After Hurricane Andrew hit Southern Florida in August 1992, the state started to promote the use of impact resistant roofs, windows and doors. Many areas in Florida now require hurricane-proof windows in all new homes and buildings. These windows are suggested to anyone owning a home or other structure that is in an area where hurricanes are likely to occur.
Impact-resistant glass can withstand high winds and flying debris that is caused by a hurricane winds. Some of the hurricane-proof windows are equipped with a heavy-duty frame to help prevent the home or other structure from collapsing. Having hurricane-proof windows work to prevent air from getting into the home, thus causing the pressure inside the home to change causing the roof or walls to collapse.
There are different types of impact or hurricane-proof windows available. One type is inner-membrane windows. These windows have an invisible layer of PVB/ polyvinyl butaryl that is strategically placed between two pieces of glass. If the glass is impacted it shatters but the inner membrane does not. Interestingly, it stays intact. These windows can withstand winds up to 200 mph. The membrane is not noticeable and does not take away from the look of the home. They are also energy efficient and available in various styles and sizes and require little maintenance. The windows also help keep outside noises outside and protect against intruders. The other type is a shatter resistant film that coves the regular glass to help prevent it from shattering easily.
Before windows can be declared impact or hurricane resistant, they must undergo special testing. There is the large missile test. The large missile testing tests the window by impacting it with an object that is 6-feet long and weighs 9 pounds. It is shot at the window at 20 feet per second. In order for the window to pass this test, the window must stay intact once glazed. The other test is the small missile test. The small missile testing test the window by shooting 30 pieces of roof gravel at a rate of about 80 feet per second. The same results need to occur with this test.
Prices on hurricane-proof windows will vary depending on the type or brand of the window. It will also depend on what city you live in, the contractor, the type of window and the material that is used. There will also be an installation and labor charge for installing the windows. Even though the cost of having hurricane-proof windows may seem a little expensive, in the long run, the windows may save money. Not only can the windows help save the home and personal belongings, but many insurance companies offer discounts to clients who have hurricane-proof windows installed.
The next great advantage to having hurricane-proof windows is that the windows do not need anything done to them before the storm. As with other products, such as shutters, panels, or roll-downs that require you to be there and know when the storm is going to hit your area. Not having to deal with any of those things, gives you time to prepare in other areas.