For permanent residents of South Florida’s sunny coastline, hurricane season can seem rather daunting if your home is not equipped to handle these strong storms. Some scientists have warned that due to global warming, the rise in the Earth’s temperatures may lead to an increase in the strength and frequency of these hurricanes. This means that people need to be even more prepared than ever and it makes sense to start investing in top quality hurricane protection for your home.
When it comes to hurricane-proofing your home, windows are especially important as they are possibly the most vulnerable point of entry for any unwanted water or debris as a result of a storm. There are various options available to you when deciding which hurricane window protection system to install. Things to consider when choosing which hurricane window is best for you, is the style, material and costs to fit your aesthetic and budget needs. This article will discuss the various types of impact glass and frames that are in the market today to help you choose which is best to protect your home from hurricane damage.
Hurricane glass windows, or impact-resistant windows, are manufactured like a car windshield. They are made with a layer of laminate between two thick window panes. This allows for the windows to stop from shattering if a large piece of flying debris smashes into the window from a storm. Instead, the glass will crack upon impact but will remain embedded in the window frame.
There are different glazing options when it comes to the laminate procedure by which the glass panes are connected. The different types vary in price and strength so it is best to review them to try and decide which type is best for you.
PVB or EVAPolyvinyl butyral or ethylene-vinyl acetate is usually quite thick and ranges in price depending on its thickness. This is the same material used in car windshields to make them shatterproof.
PVB & PET (polyethylene terephthalate)PVB combined with PET provides a strong layer between the glass panes for maximum hurricane protection. This combination, however, provides a challenging and expensive manufacturing process. This type of laminate offers excellent insulation against noise from a storm and can come in different tints to block out UV light.
SGP (SentryGlas Plus)This is a more lightweight material but it still incredibly strong and is often used not only for storm protection but as bullet proofing as well. This material is less susceptible to turning yellow over time than the other hurricane-resistant window options but is also the most expensive. This type of glass is used more in commercial property windows but can be installed in residential homes if requested.
Liquid Glass ResinThis procedure uses UV light to permanently apply liquid glass resins to the glass until it hardens. In some cases, a PET film can be added to make the glass that much stronger. This is an inexpensive procedure that is especially popular in Florida.
Glass/Plastic HybridThis procedure sandwiches a thin sheet of plastic between two glass panes which results in a very strong glass window. This, however, does not do well in hot climates as the plastic tends to expand more in the heat.
The type of material used for the frame is important to ensure it is strong enough to keep the glass in the frame and stop it from shattering into tiny pieces.
Aluminum/Steel FramesThese are considered to be the strongest and most expensive frames that need to be maintained on a regular basis.
Vinyl/PVC FramesThese types of frames provide great insulation and are one of the most cost-effective. The only negative, however, is that it is difficult to recycle this material when it is time to be replaced.
Wood Framesmany people enjoy the appearance and strength of wooden frames, as well as the fact that they offer good insulation. Although the material is initially quite inexpensive, the frames do require a lot of maintenance because they need to be painted regularly which can be costly. Over time, wooden frames can also be susceptible to warping.
Impact Windows vs. Argon Gas Filled Windows
The process of making argon gas filled windows is exactly how it sounds. Argon gas is filled between two glass panes which helps to improve thermal insulation in a room as less heat escapes through the glass. This is especially helpful in improving energy efficiency in colder climates. The process is very expensive and not necessary in warmer climates such as South Florida.
Advantages Of Impact Windows
Impact windows seem to be the clear choice if you’re living in an area that is susceptible to severe hurricane damage. Although putting in hurricane resistant windows may seem like an expensive task, you will have a much higher return on your investment if you do.
Here are some obvious advantages of installing impact windows on your Floridian home:
- Lower chance of shattered glass and damaged property after a storm
- Increased sound insulation to lessen the loud noises made by a storm
- Decreased property insurance premiums
- Higher resale value
- Increased security protection from intruders
- More UV protection which helps with energy levels used to cool down your home during the hot summer months
Selecting the right impact window for your home needs can be difficult so it is always a good idea to seek out some professional advice. Give one of our professional home contractors a call now on to discuss your impact window needs!