What Type of Storefront Windows are Best for Hurricanes?

Hurricanes can cause a number of problems for businesses, including water damage and structural damage — not to mention thousands of dollars in property loss. It’s important to put safeguards in place to protect your store against the devastating effects of hurricane season. One way is to choose storefront windows that will keep your building and customers out of harm’s way.

But what type of storefront windows provide the most security against hurricanes? For many reasons, impact windows have proven to be the answer. Investing in impact windows for hurricane protection is one of the smartest and most cost-effective decisions you can make. 

Impact windows – made of laminated glass – may not be completely hurricane proof, but they do provide a number of benefits.

  • Security: The strengthened laminated glass in impact windows makes it possible for them to withstand high-speed winds and flying debris. If the glass does break, it stays in the frame, preventing injury to people around it. This type of glass also gives store owners added protection against theft since it’s extremely difficult to break through.
  • Lower energy costs: Constructed for durability with two sheets of glass and a layer of polymer or vinyl in between, impact glass is also great for insulation. You can expect to save on heating and cooling costs.
  • UV ray reduction: Impact windows block out up to 99% of UV rays, protecting your merchandise from sunlight damage.
  • Sound reduction: The insulation from these windows insulates the sound inside your store and reduces noise from the outside, helping you ensure a more peaceful shopping experience for your customers.

Impact Window Material Options

Frames for impact windows come in aluminum, vinyl, and wood — each with its own advantages to consider. Here’s the lowdown on each type of material:

  • Aluminum: A lightweight metal, aluminum is sturdy enough to hold hurricane glass and also pleasing to the eye. The upkeep is minimal, as these windows will not corrode over time.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl window frames require no maintenance and are known to be excellent insulators. They can also provide a storefront with a basic, clean look.
  • Wood: Although wood frames are used for impact glass, they are not the most popular option due to their tendency to rot and warp. They are, however, great for insulation purposes and can provide a storefront with a unique look.

Glass Options for Impact Windows

It is important to choose the right type of glass for your impact windows. There are two main types to consider: laminated and insulated. Impact glass is generally laminated but can be upgraded to insulated if need be. Here are some details on each:

  • Laminated glass: Laminated glass is made of two glass sheets with film in the middle. Laminated glass makes it possible for these windows to withstand winds of up to 200mph. If the glass breaks, it remains in the frame, which prevents the broken pieces from creating a hazard. This is a reasonable option for hurricane protection.
  • Insulated glass: Insulated adds another sheet of glass to the already two-layered laminated glass. Insulated glass also boosts the security of your storefront, as the added layer of glass provides yet another tough barrier to break through.

FAQs about Hurricane Protection for Windows

How do you determine the cost of impact windows for hurricanes?

There are several factors that go into pricing these windows including the size of your storefront, the type of glass, and the shape of the window.

Can I use another type of glass that provides hurricane protection for windows?

Impact windows provide the most protection for your storefront. Since they’ve been thoroughly tested by manufacturers, they are a proven choice for preventing damage and injury better than other types of single or dual-paned windows. With that being said, some areas require impact windows to ensure the safety of store patrons. Check with your state or county to verify whether or not your business must meet these requirements.

Your local Glass Doctor has expert glass technicians on hand who can help you find the safest and most cost-effective option for your needs. Call us anytime at (833) 974-0209 or schedule an appointment online.