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Selecting the Right Hurricane Proof Windows for Extreme Weather Protection

At the heart of hurricane-resistant windows is a combination of design ingenuity and material strength. These windows are often referred to as impact-resistant because they’re built to withstand impacts from debris at high speeds, a common hazard in hurricane conditions. Here’s a deeper dive into what sets these windows apart:

  • Impact Resistant Technology. The secret sauce of hurricane windows lies in their construction. These aren’t just thicker versions of regular windows. They typically feature two layers of glass bonded with a clear, sturdy plastic film in the middle. This sandwich construction ensures that if the glass cracks, the pieces stick to the film instead of flying into your home.
  • Materials and Construction Techniques. Manufacturers use tempered or laminated glass for these windows. The frames are constructed from heavy-duty materials such as aluminum, vinyl, or even reinforced wood, all designed to hold the glass securely in place, even under the duress of a Category 5 hurricane.


Benefits of Installing Hurricane Resistant Windows

The perks of installing these windows go beyond just keeping your living room dry and debris-free during a storm. They include:

  • Enhanced Protection. The primary benefit is their ability to protect against the high winds and dangerous debris hurricanes bring. By keeping the envelope of your home intact, they significantly reduce the risk of structural damage and personal injury.
  • Energy Efficiency and Noise Reduction. Thanks to their sturdy construction and tight seals, these windows also up your home’s insulation game, keeping your AC’s cool air where it belongs—inside. They’re also excellent at dampening the sound from outside, whether it’s the howling of a storm or just neighborhood noise.
  • Insurance and Home Value. Many insurance companies offer lower premiums for homes equipped with hurricane-resistant windows due to the decreased risk of damage. Additionally, these windows are a selling point, potentially increasing your home’s market value.

Types of Hurricane Resistant Windows

Choosing the right type of hurricane window involves understanding the options available:

  • Laminated vs. Tempered Glass. Laminated glass is the go-to for most hurricane windows due to its durable bond that holds shattered glass in place. Tempered glass, while strong, will break into small, blunt pieces upon impact, which can still leave your home vulnerable.
  • Frame Materials.
    • Aluminum. Strong and lightweight, aluminum frames offer great structural integrity and corrosion resistance, ideal for coastal homes.
    • Vinyl. A more budget-friendly option, vinyl frames provide excellent insulation but may not be as durable as aluminum in extreme conditions.
    • Wood. While offering aesthetic warmth, wood frames require more maintenance and can be susceptible to rot in humid climates.
    • Steel. The heavyweight champion in terms of strength, steel frames are less common due to their higher cost and weight.
  • Styles and Designs. From single-hung and double-hung to casement, awning, and picture windows, there’s a hurricane-resistant window to fit every architectural style. The key is choosing a design that complements your home’s aesthetic while providing the protection you need.

How to Choose the Right Hurricane Windows for Your Home

Choosing the right hurricane windows for your home is more art than science, blending practical needs with aesthetic preferences. Here’s what you need to keep top of mind:

  • Size, Style, Material, and Manufacturer Ratings. Measure twice, cut once—size accuracy is crucial. Match the window style to your home’s vibe, don’t slap a modern pane on a classic Victorian. Material choice matters, go for something that can stand up to your local weather’s mood swings. Dive into manufacturer ratings, not all windows are created equal, especially when it comes to batting away hurricanes.
  • Understanding the Impact Rating System. It’s all about the missile test—large and small. Windows that can take a hit from a 9-pound 2×4 lumber missile at 34 mph (and then some) are your friends. Look for the ratings, the higher, the better. ASTM E1996 and E1886 are your guideposts here.
  • Installation Tips. A window’s only as good as its installation. Ensure the frame is plumb, level, and square. Use the right anchoring for your wall type, this isn’t a place to skimp. Seal it right to keep the elements where they belong—outside.

Cost and Installation

Brace yourself—quality doesn’t come cheap. Depending on size and specs, you’re looking at anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand per window. High-impact zones demand higher standards (and prices).

  • Installation Overview. Proper installation is a symphony of precision. It starts with removing the old window without turning your home into a war zone, prepping the opening, and then meticulously installing the new unit, ensuring a watertight and airtight fit.
  • DIY vs. Professional Installation. Know your limits. If you’re handy and have the right tools (and patience), a DIY install can save some cash. But for peace of mind, especially for a job this critical, professional installers are worth their weight in gold.

Maintenance and Care

Keeping your hurricane windows in fighting shape doesn’t require a degree in rocket science, but don’t neglect them either.

  • Routine Checks. Give them a once-over before hurricane season rolls in. Look for cracks, sealant failures, or frame damage. Keep the moving parts lubricated and the tracks clean.
  • Replacement Time. If they’ve taken a few too many hits or the seals are giving up the ghost, it’s time to consider a replacement. Better safe than sorry.

FAQ Section

Can hurricane windows withstand all types of storms?

They’re tough, but Mother Nature always has the last word. They’re designed to handle significant impact, but there’s always a bigger storm out there. Check the ratings and prepare accordingly.

Are hurricane proof windows also theft-proof?

They’re a tough nut to crack, for sure. The same features that keep the storm out can also deter burglars. But don’t rely on them as your sole security measure.

How do hurricane windows impact home insurance premiums?

Many insurers will give you a nod and a wink in the form of lower premiums for beefing up your home’s defenses. It’s a win-win.

Can I install hurricane resistant windows myself?

If you’ve got the skills and tools, sure, but don’t underestimate the complexity. Sometimes, it’s best to leave it to the pros.

How do I choose the right type of hurricane window for my climate?

Consider your local weather patterns and building codes. Coastal areas demand higher impact resistance. When in doubt, go for the higher rating.