Every year, as hurricane season approaches, Florida homeowners begin their long list of tasks to prep their homes and families for the oncoming storms. Gathering sandbags? Check. Purchasing flashlights and extra batteries? Check. Duct taping the windows? There’s got to be a better way. That’s where impact windows come in. Impact windows—also sometimes referred to by homeowners as storm windows or hurricane windows—can better protect your home and give you one less thing to worry about come storm season.
So, what features should you look out for in a top-notch impact window? And where should you go to purchase them? We’ve got answers. Read on.
The most important feature of an impact window is its glass. There are a number of different types of impact glass out there, including:
- Laminated glass, which includes a strong, clear interlayer to prevent glass from breaking away from the frame
- Laminated insulating glass, which has two panes of glass for strength and one extra for added insulation
- Annealed glass, which will break into large shards if broken
- Heat-strengthened glass, which tolerates rapid temperature swings without breaking
- Tempered glass, which is resistant to temperature swings and blunt impacts
The best impact windows have some combination of the above impact-resistant glass treatments. Make sure to talk to your window contractor about what’s best for your home’s unique needs.
Next up on the key features of superb impact windows: heavy-duty frames. Hurricane-force winds can travel up to hundreds of miles an hour, so you need to be able to trust that your windows are secure in your home and that their glass is secure in the frames. Opt for super-sturdy materials such as aluminum or vinyl, both of which are widely lauded for their durability and strength. Make sure to look for key features of heavy-duty frames, such as a constant force balance system, integrated corner keys for added sash strength, and embedded tilt latches for added security.
The only way to guarantee that impact windows are truly impact resistant? Testing them against simulated storm conditions, including impact testing, cyclic testing, and static water testing. Look for strong test results from the impact windows you’re considering.
The impact windows we offer at The Window Depot, for example, have undergone all three of the aforementioned tests with excellent results. In fact, their laminated glass is designed to withstand repeated impact from a 9-pound 2’ x 4’ traveling at 34 miles per hour. And even if the glass is damaged, the interlayer will hold the glass together, continuing to keep unwanted debris outside. Additionally, our impact windows exceed Florida building code standards for impact resistance—an essential consideration for your home’s new impact windows.
Trust The Window Depot
At The Window Depot, we’re proud to offer top-tier impact windows from trusted manufacturers Simonton and PGT. In fact, we’re one of the largest Simonton and PGT dealers in the state and Authorized Direct PGT dealer, so you can trust that we know our stuff when it comes to impact windows for your Florida residence. To learn more about the impact windows we offer, contact us today or visit our showroom in Palm Harbor, FL, to see them for yourself!