2017 is now being seen as one of the worst hurricane seasons since 2005 because even though the hurricane season has not yet ended, there have already been 4 hurricanes to make landfall in the country, three of them were category 4 storms.
The question is not about the significance of the hurricane season although it is important. At East Coast, we prefer to ask property owners if they are satisfied with the performance of their hurricane windows and doors.
It has come to our knowledge from news reports that many homes in Florida whose owners invested in impact windows were duped. They were misled by marketing hype that relied on certain industry terms to sell a product.
Let us explain and help sort through the confusion. In this industry, there are different ways to protect windows and doors and ultimately, the house from damage due to strong winds and heavy debris. Hurricane shutters, plywood, or hurricane windows. What not many supplier will fail to explain is that there is a difference between a hurricane window and a hurricane impact window which we have at East Coast Windows.
The Difference between Hurricane Windows and Hurricane Impact Windows
Hurricane impact windows are impact resistant windows which have a higher resistance to heavy debris, fierce rain, and loud noises. They are safer and cannot be broken easily even by hurling an object at it by burglars or firefighters. It would require a power drill to cut a hole in a hurricane impact window or door so you can just imagine how strong these windows and doors are.
Hurricane impact products are manufactured in a different way as well. They use laminated glass bonded together with an clear interlayer that traps air between 2 glass panes and then followed by a third glass panel for insulation which is also air insulated to reduce heat transfer.
You can choose between two kinds of hurricane impact windows based on resistance: one that can resist small objects (PVB glass) and the other for larger objects (PET laminated glass).
Hurricane windows, on the other hand, are stronger than your standard window system but not as strong as the hurricane impact resistant systems. You can tell if your windows are hurricane impact or simple hurricane windows. With the impact resistant windows and doors, you should have a state certificate from your supplier. This is the certificate you can show to your insurer to request for lower rates. Some hurricane windows though are laminated well enough to resist small objects but will shatter when hit by larger debris.
There is the laser test which is not 100% reliable although it can be a starting point. The laser should be able to go through the window and be seen on the other side as a single dot only if it is impact resistant. In addition, the product itself should have a sticker stating that it is “Florida product approved” or “Miami-Dade county approved.”
Finally, you can request for an inspector to drop by your home to check the windows and doors. This document from a home inspector can also be used for insurance purposes.