Impact-resistant windows are an important feature in Florida homes. Tropical storms and hurricanes have the wind power to lift heavy objects and send them hurtling through the air, at times straight at your house. Should an object like a tree branch, a street sign, or a piece of your landscaping hit your home’s windows, the glass must be capable of withstanding the blow without breaking.
If the glass does break, an increase in air pressure in your home is the likely result. As the air whips around your house, seeking an escape, it can do terrible damage to your home and its structure. This is how roofs are blown off homes.
As a homeowner in Florida, it’s very important to install impact-resistant windows (more commonly known as impact windows) on your home. That said, not all impact windows are created equal. Knowing how to identify high-quality impact windows can help you protect your home during the next severe storm or hurricane. Read on to get helpful tips on how to choose the best impact windows for your home.
What are impact-resistant windows?
Impact windows are windows made with heavy-duty frames and laminated glass. Impact glass is created from two outer sheets bonded to a strong inner core. Combined with a special glazing that prevents the glass from breaking away from the frame, impact-resistant glass is designed to withstand winds up to 200 mph.
Though impact-resistant glass may crack when impacted by a blunt force during a hurricane, the strength of the glass combined with the clear inner layer of polyvinyl butyral enables the windows to hold up without actually breaking.
Benefits of impact-resistant windows
Protection. Impact windows protect your home and belongings in the event of a hurricane. As already mentioned, a broken window during a hurricane can be the cause of serious structural damage to your home, and could lead to loss of property. Installing impact-resistant windows dramatically reduces the risk of structural damage during a hurricane.
Beauty. Impact windows are more beautiful than the window protection panels that some homeowners choose to install on their homes. Since impact-resistant windows can withstand 200 miles per hour winds and flying debris traveling at 34 miles per hour, homeowners are not typically required to install hurricane shutters on their home in addition to impact windows.
Security. Impact windows do more than protect your home from hurricanes: they also protect your home from intruders. Though they may crack when attacked, they are capable of withstanding impacts from heavy objects from potential intruders. Installing impact windows can reduce the need for features like iron bars that keep out intruders but also detract from the aesthetic beauty of your home.
How to Choose Your Impact Windows
Picking impact windows is a lot like picking any other kind of window. Shop for quality, beauty and performance.
Pick Your Window Style
Impact windows come in a range of styles including single-hung, double-hung, casement windows, picture windows, and sliding. The architectural style of your home will have a big impact on the type of windows that look best in your house. Since different styles of windows perform in different ways, it’s also important to choose windows that function the way you prefer.
For example, casement windows open and close by turning a crank. This makes casements a preferred window type for seniors because they often require less upper body strength and balance, compared to single-hung or double-hung windows.
To decide which windows are best for you, go to a showroom and see the different styles in person. Try opening and closing the different window models. Looking at pictures can help you decide from an aesthetic point of view which windows are best in your home, but only by seeing them in person can you know for sure.
Vet the Supplier and Installer
The window installer and supplier that you choose for your home should be reputable and known for selling and installing quality products. Windows represent a major investment, and failure to vet your window installer and supplier could lead to thousands of wasted dollars and a lot of frustration.
Get a referral from someone you trust who has recently installed windows.
Check your installer’s licensure to ensure they have the proper credentials.
Call references before signing a contract.
Buy windows from a window installer who provides good customer service. Do they answer the phone promptly? Provide fast, accurate answers to your questions?
Read the contract and warranty before signing with a particular installer.
Choose the Right Features
Impact windows come with various features that improve their energy efficiency and overall performance. Inquire with your window supplier about features like low-e coatings and window tints. These features help protect your furnishings and flooring inside your home, and also reduce the temperature of the inside of your home, thus reducing the burden on your home’s HVAC system. Extra features can also increase costs, so work with your window installer to ensure that your new windows fit in your budget.
Wondering How to Choose Impact Windows? Contact FAS Windows & Doors
Impact windows can improve your home’s value while also protecting your home from hurricane-force winds. At FAS Windows & Doors, we provide quality impact windows to protect your Florida home from storms. To get started with your new window replacement project, contact FAS Windows & Doors today.