June 25, 2018
Investing in impact windows has advantages for homeowners seeking safety and soundproofing. In areas subject to tornadoes and hurricanes—violent storms that can generate dangerous flying debris—impact-resistant windows may be a legal necessity.
When it’s a legal requirement permits are required. Window permit requirements vary by where you live depending on vulnerability to hurricanes, tornadoes or other storms (in Florida, check with a local window contractor like Florida Home Improvement Associates for permitting details).
Local building codes define just the minimum legal requirements necessary for permitting window glass. However, meeting those minimum requirements may not provide the same level of protection for your home and family as thicker, more expensive impact windows. It is up to homeowners to determine the level of protection they are comfortable with and what their budget will allow.
Tat Granata, VP of Sales at Florida Home Improvement Associates, notes, “We really want to understand what level of protection we’re trying to achieve when we make this type of investment in a home.”
Impact-resistant glass is like a sandwich, with glass on the outside and a membrane of PVB (polyvinyl butyral) on the inside. This “sandwich” is heated at extreme temperatures to form one piece of impact-resistant glass. The parts of the “sandwich” come in various thicknesses, with thicker glass and more solid interior membranes offering greater protection.
Learn how impact-resistant glass is structured in the following video:
Much like auto glass, today’s impact-resistant home windows are designed to crack, but not shatter, upon impact. Even if the outer glass breaks, it should remain attached to the inner membrane and the window frame keeping you and your family safer.
Impact resistant windows are designed to withstand winds up to Category 4—hurricanes with sustained winds of up to 145MPH. Resistance to impact is tested in the lab by striking windows with a 9-pound 2x4’ piece of lumber fired end-on-end at 50 feet per second.
Impact-resistant glass windows offer additional advantages. In addition to built-in energy efficiency and insulating properties, their sound-dampening effects help keep home interiors quiet. Perhaps most important, many insurance companies offer premium discounts for homes with impact-resistant windows.
Financing Your Hurricane Window Project Affordably
Homeowners have options when it comes to paying for their hurricane impact-resistant glass windows. Many window manufacturers will often offer customers special financing.
Another option is PACE financing. PACE (property assessed clean energy) programs are designed to take advantage of the energy saved with efficiency upgrades, such as the installation of Energy Star certified windows. Qualifying homeowners can leverage the equity in their home to finance their whole-house window replacement project through PACE, and then they pay it back over time as a line item on their annual property taxes. Any energy and insurance savings derived from the new windows can help cover the cost of the project over the long-term.
Visit Ygrene's service area page or contact 866-634-1358 to see if PACE financing is available in your community.