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Standard vs. Impact-Resistant Windows: 5 Key Factors You Should Know

Posted by Jimmy Hawley on Apr 3, 2017 2:04:00 PM


As a resident of Naples, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, or any of the surrounding Southwest Florida coastal communities, hurricanes are a reality for you and your home. We want to help you protect your loved ones, and your home investment come hurricane season, so we’ve done some research on your home protection options. Read on to learn about the five key differences between storm shutters and impact-resistant windows--and a few bonus features to help you make your decision!

1. Choosing the Right Product for Your Home

In order to keep with Florida building codes, your home is required to meet specific standards when it comes to hurricane preparation and protection. Regular, standard glass windows and doors won’t cut it when a hurricane blows into town--when high-speed winds meet a broken or unprepared window, the drastic differences between the inside and outside air pressures will create a critical situation for the entire structural integrity of your home.

To avoid such a breach in structural security, Florida building codes demand the installation of storm panels in every house opening.

As a homeowner, you are presented with two main options:

  • Standard glass windows with hurricane shutters
  • Impact-resistant windows that do not require shutter protection

Both will provide protection against hurricanes, but which is right for your home? There are several advantages and disadvantages to each option, and Storm Solutions can help you weigh this decision by outlining the expectations below.

2. Cost

Storm panels and shutters on standard glass windows will often appear as the more attractive option to homeowners--at first. With more affordable initial costs, storm shutters seem like a no-brainer, but what many don’t realize is the cost comparison can change substantially over time. Though cheaper initially than impact-resistant windows, regular glass windows with storm shutters will require periodic installation and storage. While impact-resistant windows remain intact at all times, storm shutters are only needed when a storm is in the vicinity. Costs to install and uninstall storm panels and shutters, especially if mounted panels are used, can add up quickly, especially in particularly stormy seasons!

The double-glazed, laminated panes in impact-resistant windows can save your wallet in other unexpected areas as well. The laminated glass provides better UV protection than a standard glass pane. This allows you to enjoy all the natural sunlight your home receives while protecting your valuables and hardwood floors from the fading or discoloration that can occur with overexposure to harmful UV rays. Double-glazed panes provide proven energy efficiency, saving you in cooling and heating costs throughout the year. Single-glazed glass transfers more heat and cold between your interior and the exterior than you might realize.

3. Time Commitment

Just as the costs can add up as you install and uninstall your storm shutters and panels, so can your time! Imagine how much time you could save each hurricane season with impact-resistant windows: no more dragging the panels out of storage, calling and scheduling installation or tackling the job yourself. As a Southwest Florida resident, you can appreciate how often this situation can arise in just a single hurricane season! Impact-resistant windows, while costing more up-front, can ultimately save you in the long-run on both costs and time usage.

4. Appearance

Chances are, you enjoy the way your home looks without storm shutters covering every opening. Impact-resistant windows contain built-in protection, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice curb appeal to secure your Florida home from tropical storms. Storm Solutions offers a variety of window styles in the impact-resistant category to ensure your home looks great while providing trusted protection from hurricanes.

5. Convenience

While convenience is often considered a luxury, in this case, it acts as an added layer of security. Picture this: you’re enjoying a family vacation hundreds of miles away from home. The last thing you want on your mind is the weather forecast back home. If you choose the storm panel or shutter option, you might find yourself cutting your vacation short in order to rush home to beat the storm so you can install your hurricane protection. With impact-resistant windows, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your home is protected at all times--no cancelled vacations or frantic calls to the neighbor required.

Bonus Features

If you’re still undecided, we’ve found a couple bonus features you can enjoy by choosing impact-resistant windows for your Southwest Florida home:

  • Noise reduction--live near a highway or busy part of town? Maybe you have a neighbor with a passion for late-night karaoke. Whatever your reason, impact-resistant windows provide excellent noise reduction to block out disturbing sounds in addition to protecting against hurricanes.

  • Burglary protection--if your window can protect against the high winds and debris in a hurricane, they can surely protect against break-ins! Impact-resistant windows are constructed of two layers of tempered glass bonded to a middle layer of a shatter-proof membrane. The membrane is typically made of Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB), and if the outer glass breaks, the shattered pieces will adhere to the PVB film. This makes any attempted break-ins nearly impossible!

Decision made? Call the professionals at Storm Solutions today, or request further information on our website. We would love to help you get your home hurricane-proof just in time for the storm season!

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Topics: Impact Windows, hurricane windows