Wondering how to choose impact windows Florida? Read on!
A window is usually meant to be a useful part of a building. It is built to let air, light, and sound in, and in desperate times, a lot of other things. But as soon as the wind gets going, it’s the first thing you notice. You get to shut them all as fast as you can. And, as soon as you close them, you sigh with relief.
But what if the windows break? What if the storm gets violent! Or if it’s a nasty hurricane? Sounds scary? It should. If you don’t believe me, you better ask someone who lives in a hurricane-prone area! You’ll know what I’m talking about.
Florida- The Final Destination!
Florida is one of the most loved tourist destinations in the world. Its picturesque coastline has some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. On top of it, it’s hot and shiny summers are the perfect example of how elegantly nature blends in. You must’ve heard about Fort Lauder dale or better yet, the mighty Miami beach. Florida is the hub of fun activities and beach parties. It is renowned for its delicious oranges, pretty pink flamingos, big alligators, and the Disney world. No wonder why it’s the final abode to so many retirees!
But all this fame and glory comes at a hefty price. Florida is also home to some of the most severe storms in recorded history. The warm and shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico have caused some deadly hurricanes in the region. There’s a long list of violent hurricanes that have caused a lot of damage and destruction in their short span.
Hurricanes can often hurt buildings, trees, vehicles or whatever comes their way. Shattered glass windows/doors, devastated roofs, destroyed homes and heavy amounts of wind-borne debris are some of the obvious challenges of living in a hurricane-prone area. But come what may, we humans are more than qualified to overcome such hurdles. After all, that’s how we’ve been able to survive and come this far.
Now to be able to cope up with these adverse conditions, you must build your homes with impact windows and not the ordinary ones. Impact windows are strong and reliable. They’re specially built to endure stormy winds and forceful impacts. Impact windows will keep your home and family protected through violent storms, heavy winds and rain, and debris etc.
Choosing the perfect impact window can be a little tricky though. With so many styles and providers in the market, and with the need to keep all the features in, it’s smart to be aware of some key facts. And that’s what I hope to do through this post. I’ll help you get familiar with its different types, designs, benefits, and a lot more to let you choose the right Impact windows for your space.
Let’s get started, shall we?
What are Impact windows
Impact windows, also known as impact resistant windows or hurricane rated windows are built to bear the impact of flying debris and objects during hurricanes. With impact windows, you’d need no extra protection or coverings for glass doors/windows.
Impact windows are reinforced with multiple layers of laminated glass and a protective PVB (Polyvinyl butyral) interlayer for increased strength. These different layers are then fixed together with extreme heat and pressure to become a single piece. Apart from that, an extra Low-E glass sheet is also added to the whole piece for heavy duty protection and safety from any kind of penetration.
The best part: they come in all styles and designs. Hung windows, horizontal roller windows, casement/projected windows, picture and architectural windows, sliding glass and French windows, you name it. You can choose from Aluminum, wood, or vinyl for its frame material. There are many designs options as well. Colonial and Brittany to name a few. You can also get custom designs if you prefer.
Its fancy options are one thing but its practical use is a whole new level. Let’s find out why impact windows Florida is always in trend.
Why Impact windows are so important?
After the havoc caused by many super hurricanes, from Hurricane Andrew in 90s to Hurricane Michael in 2018, which must be still fresh in your mind, homeowners have realised the value of impact resistant windows and doors. Local authorities have made it mandatory to use impact windows/doors in all new constructions.
Residents of Florida have seen what a small crack or opening can do to their homes during times of heavy windstorms. A small gap is all it takes to compromise your safety. A little crack is good enough for flying objects, branches and debris to cause serious breach and damage. Impact resistant windows are built to prevent all this and more. Besides providing protection, impact windows also have many other advantages over ordinary glass windows.
Enhanced safety & security
The laminated glass, PVB interlayer and outer shatter proof film gives it the extra stability and strength to endure forceful impact. Impact windows can help prevent unwanted debris and all to break into your property during violent storms. Impact windows are designed to take the impact and not break into million pieces and fly here and there. In case of getting hit hard with brute force, they’ll simply collapse within and form a spider like pattern, removing the chances of hurting anyone.
Low energy costs
The quality of impact glass can play an important role in maintaining the temperature inside. The better the quality, the higher its energy efficiency. The higher the energy efficiency, the less you’d have to spend on electrical appliances to maintain the room temperature. You can choose laminated glass or insulated laminated glass with Low-E coating for maximum savings.
Low insurance costs
Impact glass is made for heavy-duty. It is built to take heavy blows after blows without getting shattered or harming the structure. As a result, its installation can reduce the property insurance costs quite significantly.
Less UV Rays exposure
Another advantage of impact glass is that it reflects most of the UV rays back, leaving only a negligible amount to pierce through. Extreme UV rays exposure is not only harmful for your skin but it can also damage the furnishing, draperies and decorative items. With impact windows/doors, you can save a lot of money since you wouldn’t need to replace them every now and then.
Better resale value
Impact windows/doors will keep your property safe and sound for longer durability across various seasons. Which means you have more chances of selling your house at a better resale value.
Noise reduction is another benefit of the impact windows. You’d not need any extra sound proofing for your house. Laminated impact windows are more than capable of doing that for you.
Replacing ordinary windows with impact windows isn’t too expensive. either. Infact, it will only increase the over-all resale value of your house. That means you’d be compensated for about 70% of your replacement expenses.
Cool features! Right?
But as rewarding as impact windows are, getting the right ones may need a little work. Impact windows/doors are in high demand, especially in hurricane prone areas. High demand gives way to fake products and fraud. Whether, it’s a construction project or a replacement, investing in such safety measures should always be done carefully. And, if you have prior knowledge about it, it gets even easier.
Choosing the right impact windows
Well it depends entirely on your requirements and budget. When buying such items, you should always check for its features, long term benefits, authenticity and most importantly, how long they last. Impact windows are built for high performance. You must spend some time understanding your needs and search for the right provider accordingly. Always compare different products and providers in your area. Check for the value on your investment but also be mindful of the quality and warranty. Good manufacturers can charge a little higher but with them you can be sure of quality and service. High quality impact windows/doors can last for more than 10 years. In some cases, even more. And, if you’re fortunate enough, you might never have to change them again.
The quality and life period of your impact windows also depends upon the kind of material and glass you choose. At present, there are 3 material options to choose from.
Types of Material in Impact Windows
Aluminium is strong, light weight and pleasing to the eye. It’s a recyclable and a low maintenance material. The best part, it’s weather resistant, means better insulation. All it needs is to be painted which is not a hectic deal at all.
Vinyl is an excellent insulator too. It’s cheaper and needs little maintenance. Plus, it’s a high energy performer. Vinyl is not recyclable though.
Wood is always the gentle choice. It’s a royal material which is also a natural insulator. It’s recyclable and highly efficient when it comes to saving energy or maintaining room temperature. The only drawback here is that it needs extra care since wood naturally tends to decay overtime.
Once you’ve selected the frame material, you can move on to selecting the glass type.
Glass options in Impact windows
Laminated glass is the main barrier used in impact windows. You know your car windows are made up of laminated glass as a fixed safety feature. Or, the big display glass in a showroom! There are only two glass options available at present, but both are more than capable of meeting the ends.
Laminated glass is made up of multiple glass sheets fixed together under extreme heat and pressure. In addition, a final plastic film is used to envelope it completely for extra strength.
Insulated laminated glass is made the same way as laminated glass but an additional glass pane is added to it in an air tight manner. This provides it with extra insulation to keep your house warmer in colder weather.
Once you’ve selected the right brand, material, and glass, comes time to choose a good quality installer.
Install it the right way
Many reputed manufacturers offer installation as an inbuilt feature of their service. This would be the ideal choice. However, if you’re looking for an independent installer then you should look at their experience and expertise. Because no matter how strong the glass is, if it’s not fixed properly, it’s definitely going to give you some trouble sooner or later. To get the best people for the job, you should do a little research. You may,
Check for registration and license.
Go through their previous and current projects.
Look into their offers, prices and workmanship.
Enquire with their previous clients for reviews and feedback.
By doing a thorough research, you’ll surely get the desired result. Once you’ve got the right product and installation, comes the maintenance part. A home is our personal cozy space, we like it clean anyway.
Keeping your impact windows new
Cleaning your windows is something you do anyway. And, when you have impact windows, it gets even more relevant. Cleaning it time to time will remove any dust, dirt, pollen, and other small particles and keep it shiny as it should be. Apart from keeping it in shape, cleaning will also make it perform well, and last longer. You’re recommended to use these following materials to keep it new and working:
Use soft microfiber cloth to rub and scrub; not the ordinary ones.
Spray with low-pressure hose so as to avoid any harm to the protective film.
Use a soft rubber wiper to remove scraps or excessive water.
Polish with smooth glass cleaner.
Shading or toning your impact windows glass can add extra protection from dangerous UV rays. Though it’s an inbuilt quality of impact glass, a tiny amount of UV rays still passes through. To prevent this and get a complete defense from the overwhelming warmth of Sun, it is something you can do yourself on a weekend.
Okay, we get that, this is something you did not expect. But let’s be honest, when it comes to natural disasters, there is no safe word. And as strong and capable as impact windows are, the forces of nature cannot be controlled. Heavy and fast winds can seriously increase the speed and intensity of the impact of flying objects to unexpected levels. A bad event like a fallen tree or electric pole can also cause a crack or breakage. In which case, you’d need to repair it as soon as you can. Unlike ordinary glass, impact window glass can be repaired but it has to be done at the earliest.
(You should check for repair/replacement services with provider/installers at the time of installation, so that you’d have the info handy at the time of an unfortunate event).
Impact windows are shatterproof, safe, and tested. Apart from keeping you safe through hurricane times and unwanted intrusions, it will also give you high performance in many other areas. With impact windows you get better insulation, reduced energy bills, protection from UV rays, noise reduction, no water penetration, and more and more value on every single penny you spend.
Impact windows becomes an essential part of your building if you reside in Florida or any other hurricane prone area for that matter. Whether it’s a new building or a renovation, you should consider it as an important part of your construction plan.
In tropical areas such as Florida, impact windows are not only an essential part of the building but also a key element of safety and security measures. It is a reasonable thing to add into your whole infrastructure model for high-end protection.
As you can see, there is not a single red flag in getting impact windows when compared to ordinary ones. And when you live in a hurricane prone area like Florida, it’s not a debate. Whether it’s your home or a commercial property, impact windows will enhance the security of your space and keep your loved ones protected.