FAQ: Hurricane Windows

Want to know more about impact and hurricane windows in Clearwater, FL? Here are a few common questions we get from our customers:

When did Impact Windows Become a Priority?

IN 1992 hurricane Andrew hit the Florida coast, causing an estimated $25 billion in damages. Around 150,000 to 250,000 people were left without homes. This was a wake-up call for the region. Existing standards and codes were either not enough, or not enforced. So they developed the missile impact tests and incorporated them in more stringent building codes.

What is a Hurricane Window?

Basically, hurricane windows are engineered and tested to withstand hurricane force winds and debris. Better glass, a special film, and stronger frames combine to make these extra strong windows.

How are Hurricane Windows Made?

Hurricane windows consist of two layers of tempered or annealed glass bonded to an intermediate, shatter-proof membrane made of Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB). The plastic film varies in thickness and is practically impenetrable. If the outer glass does shatter, the small pieces adhere to the film and the window remains largely intact.

How are Hurricane Windows Tested?

All impact windows must meet the requirements laid out by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for that region. Impact testing is meant to simulate windborne debris striking the window pane. In a lab setting the testers fire a 2×4 lumber projectile at the window in different locations. To pass the test the impact cannot create a hole larger than 1/16 x 5” in the film membrane. For the small missile test, they fire 10 steel balls projectiles at the window, moving at about 130 feet per second. Again, the projectiles cannot create a hole longer than five inches or a hole wide enough to permit a 3-inch sphere to pass through.

How do Hurricane Windows Help Protect the Roof and Walls?

You might have heard that installing hurricane windows will help maintain the structural integrity of your home. They do this by sealing the exterior envelope. During severe weather, if the windows and doors are compromised the wind enters the structure. This changes the pressure and can have disastrous results. Studies show that if the windows and doors remain intact during a hurricane or tropical storm, then you have a better chance of keeping the roof and walls in place.

Do Impact and Hurricane Windows Protect against Burglary?

Because of the impenetrable design, hurricane windows do provide extra security. Burglars will not be able to break the glass to gain entry into your home. However, in cases of an emergency, fire departments do have special tools to use. These allow them to gain access to your home through the windows, even if you have impact resistant glass.

What are the Other Benefits of Impact Windows?

Besides protecting you against debris and burglary, impact windows also improve energy efficiency, reduce unwanted outside noise, and cut down on damaging UV rays.

What are the Design Characteristics of Hurricane Windows?

Impact and hurricane windows typically have the same look as standard windows. The main features include a shatter-resistant glass housed securely in a heavy duty frame—usually aluminum. You can choose almost any window style, including:

  • Single hung
  • Double hung
  • Sliding
  • Casement
  • Awning
  • Specialty
  • Bay and bow

Why Choose Clearwater Window and Door for Hurricane Windows?

We have been providing quality service and products to customers in this region for over 50 years. We know the area and the climate and have seen firsthand the damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. As a result, our top priority is to give our customers quality products that meet all building standards for Clearwater, FL, and surrounding areas. Call us today at (727) 559-7007 for a free estimate on hurricane windows. Or visit our showroom at 2025 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33765.