Impact Windows 101 : A Guide For Unfamiliar Homeowners

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you are likely quite familiar with impact windows and the purposes they serve for your home. However, if you are a new resident in an area that is well-know for hurricane activity or high-wind storms, impact windows may be a new idea. Impact windows are definitely a home feature that you should get acquainted with as a homeowner. Here are a few of the biggest questions unfamiliar homeowners usually have about impact windows and the answers you will want to know.

So, what exactly are impact windows?

Impact windows, often termed impact-rated windows, are those that are capable of withstanding force from flying objects or high wind--much more so than traditional window designs. Impact windows must meet testing requirements during the manufacturing process that involve how much force the glass can withstand before it breaks. These tests involve hurling large pieces of lumber, such as a 2x4, with tremendous force at the window itself, and even using high-powered wind fans to simulate hurricane weather or steel bearings to replicate small flying debris. If the windows do not pass the tests without shattering or breaking, they cannot be rated as impact resistant.

How are impact windows able to withstand so much pressure?

Impact windows are designed in a completely different way than traditional windows, all the way from the glass to the surrounding frame. The frame is created with solid, durable materials that will not flex easily, such as steel and other metals, and are much heftier than what you would normally find in a house. The glass itself is not just a single pane--the windows are created with two glass panels pressed together with a thin, invisible membrane in between that prevents the glass from breaking. This thin membrane is similar in composition to what you would find in the windshield of your vehicle.

How much are impact windows?

An impact-resistant window can vary depending on where it is purchased and its exact materials. However, in general terms, you should expect one impact window to cost somewhere between $575 and $600. Even though this may sound like a large investment, you have to take into consideration the amount of protection that is provided and the convenience of not having to rush around to get your windows covered before a storm. Additionally, impact windows are highly energy efficient, thanks to their multiple-layer design.

Living in an area that is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms can be scary if you are unfamiliar with how to prepare as a homeowner. Impact windows are one huge step that you can take in the right direction. Contact a company like Bradenton Window & Allied Products to learn more.