Homeowners in areas that are prone to hurricanes and tropical storms are justifiably concerned about the effects that these extreme weather events can have on their homes. However, despite warnings and incentives from local and state governments, homeowners are often confused about the best way to go about defending their homes. If you’ve conducted even a little research, you’ve surely found that having hurricane windows installed is one of the first things you should do. This is true. But with so much conflicting information, it’s difficult to determine what type of windows are best for defense against severe weather. For example, you’ve likely seen the terms “hurricane windows” and “impact windows” used interchangeably. Are impact windows the same as hurricane windows? In this article, we’ll discuss the critical differences between the two as well as what features you want to look out for when having new windows installed.
The Difference Between Impact Windows & Hurricane Windows
To put it plainly, hurricane windows and impact windows are not the same. The difference lies in the level and type of resistance that they offer. For example, a hurricane window may only be equipped to provide wind resistance. This is certainly important, as the extreme wind pressure generated by strong storms can easily cause a window to cave in. However, wind resistance ratings will do little to protect from the other primary danger during hurricanes—impacts from flying debris.
Hurricanes can generate winds in excess of 150 mph, turning objects, such as tree branches, into potentially lethal projectiles. When such an object strikes a hurricane window, it will shatter, letting the extreme pressure from hurricane-force winds into your home. This is how catastrophic home damage, such as roof tear offs, occur. Impact windows are designed to prevent this type of window failure. When an object strikes a hurricane impact window, it will break; however, the laminate will remain intact, protecting the home from wind damage.
What Makes a Hurricane Window Impact Resistant?
If you’re thinking that a hurricane impact window seems like the best choice for defending your home against severe weather events, you’re right. This type of window is designed to defend against both wind pressure and impacts. However, you might be wondering what features make a window impact resistant. The answer lies with the glass and frame construction. The glass of impact windows features a laminate that is bonded between the panes of glass. This laminate is most often made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), although some windows come with additional treatments. Impact windows must also be paired with reinforced frames to work properly. For this reason, it’s rarely a good idea to simply retrofit hurricane impact glass into an existing frame, as it is unlikely to hold up to an impact.
Where South Florida Homeowners Turn for Hurricane Impact Windows
At Max Guard Hurricane Windows, we are setting a new standard for residential hurricane protection in South Florida. Indeed, Max Guard hurricane impact windows are designed to withstand virtually anything Mother Nature has in store. Rated for High Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ), our windows have Level E impact ratings, meaning they can withstand impacts at 80 feet per second. Plus, they can withstand winds of up to 200 mph. We also understand that hurricane impact resistance isn’t enough. To ensure our customers’ homes are protected, our windows are installed the right way by factory-trained and –certified experts.
Contact Max Guard Hurricane Windows today to learn more about the difference between hurricane windows and impact windows.