Why impact windows are a must in FloridaNiranjan Kumar
Windows have numerous purposes. In addition to being the source of natural light, they allow ventilation, keep the heat and humidity out, and enhance a home’s beauty. Unfortunately, they can also let rain, wind, and wind-borne debris inside your home. Florida homeowners know that better than anyone else because this state experiences severe weather conditions on a regular basis. Extreme weather patterns have taught Floridians to take precautions when building homes and one of them is installing impact windows. In fact, having these windows installed is a must in some parts of Florida.
Florida’s tropical weather is as delightful as it is dangerous. Thunderstorms, heavy rains, tornadoes, strong winds, and occasional hail storms cause extensive damage to Florida homes. The most dangerous weather events Florida experiences are hurricanes. However, severe thunderstorms can cause just as much damage as hurricanes. In the summer months, thunderstorms occur almost daily. With 75-105 days per year, this state has the greatest number of thunderstorms in the country.
Impact windows are mandatory in Florida
According to the Florida Building Code (FBC), windows and other building materials have to meet certain standards. Although high impact windows are not mandatory everywhere in Florida, they are a must in coastal areas. Before you buy, build, or renovate your home, get familiar with your local laws and requirements. Only after confirming that all requirements are met should you find affordable and reliable movers and start moving in.
If you own a property located within one mile of a coastal area that can receive winds in excess of 100 MPH, you must install impact resistant windows or have some form of external window protection such as shutters. The High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) has requirements that are stricter. Every exterior opening in this area must be impact resistant or have some type of external protection. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties, all homes must meet these requirements, regardless of how far inland they are located.
What are impact windows?
Regular, single-glazed windows wouldn’t stand a chance against natural disasters that involve strong winds. On the other hand, impact windows are impact-resistant. Their framing is an important part of the structure that reinforces the window and provides additional protection. It typically consists of either aluminum or some other metal. Impact-resistant glazing, a type of laminated glass, tends to stick to the plastic interlayer in case the window breaks. This way, water, wind, and debris can’t enter the home. All other types of glass, even those that are tempered, require additional protection against the unfavorable tropical weather Florida faces.
The key benefits of installing impact windows
Impact windows offer a number of advantages compared to standard windows, and here are some of them.
Cost-effectiveness tops the list of reasons to install impact windows. Investing in impact windows has several financial benefits. First of all, they are one of the most energy-efficient home features. By reducing energy consumption, you’ll lower your energy bills. Additionally, you will save money in your insurance premium. Also, your property will be less susceptible to damage, which means no need for expensive repairs. As you can see, it is an investment that pays off in the long run.
Lower damage susceptibility
Since the most vulnerable part of any home are its windows, they need special reinforcement. Impact glass, a. k. a. double pane hurricane glass, offers the kind of protection a home needs in a hurricane-prone area. Impact window glass can withstand heavy rains, strong winds, and flying debris. Double panes of thick glass reinforced with materials like polyvinyl butyral with a buffer layer between them provide excellent protection during severe wind events such as hurricanes and tropical storms.
Windows are a key entry-point not only for water, wind, and flying debris, but also burglars. Extra reinforced openings protect your property against break-ins, too. Since it can withstand wind speeds of 150+ mph, this type of glass cannot be smashed easily.
Different kinds of surfaces tend to fade and discolor due to extended exposure to the sun’s rays. Impact windows can come with UV tinting. Thanks to this feature, you can preserve your floors, furniture, wall art, and other items much longer.
The thick barrier these windows provide between your home and the outside world significantly reduces noise. In fact, impact windows reduce outside noise up to 70%. In addition to creating a relaxing home atmosphere for you and your family, this feature increases your home’s value if you decide to sell.
Finally, your impact windows will last for many years. That means you won’t have to worry about replacing them all the time. Impact glass can last between three and thirty years. The exact number of years depends on several factors, the most important ones being the weather and location of your home.
All things considered, opting for this type of windows is a good idea not only in the state of Florida but in any area that experiences hurricanes and tropical storms. Whether legally required or not, installing impact windows is recommendable, as it can significantly improve the safety and quality of your home. If you already have impact windows but they’re old and outdated, consider upgrading them with new impact glass for better protection. Instead of putting up shutters every time a hurricane or thunderstorm is coming, you should consider a more efficient way to secure your property and be prepared for whatever the weather gods send your way.
Jennifer Wilson is a freelance writer and beauty salon owner from Sarasota, Florida. She’s been collecting interior design magazines for years and fantasizing about building her dream home. While making her dream come true, she loves helping people improve their own living space. She currently writes for purpleheartmovinggroup.com. Her passions and hobbies also include beauty, makeup, beach volleyball, and knitting.