Impact-Windows: What to Know Before You Buy
If you are living in a coastal region you are probably familiar with the yearly protocol of prepping your home for the hurricane season. It all starts with a news alert of a tropical storm forming, followed by an increasing amount of storm coverage while you quickly pack your important things, board up your windows and depending on the severity of the storm—head out of town and wait for it to pass.
One of the toughest aspects of dealing with a hurricane is the understanding that your house is likely to be hit but, not knowing the severity of damage that may occur. As a homeowner, you have likely done some research into the best ways to fortify your house for hurricane season and there is a good chance you came across impact-resistant windows as a viable solution.
What are Impact-Resistant Windows?
Impact resistant windows—as their name implies—are windows that are designed to reduce the likelihood of being breached by a forceful impact.
Impact-resistant windows greatly differ from standard windows in IGU (insulated glass unit) production. A polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer is fused with an annealed glass lite in impact-resistant windows. This results in a strong “laminated” glass unit that holds together if hit by a strong force.
The IGU is also fit with a “tempered” glass lite that is 4-5 times stronger than a standard glass unit. The exterior facing tempered lite will break into small rounded pieces called “dice” if hit by a strong enough force. Ideally, the durable laminated lite will remain intact and continue to protect the home for the remainder of the storm.
NextGen Home TV featured Viwinco’s OceanView windows in their “First to the Future” episode, where Ty Pennington came to visit Viwinco’s Morgantown, PA facility and test out our Ocean View Impact Windows.
Watch the video below to see our 2×4 cannon in action. Warning the video is loud!
Why Should You Consider Impact-Resistant Windows?
In the event that your standard windows are breached during a strong storm, the combination of water and air pressure could build up in your house causing a balloon effect. In this event, something will have to give to dissipate the pressure, however, this may be another window, door, or roof which may cause the walls to give, entirely leveling your house.
In addition to impact-resistance performance during storms, impact-resistant windows have additional benefits:
- Having a low-e and laminated glass panel will drastically cut down on UV lighting, providing better insulation in your home and protecting carpets and furniture from discoloration due to UV exposure.
- The impact resistant glass can also increase security by creating a powerful barrier to minimize the risk of forced entry.
- The Laminated Glass pane accompanied by an argon gas fill will greatly decrease sound transmission reducing outside noise.
A Florida homeowner wanted to put Viwinco’s OceanView® Impact-Resistant windows to the test by staying during 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.
You can't hear anything, you seriously can’t hear anything. It was crazy! My family was here. You would've never known. The wind was gusting and it wasn’t just a little bit of wind, it was 75mph winds. It sounded like this (silent).
The homeowner said that while their house received minor tree damage, the windows performed above and beyond their expectations.
View Viwinco’s OceanView data including air, water, and structural performance and thermal performance.
How Much Do Impact-Resistant Windows Cost?
Impact resistant windows/doors come in many different styles, shapes, and sizes which can greatly impact the pricing of your unit. Learn about the many styles and features provided by Viwinco’s OceanView Impact Resistant windows and patio doors.
When upgrading your windows to impact-resistant units, we recommend contacting your local distributor for accurate quotes on your project. Find a distributor of Viwinco Windows and Patio Doors by entering your postal zip code.
Do You Need Impact-Resistant Windows?
If you live in a coastal region or an area prone to severe storms, impact-resistant windows are likely something to consider in your next home improvement. In some areas houses are required by law to have impact-resistant windows. It is best to refer to your local building codes to ensure that your house has the necessary protections.
Experts in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that the 2018 hurricane season has a 30% chance to be more active than last year and a 40% chance to remain the same. With that being said, hurricanes have been occurring for quite some time now and are likely to continue to for many years to come, why not protect your home now and get some peace of mind during this hurricane season?