How Do Impact Windows Work?
- This question is an important one, since if you’re going to be spending money on a product that is superior to others, you’ll want to know why that is. Impact windows and doors contain a special type of glass that is more durable and shatter-resistant. This glass is also secured in heavy duty frames made of aluminum or other durable metals.
- Unlike most windows that are made with one pane of glass, impact windows consist of at least two panes of glass that is reinforced with a special layer that consists of Polyvinyl Butyral. This plastic material will cause any broken glass to stick to this central membrane, preventing the occurrence of shattering or excessive damage to the window. Impact windows are carefully designed to offer the most resistant possible to shattering and breaking.
Will I Get Insurance Premium Discounts?
- Yes, in fact you will. Many insurance companies recognize impact windows and doors as effective windstorm protective systems. This can result in up to a 50% reduction on your insurance premiums!
What Are Some Other Benefits of Hurricane Windows and Doors?
- Hurricane windows and doors also provide Ultra-Violet (UV) protection. Ultra-Violet rays can be extremely harmful and have been implicated with causing skin cancer.
- In addition, these types of windows and doors significantly reduce outside noise, helping to keep your home peaceful and quiet. If you live near a busy side street or high traffic area, you will really appreciate the noise reduction benefits of having impact windows and doors.
What is the Cost of Impact Windows?
- Impact windows are extremely affordable. Keep in mind, that when the annual savings in insurance premium reductions, energy savings and all of the other benefits such as increasing the overall value of your home are added together, impact windows easily pay for themselves many times over.
- The price of impact windows can range anywhere between one to two hundred dollars more than a conventional window. Compared to regular windows that have external protections such as shutters, impact windows are a much more cost-effective alternative that can easily save you over a thousand dollars per window.
What is the Warranty for Impact Windows?
- Depending on the type of window and the manufacturer, the warranty for your impact windows can vary. These windows are built to last through anything that nature throws at them, so they typically come with a 5 to 20 year warranty. Our installation and labor also comes with a one year warranty as well.
How are Impact Windows and Doors Tested?
- Impact windows and doors are tested via high impact and low impact, large and small missile testing. This basically means that various types of objects are fired at the windows and doors in an effort to determine and measure the amount of force each window can take. These measurements are compared to the type of impact frequently seen during hurricanes and severe storms to ensure your windows will hold up during extreme weather conditions.
How Long Will it Take for My New Windows to Be Installed?
- While each installation job can vary greatly depending on the size of your home and how many windows you are looking to have installed, a standard 2-story house with over 15 windows and 3 doors should take approximately 5 to 8 business days to complete. You can use this general figure to determine if your home is smaller or larger and adjust the time farm accordingly.
Should I tape my windows when a hurricane threatens?
- NO! It is a waste of effort, time, and tape. It offers little strength to the glass and NO protection against flying debris. After the storm passes you will spend many a hot summer afternoon trying to scrape the old, baked-on tape off your windows (assuming they weren’t shattered). Once a Hurricane Warning has been issued you would be better off spending your time putting up shutters over doors and windows.
Should I put shutters over my doors ???
- Obviously sliding glass doors, french doors or any door with considerable glass in it should be protected. Some double doors or garage doors should either be shuttered or reinforced. In Hurricane Andrew many of these type doors gave way.
Why should I get hurricane shutters ?
- People who live in coastal counties from Texas to Maine, and those in other hurricane prone areas, such as most of the Florida peninsula, will find shutters an excellent investment for protecting their lives and property. They protect against wind and wind-borne debris. These shutters protect not only the windows or doors they cover, but also possessions and people inside the building. Once a window or door has been breeched by hurricane winds tremendous pressure is brought to bear on interior walls and upward pressure on the building’s roof. This can lead to roof failure which exposes the entire contents of the building to the storm. Shutters are a first line of defense against the hurricane. Much of the damage and building failure in Hurricane Andrew could have been prevented by well installed hurricane shutters over windows and doors.
Why should I bother with shutters if I live in an evacuation zone?
- Shutters will protect your house and possessions from wind damage whether you are there or not. If the storm surge should reach your home then the shutters won’t protect against the flood of water. But not every place in the evacuation zone will flood. You should take every reasonable precaution to protect your property.
What are the best kind of shutters ?
- The best kind are those that are affordable, are easy to install, and offer the greatest protection. Which of these properties is most important to you depends on individual circumstances. For a disabled or elderly person it may be ease of installation with either an automatic closing mechanism or accordion type shutters. For those with limited incomes plywood shutters may be the only affordable option. For most people the best compromise would be steel panels, which offer good protection, but are expensive and take effort to install. Aluminum panels are lighter and easier to install, but offer less protection and may not meet the building code for your area.
Which ever type you decide on it is important to remember that shutters are only as good as the quality of their installation. Ensure that the shutters or their anchors are installed by qualified workmen and that quality materials that meet thebuilding code for your area are used.
What about the plastic film and shatter resistant windows I’ve heard about ?
- Although these are remarkable products that are being improved every year, they are no substitute for shutters. If you have windows that for some reason, such as access, can’t be shuttered then you may wish to consider using the film or installing the shatter resistant glass.
Remember that the film only protects the glass. The frame is still under pressure and the whole window could fail. Windows with these treatments will still suffer damage from the impact of debris and may have to be replaced after a storm, whereas a shutter would take most or all of the energy of such an impact. Films and special glasses also might not meet the building code for your area.
How do I choose an installation company I can trust ?
- The same way you go about choosing any company that performs a service. Make sure they are licensed, get references, and then check the references. Ask your neighbors and friends about who installed their shutters and if they had any complaints or recommendations. Check out a company with the Better Buisness Bureau, your local licensing authority, or contractor accociation.
When is the best time to get my shutters installed ?
- The best time to have shutters installed is when the house is built so they can be a part of the design. If you own a house without shutters have them installed as soon as is pracitcal. Keep in mind that the beginning of hurricane season may be a busy time for most installation companies. Do NOT wait until a Hurricane Watch is issued for your area.
At the start of each hurricane season you should test out your shutters. For permanently installed shutters try closing each one to make sure they work smoothly and lock tight. For panels and plywood shutters try a couple of windows and doors to ensure the hardware works and check the time you need to complete the job. Check all panels for warpage or other damage which could compromise its integrity. Repair any problems at this time so that everything is ready when a storm threatens.
When a Hurricane Watch is issued for your area check all mechanisms and hardware again, and maybe pre-install the more difficult shutters. If you live in an evacuation zone and it will take 2 or 3 hours to complete your shutter installation, you may want to start during the Watch phase. If you are not in an evacuation zone you should time your installation early in the Warning phase so that you are not struggling with panels during high winds.
What if I can’t afford commercial shutters ?
- The least expensive, effective method of protecting windows is probably using plywood. The key to plywood shutters is thickness and installation. Use at least 5/8 inch exterior grade plywood, it makes the shutters heavier but safer. They should be cut to fit inside the window frame, installed prior to hurricane season, marked for which window they are made for, and stored with their hardware, preferably in a dry location. Heat and moisture over time will warp plywood, and a good fit is essential to their effectivness. For full instructions on how to make these shutters click here.
If even these shutters seem too expensive consider making them for two or three windows at a time, starting with the most vulnerable. After a few years you will have your whole house ready.
Can condominium associations prohibit shutters ?
- The short answer in Florida is NO. Chapter 718 of Florida Statutes of the Comdominium Act (1991) permits each board of administration to adopt specifications as to color, style, etc., but all specifications “shall comply with the applicable building code”. The Florida statutes further state “… a board shall not refuse to approve the installation or replacement of hurricane shutters conforming to the specifications adopted by the board.”