Discover the top 5 impact window brands for hurricane protection. These brands, including Eco Wind Systems, Custom Window Systems, Pella, PGT, and WeatherShield, offer durable, energy-efficient windows that adhere to building codes and provide the best value for your home’s safety.
Impact windows are designed to withstand high winds, debris, and other extreme weather conditions. They are made from shatterproof glass and have reinforced frames to prevent damage to your home during a hurricane.
When purchasing impact windows, it’s important to consider factors such as corrosion resistance, durability, and adherence to building codes.
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1. Eco Wind Systems
Eco Wind Systems offers impact windows that are made from laminated glass with a durable vinyl frame. Their windows are energy-efficient and feature Low-E glass to provide UV protection.
Eco Wind Systems’ windows also come with a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.
2. Custom Window Systems
Custom Window Systems manufactures impact windows that are designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes.
Their windows feature laminated glass and reinforced frames to protect your home during extreme weather.
Custom Window Systems’ windows are also energy-efficient and come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Pella is a company that specializes in front doors, patio doors, storm doors, and hurricane-impact windows. Pella’s Hurricane Shield series passes the Florida Building Code requirements.
Hurricane Shield glass from Pella is available in its double sliding patio doors, awnings, single-hung windows, and casement windows with solid vinyl frames.
Pella’s impact windows are not inexpensive, but their prices fall within the industry average compared to other companies.
4. PGT Win Guard
PGT windows are water and air-resistant, withstand the impact of debris hitting the glass at high speeds, and won’t falter in severe hurricanes.
They also filter out more than 99% of the sun’s UV rays and have enhanced energy-saving features. The WinGuard series from PGT is also shatterproof and almost impossible for burglars to break.
Most hurricane-impact windows contractors will recommend the PGT WinGuard for quality protection.
5. Weather Shield Premium Coastal
Weather Shield Premium Coastal offers impact windows that are designed specifically for coastal homes.
Their windows feature laminated glass and reinforced frames to protect against extreme weather conditions.
Weather Shield Premium Coastal’s windows are also energy-efficient and come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Factors to Consider When Buying Hurricane Impact Windows
When living in a coastal area, it’s important to consider the level of corrosion resistance offered by impact windows.
Saltwater can cause damage to windows over time, so it’s essential to choose windows that are made from materials that can withstand this type of environment.
Corrosion resistance is of paramount importance for hurricane-impact windows, as it directly affects the longevity and effectiveness of these protective installations.
In coastal areas, where hurricanes are more prevalent, the combination of high humidity, saltwater, and corrosive elements in the air can cause significant damage to the materials used in constructing windows.
Over time, this corrosion can weaken the window frames and glass, reducing their ability to withstand the high winds and flying debris that come with hurricanes.
By choosing impact windows with high corrosion resistance, homeowners can ensure that their windows remain strong and effective for years to come, providing continued protection against extreme weather events.
The significance of corrosion resistance is evident in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which wreaked havoc on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005
Many homes in the affected areas had standard windows, which were not designed to resist the corrosive effects of saltwater and moisture.
As a result, these windows quickly deteriorated, leaving the homes vulnerable to further damage from subsequent storms.
In contrast, homes equipped with corrosion-resistant hurricane impact windows fared much better, as their windows remained intact and functional even after being exposed to harsh environmental conditions.
This highlights the significance of investing in corrosion-resistant materials when selecting hurricane-impact windows, as it can make a crucial difference in the overall protection and durability of your home during severe weather events.
Durability is a crucial factor when it comes to choosing impact windows.
Windows that are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and debris should be made from high-quality materials and reinforced frames.
Window durability is of paramount importance for hurricane-impact windows, as it directly affects the level of protection they can provide during extreme weather conditions.
Durable windows are designed to withstand the immense pressure and force exerted by hurricane winds, as well as the impact of flying debris that can be propelled at high speeds.
When a window is not durable enough, it may shatter or become dislodged from its frame, allowing water and wind to enter the home.
This can lead to extensive damage to the interior, compromise the structural integrity of the building, and put the occupants’ safety at risk.
One example of the importance of window durability can be seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Many homes in South Florida were equipped with standard windows that were not designed to withstand the forces of a hurricane.
As a result, these windows failed during the storm, causing significant property damage and loss of life.
In contrast, homes with durable impact windows fared much better, as the windows remained intact and protected the interiors from the destructive forces of the hurricane.
This event underscored the need for durable hurricane-impact windows and led to stricter building codes and standards in hurricane-prone regions.
By investing in durable impact windows, homeowners can significantly reduce the potential for damage and ensure a safer living environment for themselves and their families during severe weather events.
Hurricane Level Resistance
Not all impact windows are created equal when it comes to hurricane-level resistance.
It’s important to choose windows that have been certified to withstand the level of hurricanes that are common in your area.
Hurricane Level Resistance is a crucial factor for hurricane impact windows because it determines the ability of the windows to withstand the extreme forces generated by powerful storms.
As hurricanes vary in intensity, having windows specifically designed and tested to endure the potential wind speeds and flying debris associated with these storms is essential for maintaining the structural integrity of your home.
For instance, Category 5 hurricanes can produce wind speeds exceeding 157 mph, posing a significant threat to properties in their path.
By installing impact windows with the appropriate hurricane-level resistance, homeowners can minimize the risk of shattered glass, broken window frames, and subsequent water damage caused by such storms.
In addition to safeguarding your home against the direct effects of hurricanes, windows with high hurricane-level resistance also provide a critical line of defense against secondary hazards.
When windows fail during a storm, it can lead to a rapid change in pressure within the home, potentially causing roof failure and even complete structural collapse.
This domino effect not only puts the property at risk but also endangers the lives of those inside.
For example, during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, many homes experienced catastrophic damage due to window failures, leading to increased awareness of the importance of hurricane-resistant windows.
By investing in impact windows that meet or exceed the hurricane-level resistance standards for your region, you can significantly enhance the overall safety and resilience of your home, providing peace of mind during hurricane season.
Adherence to Building Codes
Building codes are in place to ensure that homes are built to withstand extreme weather conditions.
When purchasing impact windows, it’s important to choose windows that adhere to these building codes to ensure maximum protection for your home.
Adherence to building codes is crucial for hurricane-impact windows because these regulations are designed to ensure that the windows can withstand the extreme forces exerted by hurricanes and other severe weather events.
Building codes take into account factors such as wind speed, pressure, and debris impact resistance, which help determine the minimum requirements for windows to be considered hurricane-resistant.
By following these guidelines, homeowners can have confidence that their windows will provide the necessary protection during a storm.
One example of the importance of adhering to building codes can be seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Many homes in the affected areas were not built to withstand the force of such a powerful storm, resulting in widespread damage and loss of life.
In response, building codes in hurricane-prone regions were updated to include more stringent requirements for impact windows, such as higher wind resistance ratings and mandatory use of laminated glass.
These changes have led to improved window performance during subsequent storms, helping to reduce property damage and save lives.
Another use case is the city of Miami, which has some of the strictest building codes in the United States due to its vulnerability to hurricanes.
Homes built to comply with these codes, including the installation of hurricane impact windows, have been shown to fare much better during storms compared to those that do not meet the standards.
In conclusion, adherence to building codes is essential for hurricane-impact windows because it ensures that they are designed and manufactured to provide the highest level of protection against the devastating forces of extreme weather events.
By choosing windows that meet or exceed the building code requirements for your region, you can significantly improve the safety and resilience of your home, potentially preventing catastrophic damage and safeguarding the lives of your loved ones during hurricane season.
Buying Locally Manufactured Windows
Buying locally manufactured windows can offer several benefits, including faster delivery times and better customer service.
Additionally, buying locally manufactured windows can help support local businesses and the economy.
Buying locally manufactured windows is particularly important for hurricane-impact windows because local manufacturers have a better understanding of the specific weather conditions and building requirements in the region.
This expertise allows them to design and produce windows that are tailored to withstand the unique challenges posed by hurricanes in the area.
For example, a manufacturer based in Florida would be well-versed in the state’s stringent building codes and the particular characteristics of hurricanes that affect the region.
As a result, they can create windows that are specifically designed to resist the high winds, heavy rains, and flying debris commonly experienced during a Floridian hurricane.
Another reason why buying locally manufactured windows is essential for hurricane impact windows is the potential for enhanced customization and adaptability.
Local manufacturers can work closely with homeowners and contractors to create custom window solutions that address the specific needs of individual properties.
For instance, if a homeowner lives in a coastal area prone to storm surges, a local manufacturer may recommend windows with additional water-resistant features or suggest particular installation methods to minimize the risk of water infiltration.
Furthermore, local manufacturers can provide ongoing support and maintenance services, ensuring that your hurricane-impact windows remain in optimal condition throughout their lifespan.
By choosing to buy locally manufactured windows, you not only contribute to the local economy but also benefit from the specialized knowledge and services that these companies offer, ultimately enhancing the protection of your home against hurricanes.
Cost of Hurricane Windows
The cost of hurricane windows will depend on several factors, including the size of your windows and the level of protection you require.
While impact windows can be expensive, they are an investment in the safety and security of your home.
Considering the cost of hurricane windows is vital because it directly impacts your investment’s long-term value and benefits.
Homeowners need to strike a balance between affordability and quality to ensure that they are getting the most out of their purchase.
Although high-quality impact windows may cost more upfront, they save homeowners money in the long term by cutting energy bills, reducing hurricane damage, and possibly lowering insurance costs.
For example, energy-efficient impact windows can help keep your home cooler during hot summer months and warmer during cold winter months, leading to lower energy consumption and reduced utility costs.
Additionally, having impact windows installed can result in insurance discounts, as insurance companies recognize the increased protection against hurricane damage.
When evaluating the cost of hurricane windows, it’s essential to consider not only the initial purchase price but also the installation costs, maintenance expenses, and potential savings over time.
A more affordable window option may seem appealing initially, but if it requires frequent repairs or replacement due to inferior materials or craftsmanship, the long-term costs could outweigh the initial savings.
In contrast, a higher-priced impact window that offers superior durability, performance, and longevity can provide a better return on investment.
It’s also worth noting that investing in high-quality hurricane windows can increase the resale value of your property, as prospective buyers will appreciate the added safety and protection features.
Homeowners can make an informed choice by carefully reviewing the cost of hurricane windows and balancing long-term benefits with initial expenses. This ensures the best protection for their home and family while staying on budget.
FAQs about Impact Windows
What are the best impact windows?
The best impact windows are those that are highly durable, energy-efficient, and have a high wind load resistance. Some top-rated brands include PGT, CGI, and Andersen.
Which window company has the best reviews?
The window company with the best reviews varies depending on specific needs and regions, but companies like Andersen, Pella, and Marvin frequently received high marks for their quality and customer service.
Are there different grades of impact windows?
Yes, there are different grades of impact windows. The grading often depends on factors such as the level of impact resistance, energy efficiency, and the type of materials used in the construction of the window.
What is the best thickness for impact windows?
The best thickness for impact windows is typically between 7/16 inch to 9/16 inch. This range offers a good balance between impact resistance and visual clarity.