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5 Ways To Tell if You Have Impact Resistant Windows

Posted by Jimmy Hawley on Sep 28, 2020 1:30:00 PM

If you’ve recently moved into a new home in Florida or are just examining your windows for their impact resistance, you’re in the right place.

Here, we’ll share five easy ways to discover if your current windows are built to withstand the strong winds and flying debris from all categories of hurricanes. To make sure they’re strong enough to withstand the storm conditions in your area, we’ll also talk about how to find the hurricane window storm rating level.

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1. Hurricane Windows Usually Have a Permanent Mark on the Glass.

Impact resistant glass takes longer and requires more expensive resources to produce than traditional glass. Because of this, hurricane window manufacturers want to make sure you know exactly what you’re investing in. 

Standard, every day windows often have a peel-able label affixed to them, while impact resistant glass often boasts a more permanent marking.The marking on hurricane windows should include the:

  • Supplier's name.
  • Place of fabrication.
  • Date the hurricane window was manufactured.
  • Thickness of the glass.
  • Certifications or safety standards that the glass meets.

This marking may be an etched, frosted mark in the corner of the window that may take some time to find. To make this easier, remove any grime around the glass and inspect it under good lighting.

2. Check the Glass for a Temporary Label.

Although most sheets of glass for impact resistant windows will carry a mark in the corner, each window is custom cut. In an effort to use as much glass per sheet as possible, the impact rating label may have been cut away. 

In this case, the manufacturer typically attaches a removable label that states the kind of glass and the information listed above. This should not raise red flags; it’s a perfectly normal occurrence. 

While it’s illegal to put on a counterfeit sticker, you should still be sure to choose a trustworthy manufacturer and installer so you can feel confident about future upgrades.

3. Verify Your Hurricane Windows Are Designed for Conditions in Your Area.

After you pull the information from the label, we recommend verifying the thickness and safety standards meet or exceed the hurricane rating requirements in your area.

Most impact glass is tested for air filtration, water, pressure, and structural integrity (including the strength of its framing). Because southwest Florida falls victim to all kinds of storms, it’s crucial to understand how the numbers and ratings on your window label correlate with Florida Building Code requirements, as well as the needs of your specific area.

A professional installer can help you verify the ratings on your current windows and make sure they’re up to current local standards.

4. Examine the Reflection in the Glass.

If you still can't find any markings or labels on the glass, there’s one last test to determine whether you have impact resistant windows. 

Hold your hand or an object up to the glass and look at the reflection. Impact resistant glass is made of two sheets of glass, so you should see two different reflections. You can learn more about temperature and laminated glass and how to identify each here.

5. Ask an Impact Resistant Windows Expert. 

In the end, even if you find a label on your glass, it’s best to double-check that older windows still meet current standards. A professional installer will know exactly what the different ratings can withstand and can make custom recommendations for your home’s required (and desired) safety levels. 

Extra Impact Window Features

A hurricane window professional can keep your hurricane protection up to date and tell you if your current hurricane impact resistant windows have extra features, like energy-efficient tints or UV-resistant films. 

Curious to learn more about low-emissivity, solar radiation, and other features that could help in choosing ENERGY STAR efficient impact windows? 

To learn more, download our free 12 Things You Need to Know About Impact Windows guide today.

Topics: Impact Windows