Hurricane season is inevitable when you live in Florida. You may not be able to avoid the storm, but you can take the stress out of it by taking precautions to protect your home from the damaging winds and windborne debris.
There’s no need to break out the plywood for hurricane season either! With impact glass windows, you can be protected but still enjoy natural light.
That’s right--no more plywood purchases or heavy lifting and drilling! You may be thinking “how can this be?” or “what makes impact glass so special?” The difference is in the framing materials and the glass manufacturing process.
Impact glass windows are two glass layers that are fused together by Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) or SentryGuard Plus (SGB). The outer layer (commonly called the sacrificial glass) may break upon strong impact, but the broken pieces stick to the PVB/SGB so your window doesn’t get shattered and your home remains protected from wind and water damage.
Non-impact glass windows are made of what’s called float glass that is susceptible to shattering and breaking upon impact, exposing your home to broken glass, wind and water damage.
2 Tells of Impact Glass Windows
How do you know if you have impact glass windows? If this is a burning question or just a peek of curiosity, there are a couple of easy tells to test if a window is an impact glass window.
Tell #1: Look for the Window Label
Look for a label on the corner of the glass. Depending on the manufacturer and the cut of the glass, you should be able to locate a temporary or permanent label on the corner of the glass. Either label will detail things like the fabrication location and manufacturing date, supplier's name, thickness and any certifications or safety standards that the glass meets.
Tell #2: Do You See A WATERMARK?
Watermarks are etched into the glass and are a surefire way to tell if a window has impact glass. If you can't find the watermark, the window label should give you the info you need.
Are they Impact Glass Windows?
Hurricane impact glass windows undergo extreme testing including small and large missile tests.
Florida has a standard set of building codes and regulations, but each county and community may have additional local requirements as there are more vulnerable pockets in Florida, such as Broward, Miami/Dade and Palm Beach counties for example.
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