Whether you live in an area where hurricane season is an annual concern or you’ve heard about the added protection impact windows can provide, you may be wondering if these windows are right for your home. Let’s take a closer look at what makes impact windows different from standard windows, whether hurricane windows are different from impact windows, and things you should consider when shopping for impact windows for your home or new construction project.
What Are Impact Windows?
Impact-resistant windows, also known as laminated windows, are made with a different type of glass than standard windows. Engineered to be safer against flying debris, impact-resistant glass includes a strong polymer layer between the glass that adds strength and resistance to breaking. This layer also helps hold the glass together even if it does shatter, keeping your home safer from damage and injuries caused by flying glass in a severe weather situation.
Are Hurricane Impact Windows Really Strong Enough to Withstand High Velocity Winds?
Pella’s Hurricane Shield Series offering has many impact-resistant window options which meet or exceed the Florida Building Code’s (FBC) strictest requirements, including requirements for homes in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone. Though the FBC requirements may vary based on where your home is located, impact-resistant windows in Florida must be capable of withstanding up to 140 mph and greater wind speeds. Additionally, our Hurricane Shield Series also meets or exceeds the Texas Department of Insurance’s requirements, making our impact-resistant windows an excellent choice for homeowners in these regions.
How Do I Know If I Need Impact Windows?
For most homeowners, the decision on impact-resistant glass will come down to one thing: location. Do you live in an area where hurricane season exists? If you’re a homeowner along the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Coast, half of the year brings concerns of extreme weather and hurricane conditions. For those homeowners, hurricane windows are an exceptional choice for peace of mind, safety, and home protection.
However, impact-resistant windows do have use cases outside of hurricane-prone regions. For example, homes near golf courses or baseball fields, as well as homeowners in Tornado Alley, may benefit from impact-resistant windows as well. While the risk of damage may be lower than the impending risk of hurricane season, the added protection from possible flying projectiles is a unique feature some homeowners may find worth the investment.
Are Hurricane Impact Windows Different Than Impact Windows?
In short, yes. High-impact windows are designed to withstand projectiles and debris, consequently offering more strength than standard windows, which are crafted to protect from wind damage. While the terms impact and hurricane windows are sometimes used interchangeably, it’s important to note that hurricane impact windows, which are designed for both hurricane winds and projectiles, will offer your home the highest level of protection. Hurricane impact windows must meet strict building code requirements as well as local requirements laid out by regulating bodies in areas where hurricanes are common.
How Much Are Impact Windows?
As with any window replacement or installation project, there are a number of factors that will contribute to the overall cost of your impact-resistant window purchase. Consider the following:
- How many windows need replacing?
- What is your timeline for this project?
- Are there any other unique features or treatments you need your windows to have?
- If replacing windows, will it be a standard pocket installation or a full-frame project?
Each of these things can impact your costs, as will the type, size, and style of windows you ultimately choose.
Get Hurricane Impact Windows From the Pros at Pella
If the protection of your home — from flying debris and wind damage to full structural integrity — is top of mind for you, the pros at Pella are here to help. Schedule a consultation to discuss your needs and find the best window and door solutions to help keep your home safe even under threat of hurricane season’s severe weather.