What Are Hurricane Windows?

Have you ever wondered about hurricane windows – what they’re made of or what makes them so strong? Hurricane windows are a type of window engineered to be much stronger and more durable than standard glass windows. Recommended for homes in hurricane and storm-prone regions, hurricane windows are incredibly advantageous to homeowners. Read on to learn everything you need to know about hurricane impact windows and whether they are right for your home.

The History of Hurricane Windows

The technology behind hurricane impact windows dates to the 1930s when glass manufacturers were under pressure from the auto industry to create a tough, durable material for vehicle windshields. But it wasn’t until 1992 when Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc on South Florida that hurricane windows became recognized for their ability to protect buildings and homes. The aftermath of the brutal hurricane prompted many counties in Florida to revamp their building codes to require protections like hurricane impact windows.

How Are Hurricane Windows Made?

The process behind manufacturing a hurricane impact window is much more complicated than standard glass pane window manufacturing. Many production standards must be met so that each impact window meets the quality and strength requirements to not only withstand the high winds of a hurricane but also be used as a security feature, resisting break-ins and even something as devastating as a bomb blast.

A single hurricane window is made with several layers of laminated glass, much in the same way vehicle windshields are made. This layered design resists shattering. Unlike a standard glass window, if a hurricane window is compromised, it will break into fewer and more-dull pieces. To ensure it lives up to its name, hurricane windows undergo rigorous testing.

How Strong Are Hurricane Impact Windows?

Hurricane impact windows are designed to withstand conditions present during a Category 5 hurricane, including winds up to 158 mph, flying debris, heavy hail or ice. So how strong are hurricane impact windows? Pretty darn strong. You could repeatedly hit a hurricane window with a sledgehammer without as much as a crack. Besides being incredibly strong, hurricane impact windows are also made to withstand extreme temperatures like the below-zero chill of winter and the intense heat of summer.

Are Hurricane Impact Windows Right for Your Home?

Depending on your county’s building codes, you may be required to install hurricane windows in any new construction or by a certain year. Be sure to check with your individual county for specific building code information.

Even in locations where hurricane impact windows aren’t required, they’re an upgrade worth considering. Windows are an integral part of the structure of your home. The more they stay intact during a storm, the less likely a building is to suffer damage to the walls or roof. In other words, strong windows protect the integrity of your home in any severe weather event. And because impact windows are made to keep the weather out, they are a great option for homeowners seeking to increase the insulation quality of their homes. Other benefits of hurricane impact windows include:

  • being virtually break-in proof,
  • offering insulating properties, and
  • aiding in soundproofing your home from the outside.

Ready to Install Hurricane Windows?

After learning about the many advantages of hurricane windows, you’re probably ready to start the installation process. Whether it’s installing all new windows on your new home or replacing standard windows with hurricane impact windows, Glass Doctor is here to help with all your glass needs. Don’t wait until storm season to get started, call Glass Doctor at (866) 802-3359 or schedule an appointment online to get started.

Looking for more ways to prep your home for hurricane season? Check out these tips from Rainbow International. Like Glass Doctor, Rainbow International is a trusted member of the Neighborly® community of home services brands.