Can Impact Windows Withstand A Category 5 Storm?

Can Impact Windows Withstand Category 5?

Engineers have designed and refined impact windows over the years to withstand hurricanes and other harsh weather.  This is the main feature of impact windows and these types of windows provide excellent protection and safety when compared to other types of windows that you may be considering for an upgrade to your home.  Installing impact windows can drastically lower your chance of catastrophic damage to your home. Hurricane impact windows have been engineered and developed to the point that they are able to withstand category 5 wind and debris. These windows are tested over and over for strength and quality so that we can put before you the best products available with the comfort of knowing how protected you will be if you install these types of windows on your home.  Impact resistant windows are also resistant and not proof.  In a category 5 hurricane there is a chance that there could be damage to the windows but through testing we know that these are the strongest on the market for protection against such a storm.  An added feature to impact windows is not just their strength but the way they are engineered.  Hurricane impact windows have a thin coating over the glass to protect against glass shattering and causing more damage.

Each window is also rated so you have an idea of what level of safety they are characterized by. They have a few ratings and one of the ratings is a DP (design pressure) rating which indicates the windows resistance to wind pressure and water penetration.  The higher the number, the better the window is in resisting these forces.  PG ratings are another rating scale that indicates if an impact window is sound and this PG rating is here to factor it’s structural integrity.  When you have both of these numbers you have a better idea of the strength and safety of a window. The higher the rating, the better the window is in structural integrity as well as the ability to withstand water or wind.

If you would like to learn more about the impact windows that we carry and what may be right for your home then please contact us by phone or form and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding impact windows or doors.  When identifying what windows or doors you might want for your home there are many considerations and our experts are knowledgeable and can help you the entire way through the process of selection and installation.  

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Can Impact Windows Stop a Bullet?

Can Impact Windows Bulletproof?

Before going into this article I want to make it perfectly clear that you should not test this out in any way and the information written in these articles are for information purposes only and not intended for anything other than knowledge sharing.  With that said, not every window is created equal and impact windows are built to withstand wind and debris.  The goal of the window is not to stop bullets so it shouldn’t be tested as such.  Bullet-resistant glass is often thicker than impact window glass and is designed in different ways with that purpose in mind.  The hurricane windows designed to stop projectiles in hurricane winds are treated with a laminate to stop the glass from shattering but not to stop a bullet.  So to answer the question, impact windows are not bulletproof.

If you are researching bulletproof glass vs impact windows you have to consider the use case. Living in South Florida, we have a season dedicated to hurricanes and upgrading your home to install hurricane windows will protect against high winds, debris from the storm, and provide safety and security from storm related threats.  However, bullets are not storm related threats and there is a different solution to that problem.  If you are looking to upgrade the windows on your home, our expert staff are able to give you the information you need to make an informed decision on what windows are right for your home.  There are tons of styles which you can choose from and our windows are energy efficient.  We use the best materials and our expert staff does all of the installation ourselves without subcontracting work out to other companies.  We provide top of the line products with expert staff to inform and install while delivering it to you at an amazing price. 
Contact us today to see how we can help inform you and keep you safe when looking to upgrade the windows and doors in your home.

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Are Impact Windows Energy Efficient?

Are Impact Windows Energy Efficient?

If you live in South Florida and are looking to upgrade the windows on your home, there are a number of things that you may want to consider.  Each home is unique and may lead to different styles of windows that match the design of the home but no matter what you prefer, one thing remains common to all of the windows and that is the need for energy efficiency.  Impact windows are energy efficient because they are insulated better than most windows on the market.  Some are also coated with a Low-E coating which is a thin coating that reflects harmful UV rays. This means that you will save money over time by installing this type of window into your home as well as protect against harmful sun rays at the same time.  We all know that Florida summers can be brutal in terms of heat and the way that the windows are designed, they help with that outside problem as well.  Impact windows reflect outside heat and help regulate your home temperature so that you don’t have to pay to heat or cool your home at excessive rates.  Impact windows can help you save money on your energy bill and can also help lower your homeowners insurance bill.  The impact windows that you choose to upgrade your home and protect you against storms can also help protect your wallet through these energy saving details.

There are many things to consider when picking the right impact window for your home and some of those are the materials that the window is made from, how it is installed, coating on the glass and types of glass installed as well as the style of the window itself.  We have experts ready to answer all of your questions that would love to walk you through the process of identifying your specific home’s needs as well as styles you like, important design elements, ways that these windows can help bring down your bills and also how the upgrade can protect your home.  Give us a call or fill out the form on our website and we would love to start the conversation to give you everything you need to make an informed decision in upgrading the windows and doors in your home.

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Are Impact Windows Required In Florida?

Are Impact Windows Required In Florida?

When building a new home or upgrading your windows to a more modern look and feel, there are things to consider.  One of those considerations might be a question like, “Are impact windows a requirement if I live in Florida?”  If you are unfamiliar with building codes in Florida, it “requires windows to be impact-resistant or protected if located within one mile of the coast where the wind speed is 110 mph or greater.”  Windows have many functions aside from the gorgeous Florida views.  Windows allow light to enter a space, reduce heat, provide protection from wind or debris, be energy efficient and provide safety and security.  There are many things to take into account when picking the right window in terms of style and functionality but you also have to take into account regulations of your local state to ensure you’re abiding by local law. 

After Hurricane Andrew, we now know windows are a key entry point for wind and debris so the Florida Building Code now requires windows be resistant to wind and debris if you live near the shore.  Even if your home isn’t directly on the coast, it’s a great idea to protect your home and family with precautions such as upgrading your windows to newer and more efficient impact windows.  If you are in a High Velocity Hurricane Zone close to the coast you may also be provided and required to install shutters or impact resistant windows to protect against wind-borne debris caused by storms.  All of these regulations and requirements are put in place to keep your home protected and safe.

If you would like to speak with one of our experts, please give us a call or fill out a form on our website so that we can get in touch and provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision about upgrading your windows or doors in your home.  We provide excellent customer service, quality window and door options, expert installation and product satisfaction that is meant to make you feel informed and proud of your new purchase.  Windows and doors can redefine your home and provide an additional layer of security and safety that you may be looking for in a home upgrade.

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Are Impact Windows Worth The Money

Are Impact Windows Worth The Money?

When you’re making the decision to upgrade the windows and doors in your home there are many things to consider.  Your home is an investment and making good economic decisions that will have a lasting impact on energy efficiency, aesthetics and safety and protection of your family and home just makes sense.  During a storm, the protection and safety you get from installing impact resistant windows and doors is priceless. 

Protecting your family and home is paramount and we deliver products and services that ensure that safety.  Price is going to be one of those considerations as well and as with any purchase, you should know what you are paying for and make an informed decision as to why this is the right buy for your home. 

USA Windows and Doors offer some of the lowest prices in South Florida for both our windows and door products which is a huge bonus for someone shopping around for the best price.  In addition to the sticker price, you also will get expert knowledge, installation done by our team and years of experience which will translate into the project being done right the first time. 

Aside from the service side and price considerations, the windows and doors provide huge energy savings that translate into real dollars each month.  Some homes see an average of $125-$450 per year in energy costs by replacing single-pane windows with double-pane impact windows.  You can also save on homeowners insurance with impact windows which is just more money directly into your pocket. 

Whether it be energy efficient savings, homeowner’s insurance savings or the safety and protection of your family and home, it’s clear that impact windows and doors are worth the money and peace of mind and upgrading your home is always a good idea.

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Hurricane Vs Impact Windows

Are Hurricane Windows The Same As Impact Windows

You might think that these terms are interchangeable but you might be surprised to find out that there are distinctions between the two and the terms are not the same.  To be considered a hurricane window, the window just needs to provide a certain level of wind resistance.  To be considered an impact window, these windows offer wind resistance as well as protection from projectiles and impacts to the glass. 

Impact resistant windows can withstand even Category 5 wind conditions and some projectiles in the storm.  There are benefits to these two types of windows as well such as noise reduction, energy efficiency and aesthetics that both offer.  Both offer superior protection against wind conditions and should help you in a storm but again, these two terms are not the same and they do have clear distinctions. 

Depending on what you’re looking for in a window or door, USA Windows and Doors offer a huge selection of both in our showroom and our experts can show you the right window or door for your home. 

If you are looking for a superior product and experts to teach you about our selection, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help in your selection process.

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Impact Door Types

Impact Door Types

Hurricane impact windows and doors come in a range of types available to consumers. Each is designed to be energy efficient, save you money and to enhance the beauty of your home. The impact windows and doors that we offer at USA Windows and Doors are engineered and installed with safety and protection of your family and home at the top of our priority list. We live in South Florida so we want to make sure that you are protected to the best of our ability during a storm or severe weather event. We sleep well at night knowing that we’re installing the highest quality products in your home.  

We have a full suite of products designed to enhance your home from French Doors, Sliding Glass Doors, Impact Doors, Balcony or Patio Doors and Cabana Doors. No matter which door you pick for your home, we offer the best quality and will make sure our experts on staff are the ones who will do the installation without subcontracting the work out. Our expertise and ability to come to your home locally and do the job right is what you can depend on when you’re looking to do business with us. We are licensed, insured and ready to service your home or business no matter how large the project.  Windows and doors are our specialty and we want to make sure you are informed about all of the options, know the characteristics of each, feel safe in the design and protection it will provide your home, and most of all we want you to be happy with this upgrade to your home.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are high impact windows?

Impact-resistant windows and doors are made with a combination of heavy-duty frames with impact-resistant laminated glass, a polymer layer between the two glass sheets,  and a special silicone glazing process to keep the glass from breaking away from its frame.

What are the most popular impact window brands?

In South Florida, there are two main manufacturers who are most popular, and which both are based in the local area. We generally recommend PGT and CGI as the best brands to choose from when selecting hurricane proof products but there are many other brands to choose from.

What category hurricane can impact windows withstand?

Most hurricane-resistant windows are capable of withstanding winds of up to 200 miles per hour – or category five winds. If flying debris do hit a window or glass door, the added protection will keep the glass from breaking up into large sharp pieces.

Are hurricane impact windows worth it?

ENERGY STAR estimates that if you are replacing single-pane windows with double-pane high impact windows, you could see savings between $126 to $465 per year in energy costs. If you are upgrading your existing double-pane windows to a high impact product, the savings are still estimated to be $27 to $111 per year.

What is the average cost of hurricane impact windows?

As an average, a hurricane impact door size 60×80 inches can cost about $1,900 while a sliding window 72×80 inches is around $1950. An average single-hung window costs between $500 and $600, materials only.

Can impact windows withstand Category Five?

According to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) association, a national U.S. trade association representing the non-union construction industry, “Windows are impact-resistant, not impact-proof. The strongest building code in the world is not going to totally protect us from a natural power, a category 5 hurricane, which is super strong,” he said.

Is there a difference between hurricane windows and impact windows?

Hurricane windows offer the greatest protection against storm damage. Impact windows also offer other benefits, including noise reduction and better resistance against intruders. With hurricane windows, your home will remain intact, even if a window is hit with a flying piece of wood.

Can hurricane impact windows break?

Simply put, yes, it is possible because they are impact-resistant and not impact-proof. Impact glass is designed to resist heavy impacts, but they are still vulnerable to an extent depending on their pressure rating and water penetration PSF.

Can hurricane impact windows stop a bullet?

Many hurricane impact windows are made from laminated glass with a polymer layer between the two glass sheets. When comparing the two, the thickness of the windows must be considered as a major factor in their ability to stop a bullet. Usually, bullet-resistant glass windows are thicker than a typical impact window.

What is better, shutters or impact windows?

Your insurance premiums are reduced more by having hurricane impact windows; they are always protecting the home whereas shutters must be installed or closed by the homeowner. Additionally, having impact strength hurricane windows reduce your air conditioning energy consumption while shutters do not.

Are impact windows worth the investment?

The abundance of long-term benefits including energy savings, lower insurance premiums, safety, and decreased frequency of repair and/or replacement needs make impact windows worth the investment.

Are there different types or styles of impact windows?

There are three main types of for impact windows: Aluminum, vinyl, and wood. The windows are almost always manufactured based on measurements at the home and can be custom made in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles as they are made to order.

How long does it take to get impact windows installed?

Since most hurricane windows and doors are made to order, it can take as many as eight weeks to custom build them. A representative generally takes measurements at your home or office which allows you to choose from different shapes, sizes, ratings, and strengths, and then puts those windows and/or doors into production.

Do impact windows reduce insurance?

When you choose to replace your old windows with high-impact, hurricane resistant windows your savings will include reduced insurance premiums, lowered energy bills, and increased resale value of your home.

Are impact windows burglar proof?

Rather than shattering like a traditional pane of glass, impact resistant windows will splinter, but not break through. Although impact resistant windows are not completely burglar proof, breaking through them can prove to be significantly more work and more time consuming than most burglars are willing to endure.

Do impact windows increase home value?

Not only do hurricane impact windows and doors increase the value of your home, they pay back in many other ways. Installation of hurricane proof windows can give you an excellent return on your investment if you plan to sell or even refinance your home soon.

How much more do impact resistant windows cost?

Hurricane windows typically cost $2,400 and $12,000, or $6,000 on average. Each window is about $100 to $450 and takes about two hours to install at $85 per hour. You may pay more if you have custom storm windows installed.

How thick should impact windows be?

Impact windows use thick laminated glass and sturdy framing materials, which result in a decrease in noise by as much as 50%. Their overall thickness ranges from 7/16” to 9/16”, as compared to typical single pane glass measuring an average of 1/8”.

Are double pane windows hurricane proof?

Double pane windows include two pieces of glass with an air gap in between. Advantages include better insulation, noise reduction, and UV control. However, double pane windows are not designed to withstand windborne debris and should be protected just like single pane glass when a hurricane is threatening.

What wind speed are impact windows rated for?

Most of our windows are rated for Category 5 hurricanes. Wind speeds range from Category 1: 74-95 mph. Category 2: 96-110 mph. Category 3: 111-129 mph. Category 4: 130-156 mph. Category 5 (considered a major hurricane): 157 mph or higher.

Is hurricane proof glass bullet proof?

Hurricane proof windows can be advanced to a bullet proof window. For people who live in a high crime area, they can also use hurricane windows to offers protection although bulletproof windows are more reinforced to offers proper resistance against a bullet.

Can you break hurricane glass with a hammer?

Hurricane impact windows are made to resist breaking no matter if the source is a piece of wood blown by a storm or a burglar trying to break it with a hammer. While not indestructible, the heavy glass and layered design help withstand breaking, but yes, it is possible to break them with a hammer; the glass will break, but not shatter into pieces.

Do impact windows save energy?

Impact glass is ideal for reducing your energy bills by reflecting outside heat and regulating your home’s temperature. Additionally, having impact glass windows and doors in your home could qualify you for an Energy Star rating for tax credits.

How much do hurricane windows save on insurance?

Installing impact-resistant windows can save you between a few hundred dollars a month, or as much as $8,000 per year, depending on your area and your insurance provider. On top of that, these types of changes will keep your home more protected against costly repairs from hurricane damage.

Which is better vinyl or aluminum impact windows?

In general, vinyl windows insulate better than aluminum. Vinyl windows excel when it comes to insulation and improving energy efficiency because the vinyl material minimizes heat transfer. Aluminum windows tend to conduct all temperatures and, therefore, are less energy efficient.

What are storm proof windows?

Stormproof windows are the same as hurricane proof and impact windows; they are just referred to differently and as being storm proof as descriptive of a hurricane or high impact windstorm hence the name stormproof.

How do I know if my windows are impact resistant?

Impact resistant glass from hurricane windows does not necessarily have a single identifier which would differentiate them from a standard window. You can look on the glass in one of its corners for an etching which might outline the thickness, the brand, and manufacture date. This label will sometimes indicate if it is a hurricane window or not.

What is the warranty on impact windows?

All our hurricane resistant impact windows and doors come with a warranty, but different manufacturers offer different terms. Most quality brands will warranty, to the original owner, that all products will remain free of material defects in manufacturing for ten years. We also offer a warranty on all labor of installation for up to fifteen years.

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