If you live in a cold, wintry climate, you may have heard of storm windows. But have you heard of stormproof or impact windows? For most homeowners who don’t live in extremely volatile climates, the idea of ‘hurricane windows’ doesn’t come up very often. However, if you do live in a climate where violent storms and hurricanes are a frequent reality, you’ll want to get acquainted with the many benefits of impact windows, whether as alternatives for your home windows or replacement patio doors or as a protective measure during hurricane season. Most homeowners are well aware that different style windows do different things in terms of home protection and temperature control. Impact windows, however, could easily save homes and lives during volatile weather. If you live in a stormy climate, here are a few things to know about impact windows.
They Protect Against Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and More
If you live in a climate that’s considered a high-risk zone when it comes to hurricanes and tropical storms, you’ve most likely already seen the high amount of damage natural disasters can cause to homes in the storm’s path. When a hurricane hits, it doesn’t just destroy property: It hurts everything in its path. Not only are impact windows built with a secure polyvinyl shield in the middle of their structure to protect against fast-moving, powerful winds, they’re designed to break in place in the event of a truly powerful storm. That means that, although the glass will break, it will stay in place without shattering to the ground, offering protection for you and your family in the event of a major storm. Your windows will still be able to protect your from any infiltration by water or flying debris, and you’ll be able to maneuver around your hurricane safe room freely without having to worry about injuring yourself on broken glass. When a serious storm hits, this is an immeasurable benefit to having impact windows. Not only are you fully protected against the outside storm, you’re protected from damage inside your home as well.
They’re Powerful Protectors Against UV Rays
Even if you’re not living in a hurricane zone, impact windows can have a big effect on your day-to-day health. If you and your family are exposed to the sun constantly, installing an impact window can actually protect against 99% of harmful UV light rays. Installing a few impact windows in your home can be more effective than wearing high-strength sunscreen indoors at all times. It also has high insulation benefits because of this, providing a virtually leak-proof barrier between you and the outside world. If you’re looking to save money on heating and cooling, there’s no better way to do it than by installing a few well-placed impact windows.
They’re Great for Insurance Savings
Impact windows are designed to protect you and your home from damage, protecting homes and individuals from costly insurance payouts in the event of a serious storm or weather condition. Because of the strength of impact windows, some insurance companies will actually offer discounts to contractors that incorporate them into houses in volatile areas. In fact, homeowners can save up to 45% on premiums simply by installing impact windows. However, the total savings should be factored into the high price of impact windows to begin with. Because of their high value and superior insulation properties, these windows are valued at around $55 more than the average per-foot value of window installation. Purchasing impact windows is a definite case of paying more and saving later: The combination of insurance savings and energy bill savings over time will eventually far exceed the initial cost of your window’s material and installation.
They’re Crack-Proof and Customizable
Just because impact windows are highly effective doesn’t mean they can’t also be stylish. While the main function of these windows is to protect vulnerable homes from broken glass and foundation damage, they can also be easily customized to fit a home’s style. Most impact windows use PVB, or Polyvinyl Butyral, to protect from damage and create a crack-proof exterior. However, when it comes to frame materials, homeowners can choose from the more traditional options of aluminum, vinyl, and wood, with vinyl being the most cost-effective option. Aluminum is considered the strongest choice when it comes to wind speed and denting, and wood is the more costly and most aesthetically-pleasing choice. If you live in a tornado zone or a hurricane hot-spot, opting for vinyl or aluminum is the better choice, since you’ll be protecting your window against any possibility of warping or damage.