In regions prone to hurricanes, installing impact hurricane windows and doors is a proactive measure to safeguard homes against the destructive forces of storms. While these fortified installations provide a robust defense during hurricanes, homeowners often wonder about their maintenance requirements during non-hurricane seasons. Do impact hurricane windows and doors require special care to ensure longevity and optimal performance? This comprehensive guide explores the maintenance needs of impact hurricane windows and doors, offering insights to help homeowners keep their homes protected year-round.

Understanding the Impact of Hurricane Windows and Doors

1. What Sets Them Apart:

Impact hurricane windows and doors are designed with durability and resilience in mind. Crafted with laminated glass and reinforced frames, they are engineered to withstand the impact of high winds and airborne debris during hurricanes. The key components that set them apart include their robust construction and the interlayer in the laminated glass that maintains structural integrity even upon impact.

2. Year-Round Protection:

While the primary purpose of impact hurricane windows and doors is to protect during hurricanes, they offer year-round benefits. These include enhanced security, noise reduction, UV protection, and energy efficiency. Proper maintenance ensures that these benefits continue to be realized in every season.

Special Care During Non-Hurricane Seasons

1. Regular Cleaning:

Exterior Surfaces: Regularly clean the exterior surfaces of impacted windows and doors to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Use a mild detergent or soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can damage the glass or frame finish.

Tracks and Hardware: Clean the tracks and hardware to ensure smooth operation. Use a vacuum cleaner or a small brush to remove dirt and debris from the tracks. Lubricate the hardware with a silicone-based lubricant to prevent rusting.

2. Inspecting Seals and Weather Stripping:

Visual Inspection: Conduct a visual inspection of the seals and weather stripping. Look for any signs of wear, damage, or gaps. Damaged seals can compromise the window or door’s ability to provide a secure barrier against wind and water. Replace any damaged or worn seals promptly.

Weather Stripping Replacement: If the weather stripping is worn or damaged, consider replacing it. Weather-stripping plays a crucial role in preventing drafts and maintaining energy efficiency. Replacement weather stripping is often readily available and easy to install.

3. Checking for Leaks or Drafts:

Visual and Practical Inspection: Check for any signs of leaks or drafts around the windows and doors. Conduct a visual inspection for water stains or discoloration, which may indicate water infiltration. On a windy day, feel for drafts by moving a lit candle around the edges. Seal any identified leaks promptly to prevent water damage and maintain energy efficiency.

4. Testing Operation:

Smooth Operation: Test the operation of windows and doors by opening and closing them. Ensure that they operate smoothly without any sticking or resistance. If there are issues with operation, such as difficulty opening or closing, inspect the tracks and hardware for obstructions or damage.

Additional Considerations

1. Maintaining Hardware:

Locks and Handles: Check and maintain locks and handles regularly. Clean them with a soft cloth and lubricate moving parts as needed. Ensuring that locks operate smoothly enhances the overall security of the home.

2. Protective Measures for Extreme Weather:

Severe Storms or Cold Weather: Consider additional protective measures during extreme weather conditions, such as severe storms or frigid temperatures. Temporary storm shutters or covers can provide an extra layer of protection.

3. Professional Inspection:

Periodic Professional Check: Consider scheduling periodic professional inspections. A professional can assess the condition of impacted windows and doors, identify potential issues, and perform any necessary repairs or maintenance.

Benefits of Regular Maintenance

1. Extended Lifespan:

Regular maintenance contributes to the extended lifespan of impact hurricane windows and doors. Addressing minor issues promptly prevents them from escalating into more significant problems that could compromise performance.

2. Optimal Performance:

Properly maintained windows and doors continue to deliver optimal performance. Whether it’s smooth operation, energy efficiency, or storm protection, regular care ensures these features function as intended.

3. Cost Savings:

Addressing maintenance needs promptly can result in cost savings in the long run. Preventing issues from escalating into major repairs or replacements helps homeowners avoid significant expenses.

Conclusion: Sustaining Protection Year-Round

In conclusion, impact hurricane windows and doors are designed to provide robust protection during storms, but their benefits extend beyond hurricane seasons. Regular maintenance during non-hurricane seasons ensures that these installations continue to deliver optimal performance, contributing to the overall safety and comfort of the home.

By incorporating simple yet effective maintenance practices, homeowners can sustain the protective features of impact windows and doors, enjoy enhanced security and energy efficiency, and prolong the lifespan of these essential installations. Taking proactive measures to care for impact hurricane windows and doors guarantees they remain a reliable shield, ready to face the challenges of any season.