Hardening Your Home With Impact Windows
If you live in an area prone to dangerous or unpredictable weather, then you have likely given significant thought to how you can protect your home from nature's wrath. Wind and rain can wreak havoc on even the most well-built houses, and your glass windows and doors are likely to take the worst of any severe weather. Aside from creating a potentially expensive repair, traditional glass can also present a hazard during storms if it shatters while anyone is in the house.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the greatest threat to the windows and doors of your home is impact from debris that has become airborne. Once a door or window has failed, your home becomes vulnerable to additional structural damage. The new opening also creates a path for water and debris to enter the house, which can cause additional damage or create a dangerous situation if you are sheltering within the structure. Because of these dangers, windows must often be boarded up before a storm. Impact windows, also sometimes referred to as hurricane-resistant windows, offer one more permanent alternative.
What Are Impact Windows?
Impact windows are windows specially designed to withstand the type of high force impact that may occur during severe weather. Most impact windows consist of two layers of glass bonded together with a clear resin. If the window takes a heavy impact, the outer layer of glass will likely shatter, but the shards will remain attached to the inner layer of resin. The inner layer itself remains attached to the window frame, preventing your home's structural envelope from being breached.
Advantages Of Impact Windows
Aside from providing protection from weather-related damage, impact windows potentially offer several other advantages. The primary advantage of impact windows, aside from offering protection from weather-related interior damage, is superior noise reduction. Impact resistant windows can offer up to 25-50% more sound reduction when compared to regular windows. Additionally, the shatter resistance of impact windows can potentially deter home invaders, as it is significantly more difficult to fully break through an impact window or impact door.
Are Impact Windows Right For You?
Whether or not you should choose to install impact windows and impact doors in your home is largely a matter of location and need. If your home is located in an area that frequently receives severe weather or hurricanes, then impact windows are a good fit. You may even increase the value of your home by replacing your traditional windows. The initial cost can be high, but the long-term savings and peace of mind will likely be worth it.