Impact-Resistant Windows: An Introduction

One of the ways to protect your home if you’re living in an area that is occasionally affected by hurricanes and other types of natural disasters is to replace your old windows with impact-resistant ones.

What makes such windows more suitable as a form of protection is a special layer that prevents glass from shattering. Though some flying objects may hit a window with enough strength to break it, the glass won’t shatter, which means that much less damage will be done to the interior, since the air pressure indoors will remain consistent.

Composition

Basically, the secret is in a clear layer between two panes of glass. It’s this layer that is responsible for preventing the glass panes from shattering, but it also serves other purposes. For example, it provides improved sound insulation, since less noise from the street is allowed in the house. Finally, this extra layer contributes to improved efficiency in terms of heating and cooling. The fact that the plastic is completely transparent means that no one can spot any difference between impact-resistant and traditional windows.

How do they work?

The main feature of the protective layer is that it’s adhesive, which means that, in case of impact, the glass shards that would otherwise shatter all over the place remain stuck to the adhesive layer. The same technology is used in car industry when it comes to manufacturing windshields.

So, even though you wouldn’t be able to see through a window which has sustained impact with a flying object, you would enjoy much greater protection if you happened to be inside the room at the moment of impact. Also, since the frames used to support impact-resistant windows are sturdier and more strongly anchored in the walls than traditional ones, you are less likely to have to install the whole construction after each hurricane.

Benefits

Naturally, the main benefit is a much higher level of protection and safety provided by these windows, since you wouldn’t be hurt by a heavy object breaking into your home through a window. Being much more reliable at safeguarding your home, they are also a reason why your insurance bill would be much lower. So, apart from helping you protect your home, impact-resistant windows also save you money in the long run.

Having impact-resistant glass installed indoors instead of traditional glass panels is also an excellent idea if there are children living in the house, since they would be much better protected in case a window breaks during their play.

Are they all the same?

Of course they aren’t. Depending on the type of protective layer and the quality of glass panes and the frame, the price may vary quite a lot. If you’re considering purchasing such windows, you should definitely consult an expert or shop assistant, who should be able to give you the best possible advice based on your needs and your budget.

For example, the material used for the frame can be wood, metal, vinyl or a combination of various elements. The price, durability and strength also depend on the type and amount of stiffeners and reinforcement used. There is little point in installing new glass panes with a protective layer without having the right kind of frame support. So, if you’re retrofitting your home, the only right way to go about impact-resistant windows is to replace the entire window system.

As you can see, although such features are primarily aimed at those living in areas that are likely to be affected by heavy storms and strong winds, they might as well be used in other locations, because of their other benefits. That should be enough for you to at least take the idea of installing them into consideration.

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