Thanks to advancements in technology and scientific research, today’s window manufacturers make products that are built to withstand flying objects, high winds and flooding. It is called impact rated glass. In fact, the window technology used in coastal homes was developed from auto windshields. Windshields offer shatter-proof glass and added protection for the driver in the event of an accident or debris that may hit the glass while driving. Now your home can have the same protection.
A Look Through The Glass: Impact Rated Glass
The key to making impact rated windows is in the additional laminate material used. Today’s window manufacturers will put multiple laminate layers in between two panes of glass. The glass is then heated, to remove any air and to allow it to become clear.
The sandwiched laminate material keeps the impact window from shattering when hit by flying debris and also gives the window much more strength to withstand high winds or high pressure from water that may surround the window in the event of a flood. As an added benefit, the laminate provides UV protection and increases energy efficiency for your home.
The dual pane glass also includes a layer of ProSolar Shade Low E Glass coating. This reflects infrared light, which keeps out the Florida sun’s heat. Not only does it make your home more energy efficient it can also reduce fading of carpets, artwork and photos by blocking the damaging ultraviolet rays.
The panes of glass are separated by an Interceptor® Spacersuperior strength and stability between the panes and is a temperature buffer – preventing the transfer of hot and cold from one separated pane to another. This also provides a sound barrier by providing noise reduction.
The oxygen is then removed from between the panes of glass and replaced with Argon gas. The 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.
Re-Enforced Vinyl Frame: The Components
Another extremely important factor in the strength of a window is the vinyl frame surrounding the glass. If the glass withstands the blow from flying debris, but the frame does not remain intact on impact, the window is useless against hurricane winds. That is why it is important that your impact rated windows are installed correctly and that the fusion between frame and glass is solid.
Typically the strongest window frame material available is aluminum. Unfortunately, aluminum is NOT the best material for energy efficiency. Our window manufacturers offer re-enforced vinyl material in their impact rated windows lines. As these windows have become more popular, they are offered in more and more styles and designs to meet the needs of your home.