two or more layers of glass. The interlayer bonds the layers of glass even when broken and that additional strength prevents the glass from shattering into dangerous shards (as with tempered glass).

When impact glass is struck, instead of shattering, it produces a “spider-web” like pattern when the impact is not enough to pierce the glass. The window industry is trying to reduce flying shards of glass, keep the window intact and not blow out the building. The premise behind making the windows impact resistant is to keep the elevated atmospheric pressure outside of the building.

Hurricanes produce high atmospheric pressure and the pressure inside a building is much lower. When a window shatters, it allows that outside pressure into the house and brings a huge rush of air behind it. As the air seeks a place for escape, the roof can blow off the house, creating catastrophic damage to the house and much increased danger to the home dwellers.

Hurricane Impact Windows are built and tested with this in mind. Even when an impact window cracks or seems broken, it is unlikely to fully give way, thus keeping the integrity of the interior safer. Hurricane season begins June 1st and runs through the end of November. Now is the time to begin prepping your home. Remember is takes time for the windows to be ordered and installed. Protecting your home from a hurricane or storm can prevent storm related water damage, which can then lead to mold.

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