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5 Ways to Tell if Your Windows Are Impact-Resistant

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 storm rating for the first time, you’re in the right place.

In this post, we’re going to share five easy ways to discover if your current windows are hurricane-resistant. We’ll even tell you how to find out what level rating they are, to guarantee they’re strong enough to withstand the storm conditions in your area.

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1. Look for a permanent mark in one of the corners of the glass.

Impact-resistant glass takes more time 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, everyday windows often have a peelable label affixed onto them, while impact-resistant glass often boasts a more permanent marking. This could be an etched, frosted marking in the corner and would include the following:

  • Supplier's name
  • Place of fabrication
  • The date it was manufactured
  • Thickness
  • Certifications or safety standards that the glass meets

2. Check the glass for a temporary label.

Although most sheets of impact-safe glass will carry a mark in the corner, each window is custom cut to size. 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 may attach a removable label that states the type of glass along with the information above. This should not raise red flags; it’s a perfectly normal occurrence. It’s illegal to put on a counterfeit sticker, but be sure to choose a trustworthy manufacturer and installer for future upgrades, just to play it safe.

3. Verify the windows are designed for conditions in your area.

After you pull the information from the label, we recommend verifying that 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 testing on the strength of its framing). Because southwest Florida falls victim to storms of all shapes and sizes— from Category 1 hurricanes to Category 5 evacuations— it’s crucial to understand how the numbers and ratings on your window label correlate with the needs of your area. 

A professional installer can help you to verify if the ratings on your current windows are up to modern 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 if you have impact-resistant windows or not. 

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

5. Get a professional opinion.

In the end, even if you find a label on your glass, it’s best to double-check that older windows are meeting current standards for protection. It’s often best to save this job for the professionals, who know exactly what the different ratings can withstand and can make custom recommendations for your home and desired safety levels. 

Extra Impact Window Features

A professional can also tell you if your current hurricane glass has extra features like energy-efficient tints and UV-resistant films. Curious to learn more about low-emissivity, solar radiation, and other technical terms that could help in choosing ENERGY STAR-efficient impact windows? 

Download our free 12 Things You Need to Know About Impact Windows guide.

Tip Sheet: 12 Things You Need to Know About Impact Windows

Request a Free Hurricane Window Inspection

Confirm with certainty you have the protection you need for your SWFL home by tagging in the professionals. 

Our team at Storm Solutions would be happy to double-check the quality of your windows and alert you to any repair issues that could become problematic down the road.

Give us a call at 239-205-3193 or fill out this form to request a window inspection, today. 

Topics: Impact Windows