How Do Impact Hurricane Windows and Doors Differ from Regular Windows and Doors?

Hurricane season can be a nerve-wracking time for homeowners in storm-prone regions. As the Atlantic churns with potential storms, the need to protect your home becomes paramount. Regular windows and doors simply won’t cut it when it comes to safeguarding your home against the fury of a hurricane. That’s where impact hurricane windows and doors come into play, offering a level of protection that standard products can’t match.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into the key differences between impact hurricane windows and doors and their regular counterparts. We’ll explore the materials, construction, performance, and the advantages of choosing impact-rated products. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of why upgrading to impact hurricane windows and doors is not just a wise choice but a necessary one for homeowners in hurricane-prone regions.

Materials: The Foundation of Strength

The fundamental distinction between impact hurricane windows and doors and regular ones lies in the materials used in their construction. These materials determine the strength, durability, and resilience of the products.

Impact Hurricane Windows and Doors

  • Laminated Glass: Impact products feature laminated glass, which consists of multiple layers of glass bonded with a flexible sheeting material. This design prevents shattering upon impact by containing fragments when the glass is fractured. Even if the glass breaks, it remains in place, maintaining a barrier against the elements.
  • Reinforced Framing: The frames of impact windows and doors are robust and high-density. They are designed to resist being pierced by flying debris or the intense forces exerted by the wind during a hurricane.
  • Multi-Point Locks: Impact products are equipped with heavy-duty locking mechanisms with multiple lock points. These locks, when compressed against the frame, provide exceptional resistance to forced entry during storms.
  • Impact-Resistant Screens: These windows and doors often come with tightly woven mesh screens that protect against dents and tears caused by windborne debris.

Regular Windows and Doors

  • Standard Glass: Regular windows and doors typically use standard glass, which shatters upon impact, posing a significant safety hazard. Broken glass can become airborne debris, increasing the risk of injury and further damage to the property.
  • Conventional Framing: The frames of standard windows and doors are generally less robust and may not withstand the forces exerted during a hurricane, making them vulnerable to damage.
  • Traditional Locks: Standard products usually have conventional locking mechanisms, which may not provide adequate resistance against forced entry during extreme weather events.
  • No Impact-Resistant Screens: Standard windows and doors lack impact-resistant screens, leaving them susceptible to damage from windborne debris.

Performance: Engineering for Protection

Impact hurricane windows and doors are engineered to provide superior protection compared to their regular counterparts. They undergo rigorous testing to ensure their ability to withstand the harsh conditions of a hurricane.

Wind Load Resistance

Impact Hurricane Windows and Doors: These products are designed to resist high wind loads. They feature structural anchors that keep the frames firmly attached to the underlying structure, preventing them from being dislodged by the wind. Reinforced corners ensure that the frames do not rack or distort under extreme pressure loads.

Regular Windows and Doors: Standard products may not have the same level of wind load resistance. They are more prone to being pushed inward or dislodged by strong winds, potentially compromising the integrity of the building envelope.

Water Resistance

Impact Hurricane Windows and Doors: Impact products utilize advanced sealing techniques to prevent water infiltration. Compression seals, insulated frames, and weeped designs ensure that bulk water intrusion is blocked, keeping your home dry even in the midst of a torrential downpour.

Regular Windows and Doors: Standard products may not have the same level of water resistance. They are more likely to allow water to penetrate, leading to leaks and potential water damage inside the home.

Impact Resistance

Impact Hurricane Windows and Doors: These products are specifically designed to withstand impact from flying debris during a hurricane. Laminated glass layers retain broken fragments, preventing pressurization even if the exterior pane shatters.

Regular Windows and Doors: Standard products lack impact resistance and are vulnerable to shattering upon contact with debris, posing a safety hazard and increasing the risk of further damage.

Advantages: Beyond Hurricane Protection

While the primary purpose of impact hurricane windows and doors is to protect against hurricanes and severe storms, they offer several other advantages that make them an excellent choice for homeowners.

Energy Efficiency

Impact Hurricane Windows and Doors: Impact-rated products often feature airtight construction, multi-layered weatherstripping, and insulated glass. These features provide excellent insulation, reducing heat transfer and energy loss. Some models also incorporate low-emissivity coatings that reflect heat, improving overall energy efficiency.

Regular Windows and Doors: Standard products may not provide the same level of energy efficiency. They may allow drafts and heat transfer, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills.

Shutting Out the Noise

Impact windows and doors really deliver when it comes to blocking outside noise. Their airtight sealed frames paired with sound-dampening insulated glass creates a noise barrier to give homes welcome peace and quiet. No more hearing the noisy highway or rowdy neighbors with impact products properly installed. It’s amazing how much of a difference these quiet warriors can make in cutting external noise pollution.

Shielding Your Furniture from UV

You’ve put time, money, and love into decorating your home beautifully. But that precious furniture, artwork, and flooring can become faded and damaged by the sun’s harsh UV rays streaming through standard windows. Impact products come to the rescue, as their advanced laminated glass filters out UV to keep interiors looking their best. No need to put up and take down ugly blinds for sun protection with impact windows guarding your furnishings from damage.

Built to Last Through Decades of Storms

Here’s the simple truth: Impact windows and doors are engineered to be ultra-durable and weather the test of time, come hurricane or shine. Their heavy-duty materials like reinforced frames, laminated glass, and corrosion-resistant hardware allow them to outlast and outperform regular windows 2 to 1. While flimsy conventional windows require frequent repairs and replacements, quality impact products just keep going strong thanks to their superior construction. Investing in impact equals investing in longevity and protection through every storm season to come.

The Choice is Clear

When hurricane season arrives, homeowners can either live with anxiety over vulnerable standard windows or enjoy peace of mind thanks to advanced impact-rated windows and doors. The choice is clear. Impact products withstand extreme winds, rain infiltration, flying debris, and forced entry while also boosting year-round benefits like energy savings, UV protection, and noise reduction. Don’t leave your home and family at risk – upgrade to trusted impact windows and doors proven to secure what matters most from the inevitable storms ahead.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What’s the big deal about “impact” windows and doors anyway?
A: Impact products are specially designed to withstand major storms like hurricanes. They use tough laminated glass, reinforced frames, and hardcore hardware to stay in one piece when extreme winds and debris hit. Impact protection could save your home and family from harm in a big storm.

Q: My house is pretty far inland. Do I really need impact windows and doors?
A: Good question! While coastal areas see the worst of hurricanes, big storms often push severe winds, rain and tornadoes far inland too. Impact products give you protection even if you’re not beachfront. Better safe than sorry with windows and doors engineered for the worst weather.

Q: How much more do impact windows and doors cost compared to regular ones?
A: You’ll typically pay around 50-100% more for impact products versus standard windows and doors. But impact-rated ones come with benefits like lower insurance rates, storm protection, better insulation, and increased home value. Worth the extra investment in hurricane country.

Q: Do impact windows look different or ugly?
A: Not at all! Nowadays impact windows and doors come in sleek, attractive styles with slimline frames to match any home design. The glass can be crystal clear or tinted based on your tastes. You get function plus great curb appeal.

Q: Can impact products reduce my energy bills too?
A: Absolutely! Multi-layered glass, sealed frames, and other energy-efficient features reduce heating/cooling costs year-round. Switching to impact windows could trim 10-15% from your energy bills each month. They’re green as well as protective.

Q: What’s the lifespan of impact windows compared to regular ones?
A: Properly installed impact windows will last 25-30 years or even longer with proper care. Much longer than ordinary windows that can deteriorate after 10-15 years. You make one impact purchase and gain decades of worry-free protection and performance.

Q: Anything special I need to do to clean or maintain impact windows?
A: Clean them like normal windows using soft cloths and mild soap. Avoid abrasives. Check for any seal damage over time and re-caulk perimeter when needed. Lubricate hardware moving parts. Basic upkeep is all they need.

Q: Do you have any financing options for impact windows and doors?
A: Absolutely, we understand they are a significant investment. We offer flexible financing plans at low rates to make protecting your home affordable. Contact us to learn about options to pay for impact products over time interest-free. Let’s discuss your budget.

Q: Who installs your impact windows and doors? Are they experts?
A: Our full-time highly trained installation team has years of experience flawlessly replacing windows and doors. They’ll ensure a smooth, proper installation so your impact products perform exactly as engineered over their lifetime. Hiring pros gets it done right.

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