If you live in a hurricane zone, then it goes without saying that the new windows you choose for your home need to be impact-resistant windows. But once you start looking into your options, you might be amazed just how many different types and styles of impact-resistant windows there are. What features are the most important to consider? Take a look.
Look for heavy-duty frames.
The term "impact-resistant" usually just refers to the glass used in the windows. While you certainly want your glass to be impact-resistant, you want the window frames and sashes to be sturdy, too. Thinner aluminum ones may not hold up if a branch gets blown into the window. You want to look for sashes and frames labeled specifically as "heavy-duty" or "extra-duty." Usually, these will be made from extruded, heavy-duty aluminum or thick vinyl.
Opt for casement windows, when possible.
You can find impact-resistant windows in many styles. But if you are open to changing window styles, or if you already have casement windows, they tend to be the best choice. (Casement windows are the style that open to one side on hinges, like a door.) These windows lock into the frame with a very sturdy mechanism that holds the entire window panel in the window opening. They're less likely to get blown in or ripped off than various other window styles. It can take some work, but most window openings can be converted into casement window openings when you have your windows replaced, so this is a smart time to make an upgrade.
Interior grilles, if any.
If you want windows with grilles, look for ones that have the grilles inserted in between the glass panels, rather than resting on top of the glass panels. Exterior grills can more easily become detached from the window during a storm, and then they can blow into the window. Of course with impact-resistant glass, they won't cause too much damage, but they may still crack the glass to the extent that it needs to be replaced. With internal grilles, you don't have to worry about this at all. The grilles are safely tucked away between the impact-resistant glass, where the wind cannot catch them.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of what features you need to consider when selecting impact-resistant glass windows. With all the options out there, it's nice to have some guidance.