How Much Wind Can Impact Windows Take?
You likely hear all the time that impact windows are designed to withstand heavy wind loads during severe weather, but exactly how much wind can impact windows take? To understand the strength of impact windows, it’s important to consider the following:
How Impact Windows Work
Impact windows are made up of frames, hardware, and glass that boast more durability than standard windows. That’s because impact windows are designed to withstand high air and water pressure in addition to huge wind loads. High air pressure is one of the most damaging aspects in a hurricane because as the storm arrives, the air pressure outside your home begins to increase. Meanwhile, the air pressure indoors remains the same, creating a difference between the air pressure outdoors and the air pressure indoors. If a windblown object strikes the window and causes it to shatter, the high air pressure from outside will rush into your home and cause serious damage.
Design Pressure Rating
Design Pressure (DP) Rating indicates how much wind a window can withstand before breaking or sustaining damage. To calculate a window’s DP Rating, the window is attached to a wooden frame and clamped to a wall. During the test, the air pressure on the inside of the window is reduced and pressure outside increases until the window breaks. To be given a rating, the window must withstand pressure 1.5 times the DP rating for at least ten seconds. For example, a window that has a DP Rating of 30 (not recommended) was lab tested to withstand 45 pounds per square foot of pressure for 10 seconds.
Translated to wind speeds, this means a window that is 10 square feet in size and has a DP30 rating is able to withstand 120-mile-per-hour winds—about the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. Most impact windows have a minimum DP50 rating or higher, which means they can withstand most Category 4 wind speeds (less than 157 mph).
Premium ‘Hybrid’ Impact Windows from Max Guard
For hurricane-rated impact windows with a higher DP Rating, Florida homeowners know to trust Max Guard Hurricane Windows. Our Dominator EXTREME series hybrid windows, which combine the structural strength of aluminum with the energy-efficiency and lifetime guaranteed finish of vinyl, have a DP100+ rating (206mph). We also offer many other window types:
- Vinyl impact windows – Our vinyl windows include a strong seal that prevents the glass from separating from the frame, keeping high atmospheric pressure from rushing into your home. Even if the glass were to become damaged from impact, the window’s interlayer will continue to keep the overall window intact.
- Aluminum impact windows – The aluminum frames on these windows are hardwearing enough to withstand severe weather conditions.
And to ensure the utmost quality, all of our windows are installed by our team of factory-trained technicians to ensure a weathertight installation that is done right the first time. Furthermore, our impact windows are available in a variety of colors and sizes, because outstanding quality doesn’t have to come at the expense of your home’s unique style.
Start Protecting Your Home Today
To learn more about our services, contact Max Guard Hurricane Windows today and we’ll be happy to schedule a free consultation.