Do You Still Need Additional Storm Protection With Hurricane Impact Windows?

Here in Florida, hurricane season comes around year after year, exposing us to a few months of dread. And we all understand the need for protection on our doors and windows.

Most of us have had the unique opportunity of installing panels on our doors and windows when faced with an upcoming storm. And even with new hurricane protection choices such as accordion shutters and roll downs, there is still a labor-intensive aspect, not to mention having to sit in the dark while the shutters are deployed.

With hurricane-impact windows and doors, gone are the days of frantically putting up shutters. Gone are the days of sitting in the dark until the storm has us firmly in its rearview mirror. Because the happy truth is: if you have impact-resistant doors and windows, you will never need to deploy those shutters again. Too good to be true? Not really.

We Learn Things the Hard Way

As in all things, we tend to learn the hard way. When Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, we got to see firsthand what kind of destruction a hurricane could wield. And since then, we have seen other massive storms come and go from Texas to Louisiana to Puerto Rico.

Here in Florida, Hurricane Andrew was our wake-up call. It broke all records for insurance losses in the state and was the cause of the worst insurance crisis in Florida in history. Once we assessed the damage from Andrew, it became obvious that our current building codes were weak and not readily enforced. This poor compliance and enforcement led to incredible destruction and a revamping of building codes in 2002.

New Building Codes Require the Use of Impact Windows

Now, all new homes after this building code change are required to be built with hurricane impact windows and glass doors. This ensures that the home will not be as vulnerable in wind storms as they previously were. The good news for homeowners with these newer windows is that they will never need to install panels again.

Disadvantages of Panels and Shutters

Even when you do have protection for your old windows in the way of panels and shutters, hurricane windows and doors are more advantageous.

Panels and shutters are not hermetically sealed like impact windows. This means that they are still subject to pressure changes. And panels and shutters will also be subject to corrosion in our salty, tropical air. Hurricane windows are manufactured with aluminum or stainless steel frames and components to ensure against corrosion.

Call for a Free Quote

When you choose to install hurricane windows and doors in your home, hurricane shutters are a thing of the past. If you have any questions about the advantages of hurricane doors and windows in Florida, contact the window professionals at R&B Remodeling. We have over 20 years of experience in South Florida and would be happy to give you a free installation quote.

How Do They Test Hurricane Windows?

Florida Building Code TAS 201 is the critical regulation that was imposed after Hurricane Andrew demolished the South Miami area back in 1992. This regulation is now the standard for hurricane windows and shutters in Miami-Dade County and the gold standard in the impact window world.

Tough New Standards

The current toughest standards for impact windows and doors have grown from that hurricane and the subsequent regulation changes. Now, window testing standards have been set by the Miami-Dade County Hurricane Approval Certification. The products that meet those tough standards are the best for protection in areas that see hurricanes as well as other windstorms and tornadoes.

New construction built in Florida now must meet stringent requirements for hurricane impact requirements. If you live in a high velocity zone in South Florida, your windows must meet one standard. If where you live is not considered a high velocity zone, they must meet another one.

The Miami-Dade County Hurricane Approval Certification

The Miami-Dade County Hurricane Approval Certification tests windows based on criteria that was enacted after the Florida building code changes of 2002. In order to get this certification, an impact window manufacturer must have the product tested by the organization and it must pass. These are tests that measure how much impact and pressure the window is able to sustain.

Two Important Tests

When it comes to testing, there are two important components: the Missile Test and the Cyclical Test. The Missile Test is further broken down into large and small missiles, depending on the use of the window and where it will be placed.

Impact requirements are measured by a large missile test as well as a small missile test.

  • The large missile test is where a 2’ by 4’ 9-pound piece of lumber is propelled by a “lumber cannon” at 50 feet per second (approximately 35 miles per hour) at the glass. The first missile will be shot at the middle of the window and the second at one of the corners. This is a requirement for windows that are used in buildings less than 30 feet in height.
  • The small missile test is where 10 small steel balls are propelled to strike the glass at 89 miles per hour. Hurricane glass used in buildings over 30 feet in height must pass this test.

After the Missile Test, the window goes on to the Cyclical Test. This ensures that the window will be able to sustain wind pressure during a storm.

Pressure is tested in both negative and positive terms. These simulate wind and ensure that the window will remain structurally intact at winds up to 200 miles per hour. The cyclical test performs both 4,500 positive cycles and 4,500 negative cycles in a pressure chamber. The results are then calculated in pounds per square foot.

Wind ratings will vary depending on the window.

Have questions about hurricane doors and windows in Florida? We have the answers.  Contact the hurricane window professionals at R&B Remodeling. We would be happy to give you a free installation quote.

How Do Impact Windows Work?

If you live in South Florida, you’ve probably heard of hurricane impact doors and windows. These provide protection in our hurricanes and windstorms without the need for added shutters and hurricane panels. And yet, they look just like regular glass. So how do these hurricane windows work and what makes them so strong?

Florida Understands Protection When it Comes to a Hurricane Event

Here in Florida, we know almost better than anyone what it takes to keep your home safe during a dangerous windstorm. Like other areas of the country, we are vulnerable to these storms and well-versed in the drill when we see that a hurricane or tropical storm has been named and is headed toward us.

The Evolution of Hurricane Protection

Over the years, we have gone from plywood panels to metal panels to accordion and roll down shutters to our current protection in the way of the hurricane-resistant window. As hurricane protection has evolved over the years, we’ve discovered that older technology can offer new solutions.

From Cars to Homes

Impact-resistant glass is a type of laminated glass that was first designed for car windshields to make them shatter-resistant. But creative minds took it another step to design windows for homes and commercial buildings that would do the same thing that a windshield will do for a car.

Types of Impact-Resistant Glass

With major building code adjustments in Florida, new construction requires impact-resistant glass for all windows and doors. These have substantially reduced the damage from windstorms and hurricanes.

The first impact-resistant glass uses a shatter-resistant film on both sides of the glass to hold it together so it doesn’t break upon impact.

The second more popular choice uses an interior membrane inside two panes of glass. These are held together with heavy aluminum or stainless steel frames to further protect against damage in a dangerous windstorm.

The interior membrane of this window is made from a substance called PVB (polyvinyl butyral). This is a clear substance that not only keeps the panes of glass intact upon impact, keeping it from splintering and scattering, but it acts as a strong adhesive to keep the functional integrity of the window intact during the high pressure, wind velocity, and rain of a hurricane event. These windows can withstand winds up to 200 mph.

A hurricane is one of those major hazards that we deal with in South Florida and we understand the damage they can cause to our properties and even our lives. One broken window is able to break the barrier of interior and exterior pressure that happens during a hurricane. This can leave your home exposed to internal damage as well as structural damage. Impact-resistant doors and windows ensure that interior and exterior pressures are maintained and your home is safeguarded from the elements.

If you are considering having impact resistant doors and windows installed or have other questions about hurricane doors and windows in Florida, contact the window professionals at R&B Remodeling. We have over 20 years of experience in South Florida and would be happy to give you a free installation quote.

Thinking of Installing Hurricane Windows? Here are 10 Good Reasons to Do It

If you live anywhere in South Florida, you know the need to protect your home during hurricane season. And there is nowhere that is more vulnerable than your glass windows and door openings. One of the best ways to protect these is with the installation of hurricane impact doors and windows. Need some good reasons? We’re glad you asked!

Protection Against Storms

Of course this is the most obvious reason. But unlike hurricane panels and shutters, impact-resistant windows and doors require no deployment. They are permanent and stress-free. And because it is glass, you know longer have more dark and dismal interior spaces to deal with.

Easy Operation

Or should we say, NO operation. They are just like regular windows and open and shut accordingly.

Savings on Insurance Premiums

Insurance companies are required to give discounts on premiums for windstorm coverage for hurricane mitigation measures you have taken. And who doesn’t want lower insurance premiums?

Reduced Energy Bills

And while you are saving on insurance, you are also saving on your energy bills. Hurricane windows and doors have added levels of insulation which is part of how they protect your home during a storm.

Extend the Life of Your HVAC System

While you are saving on your electric bills, you are also cutting down on the wear and tear on your HVAC system. The less it needs to work, the longer the longevity of the system.

Added Security

With that added insulation, you get added security. For the same reason your home is protected from dangerous projectiles during a storm, your local burglar will find it nearly impossible to break these windows and doors. Intruders will typically use the path of least resistance when breaking into a home which is usually doors and windows. With impact resistant options, a burglar will quickly understand that your home is no easy target.

Noise Reduction

With that added insulation also comes added noise reduction. Keep the outside noises outside and the inside noises inside. You can add peace and quiet to the monetary savings you get with hurricane windows and doors.

UV Protection

Hurricane windows are also an added barrier to damaging UV rays that will quickly face and break down things in your home such as fabrics, carpet, and wood.

Adds Resale Value

When you are looking to sell your home, impact windows will make your home much more enticing to a prospective buyer than one without impact windows. They may even choose to pay a bit more for your home.

Added Curb Appeal

Hurricane windows and doors are not only functionally beautiful, they are aesthetically beautiful.

If you’ve been considering having hurricane windows and doors installed in your home, let us help. At R&B Remodeling, we have been the professionals to trust for all your impact window needs. For more information on the many attributes of hurricane-resistant doors and windows, contact us to speak with one of our professional representatives.