As hurricane season approaches, homeowners in coastal regions of the United States are gearing up to protect their homes from high winds, heavy rain, and storm surges. While many people focus on strengthening roofs and securing outdoor furniture, one often overlooked aspect of hurricane preparedness is windows.
Standard windows are vulnerable to damage during hurricanes, which can lead to water intrusion, flying debris, and even structural failure. Impact-resistant windows, also known as hurricane windows, are designed to withstand the extreme conditions of a hurricane and protect your home from damage. Here’s what you need to know about impact-resistant windows:
What Are Impact-Resistant Windows?
Impact-resistant windows are made of multiple layers of glass or polycarbonate and are surrounded by a frame that’s reinforced with heavy-duty materials like aluminum or vinyl. The glass layers are bonded together with an interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), which holds the glass together even when it’s shattered. The result is a window that can withstand high winds, flying debris, and even the impact of a tree branch or other large object.
How Do Impact-Resistant Windows Work?
During a hurricane, wind pressure builds up outside your home, creating a vacuum that can pull the roof off or push walls outward. Impact-resistant windows are designed to resist this pressure and prevent it from entering your home. The multiple layers of glass or polycarbonate absorb the impact of flying debris, while the interlayer holds the glass together, preventing it from shattering and causing further damage.
Are Impact-Resistant Windows Expensive?
Impact-resistant windows are more expensive than standard windows, but they’re also a long-term investment in your home’s safety and protection. Depending on the size of your home and the number of windows you need, the cost can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. However, many homeowners find that the peace of mind and added value to their property are worth the expense.
Can Impact-Resistant Windows Save You Money on Insurance?
In many coastal regions of the United States, insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who install impact-resistant windows. The reason is simple: impact-resistant windows reduce the risk of damage to your home during a hurricane, which means the insurance company is less likely to have to pay out a claim. Depending on where you live, the discounts can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per year.
How Do You Choose the Right Impact-Resistant Windows for Your Home?
Choosing the right impact-resistant windows for your home depends on several factors, including your budget, the size and style of your windows, and the level of protection you need. Look for windows that meet the ASTM International standards for impact resistance, which test the windows against wind-borne debris and pressure. Consider the frame material, which should be durable and corrosion-resistant. And don’t forget about energy efficiency; impact-resistant windows can also help reduce your energy bills by blocking heat and UV rays.
Where Can You Buy Impact-Resistant Windows?
Impact-resistant windows are available from many window manufacturers and home improvement stores. Look for reputable brands that have a proven track record of quality and reliability. It’s also important to work with a licensed and insured contractor who has experience installing impact-resistant windows and can ensure that they’re installed correctly.
impact-resistant windows are a smart investment for homeowners in coastal regions of the United States. They provide long-term protection against the devastating effects of hurricanes and can even save you money on insurance. If you’re considering upgrading your home’s windows, talk to a licensed contractor about impact-resistant options and start preparing for the next hurricane season today.