Take a look through impact glass and see the difference for yourself!
Impact glass windows are made extra durable and shatter resistant. There are high expectations that must be met to receive a Florida Product Approval. Impact windows are made to stay intact after repeated strikes of an object traveling at least 35 miles per hour. Because it stays in one strong piece, the 140 miles per hour winds of a Category 5 hurricane will not get into your home.
Florida made impact glass mandatory for window replacement in coastal areas on July 2001. All replacement windows must have hurricane shutters or impact glass windows to pass inspection.
What makes impact windows the best replacement window?
The double layer of glass on the inside of the window is made of two panes of glass adhered together by polyvinyl butyral. This is a resin that binds the glass together with both flexibility and optical clarity. You can not see the resin when you look through the glass. It also makes the impact window tougher than a car windshield. Impact glass might shatter if a heavy object crashes into it, but it won’t break to bits.
Then they add a double strength annealed or tempered layer of glass to the outside of the windows. Double strength annealed glass is standard for impact windows. The glass is thermally treated and then slowly cooled to reduce internal stress. Then the process is repeated. Tempered glass is an upgrade to the annealed glass. This glass is extreme heating and rapid cooling making it harder and stronger than annealed glass.
Another benefit to impact windows is the spacer between the laminated glass and the annealed glass. It reduces heat transfer into your home which improves the energy efficiency of your home, ultimately lowering your electric bills. The spacer also reduces unwanted noise from the outside. This is great if you live by a noisy highway or train tracks.
Lets break down the components of an impact rated glass replacement window pane.
- ProSolar® Low E Glass coatings reflect infrared light keeping heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer. It can also reduce fading of carpet, artwork and photos by helping block damaging ultraviolet rays.
- Double-strength Annealed or Tempered Glass is much stronger than real glass making it more durable and suitable for other uses.
- Argon gas helps insulate a room and minimize the transfer of heat through the window. It’s a colorless, odorless gas and not harmful in any way if leaking should occur.
- Laminated glass significantly improves a window’s ability to withstand breakage, adds color and sound control, and helps meet building codes and requirements.
- Intercept® Spacer provides a superior tight seal against stress caused by thermal expansion, has superior strength and stability between the panes and is a temperature buffer – preventing the transfer of hot and cold from one separated pane to another.
Doing your own research on building code requirements? Let us help…
Florida Building Code Requirements in 2021
Window replacement installation in our area must meet strict building codes that specify energy efficiency and impact regulations. Products you install in your home must have a Florida product approval code. Our products are all highly tested and approved for our hurricane zone in Pinellas County and Hillsborough County.
Must be in compliance with Florida Building code in order to pass inspection.
- Refer to R4410.1 of Chapter 14 in the “Florida Building Code, Building” book. (HVHZ Glass and Glazing specifications)
Also the replacement windows must be in compliance with 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in order to pass inspection. Refer to the following:
- R402.1 for specifics on U-Factor requirements for insulating.
- R402.3.1 through R402.3.5 for Fenestration criteria.
- R402.2.1.1 for specific criteria on air sealing and insulation.
- R402.4.3 for Fenestration air leakage
- R402.5 for maximum Fenestration U-Factor and SHGC
This article may shed some light on replacing your own sliding glass door. Call us to receive a quote on our professional installation.