Safety and peace of mind of installing hurricane windows
Whether you live closer to the coast in West Palm Beach or further west in Wellington or Royal Palm Beach – you really should consider the safety and peace of mind of installing hurricane windows.
The American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) has very strict guidelines for hurricane impact resistant windows before they can be certified as impact resistant.
In addition, Florida Building Code TAS 201 is the impact standard for windows and shutters in Palm Beach County. In fact, the south Florida building code states that all homes constructed after July 2001 must have hurricane shutters or impact resistant glass and window frames for exterior openings in a house to protect against wind-borne debris.
All impact resistant glass windows are required to go through rigorous testing that includes:
Large Missile Impact Test
A 9-pound 2×4 wood plant is launched at 50 feet per second or nearly 35 miles per hour, at the center of the window. If the window doesn’t shatter, another board is then shot at one of the corners of the window. Both the center and the corner of the window must be able to hold together to pass this test. Hurricane-prone Florida has slightly tougher testing standards, requiring windows to withstand boards launched at 80 feet per second.
Wind Pressure Test
Next, the window is subjected to pressures that simulate winds of up to 200 miles per hour. If the window remains intact within the frame, it can be certified as an impact resistant window.
Below is a brief description of the various categories of hurricanes:
Category 1 Hurricane
Winds 74-95 mph. Storm surge generally 4-5 ft above normal. No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Be prepared for coastal road flooding and potential minor pier damage.
Category 2 Hurricane
Winds 96-110 mph. Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Roofing material, door and window damage of buildings. There will be considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.
Category 3 Hurricane
Winds 111-130 mph. Storm surge generally 9-12 ft above normal. There will be structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtain wall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 ft above mean sea level may be flooded inland 8 miles or more.
Category 4 Hurricane
Winds 131-155 mph. Storm surge generally 13-18 ft above normal. More extensive curtain wall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences. Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down. There will be complete destruction of mobile homes. There will most likely be extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Terrain lower than 10 ft above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 6 miles.
Category 5 Hurricane
Winds greater than 155 mph. Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Many shrubs, trees, and signs will be blown down. There will be complete destruction of mobile homes. Additionally, you will see severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas.
Max Guard’s top of the line impact resistant windows are designed to withstand virtually anything mother nature throws at them, including catastrophic winds from hurricanes and tropical storms. Our windows have a pressure rating up to DP100 and water penetration up to 15 PSF and they are strong enough to withstand the flying debris and harsh winds of the most catastrophic category 5 storm.
So if you’re not sure if your windows will survive the next hurricane or tropical storm, it’s time to upgrade to Max Guard. Call us at 561-276-7100 for an estimate today.