In hurricane-prone areas of Florida, there are multiple ways to protect windows from high winds and flying debris during hurricanes. Some homeowners simply nail plywood to their windows every time their home is threatened by a hurricane. Others choose to install hurricane shutters, which can be rolled down over the windows to protect the glass from flying debris.
Homeowners who don’t like the amount of work or look of shutters and who don’t want to nail plywood into their home turn to impact windows. These ultra-strong windows have many benefits. If you live in a part of Florida that is vulnerable to hurricanes and you’re trying to decide what kind of protection is needed for your home’s windows, here’s what you need to know.
Why Are Impact Windows Important?
Impact windows are windows that are designed to withstand the impact of heavy wind and wind-borne debris during hurricanes. They are often made from a combination of tempered and laminated glass, placed in a heavy-duty vinyl window frame. While hurricane protection is the primary goal of impact windows, there are many reasons that homeowners choose to install these windows over other types.
Helps Lower Insurance Rates
Homeowners in wind-prone areas see a reduction of as much as 15% on their homeowner’s insurance premiums by installing storm-safe windows. To find out how impact window installation will affect your insurance rates, contact your insurance agent.
Increase the Value of Your Home
Homebuyers love to know that they won’t have to worry about window shutters or plywood before a hurricane, so installing impact windows can significantly raise its value. Experts say that the ROI of new window installation is around 75 – 80%.
If you’re replacing older windows with poor sound insulation, impact windows provide sound suppression that can protect your home from loud traffic noises, passing airplanes, and barking dogs. If you live in a noisy area, talk to your window dealer and installer about your concerns to ensure the windows you choose will provide enough sound reduction for your needs.
It should come as no surprise that impact windows are difficult to break and therefore more secure. If you spend time worrying about your home’s security, especially when you’re out of town, installing impact windows is a good way to assure yourself that no intruder will be breaking through your window to get into your home.
Improved Energy Efficiency
Florida energy codes mandate that all replacement windows are energy efficient. All replacement impact windows come with a low e coating and other features that ensure maximum efficiency. Look for the ENERGY STAR rating.
Available in Nearly Any Style
When impact windows were first sold to consumers, limited styles were available. Since that time, technology has changed so that they are now sold in many styles and sizes. In other words, you have choices and can purchase windows that will look beautiful in your home.
Do You Need Impact Windows In Your Home?
If you live in a coastal part of Florida, these windows can mean the difference between a little and a lot of storm damage. When windows are breached during a hurricane, many disastrous things can happen.
Aside from the damage to the window and water damage that can occur when rain enters the home, there’s something much worse that can happen if a window is broken during a hurricane. A single broken pane allows wind to enter with no way to exit.
As pressure builds up inside, the rushing air will exit through any point of weakness in the structure. Sometimes this buildup of pressure causes the roof to blow off the house. Other times, all the windows shatter.
What to Know When Selecting Impact Windows
Choosing the best impact windows for your home is important. First, check the DP rating to find out what wind load the windows are rated to withstand. Find a reputable company that has certified installers to ensure that the windows are manufactured by a reputable company.
Just as important as ensuring that the windows are of good quality is ensuring that the windows are installed by an expert who knows what they’re doing. Windows that are not properly secured to the home are easily damaged or breached during a hurricane.
Check references before hiring an installer to put the windows in your home, and check licensure too to ensure that your installer is qualified to install windows in your area. Contractors are required to be licensed in Florida, so choose wisely!
Ready to Install Impact Windows? Contact FAS Windows and Doors
If you live in a coastal area, chances are impact windows are a good investment. For more information about how you can improve your home’s value with impact windows, contact FAS Windows and Doors today to discuss your upcoming window installation.