What You Need to Know About Impact-Resistant Windows
and Shutters Before Buying
Anyone that lives in a region where hurricanes occasionally pass through knows that there are certain precautions that should be taken to prepare the windows against damage from winds and flying debris. Many times you will see stories of people nailing plywood over their windows to protect them. Even though plywood is a great method to use to protect your windows, there are other products that can be installed that are less involved when there is an incoming storm.
Two of the main ways to protect your windows against the forceful wind of hurricanes are adding shutters or installing impact-resistant glass windows throughout the home. There are even French doors and sliding glass doors designed with impact-resistant glass.
The first option, hurricane shutters, can protect the house and the possessions even if you are not there. The hurricane shutters are used to protect the windows from flying debris that could break the window and cause negative pressure inside the home, causing the roof and/or walls to collapse. There are different options available. One shutter has an automatic closing mechanism for those who are disabled or elderly. There are also plywood shutters for those who have a limited income, as well as steel paneled shutters. Using the hurricane shutters along with impact-resistant windows gives extra protection against flying debris that may hit the home during the storm. Obviously, the best time to have the hurricane shutters installed is during construction. However, shutters can be retrofitted into the existing window, if necessary. Make sure to have the shutters and their anchors installed by a qualified contractor.
Impact-resistant windows are available in different types. One type is constructed using multiple layers of polyvinyl butyral (PRB) that is then sandwiched between two panes of glass. It is then heated at approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit to temper the glass and increase its strength. There are also windows that are made with PET laminated glass and glass-clad polycarbonate. Impact-resistant windows are usually installed with a frame that is constructed from vinyl, metal, or wood, or a combination of materials. They have reinforcements to make the window frames stronger than normal. As with the hurricane shutters, the best time to have impact-resistant windows installed is during construction; however, the windows can be retrofitted to fit into the existing window space.
All impact-resistant windows are tested to make sure that they can withstand Category 5 winds and the debris that goes along with them. The windows must meet certain guidelines to be marketed and sold as impact-resistant. The contractor that is installing the windows should check city building codes before starting the project.
East Cost Windows & Doors is a general contractor that specializes in either retrofitting or installing impact-resistant windows and shutters into new structures. The company has been in operation since 1996 and offers experienced in-house project managers and installation crews.