Impact windows are a great way to protect your home this hurricane season. Many, however, choose to stick with traditional windows because they feel they can withstand the fiercest storms. But, can a hurricane blow-out a traditional window?
Old Windows and Hurricane Winds
The simple answer is yes. Hurricanes can produce extremely dangerous winds. A Category 5 storm can generate wind speeds of over 200 miles per hour. While steady wind may be unlikely to shatter a window, sudden, sharp gusts can add immense pressure to windows and doors and can break them. According to research conducted following Hurricane Katrina, the vast amount of damage to homes and businesses occurred once the winds breached the outer exterior of these structures, causing a loss of integrity. These breaches often occurred at windows and doors.
Many people falsely believe they can counteract these sudden pressure changes by leaning against older windows. The theory is that this pressure will help the window from bowing and breaking. The reality is, if the strong forces blowing on your windows are strong enough to break the glass, adding extra counter pressure certainly isn’t going to stop them from blowing out.
Others believe that if they have older windows, taping them will help minimize any damage and keep broken glass from spraying the immediate area. Unfortunately, this is just an old wives’ tale. Applying tape to old windows will not prevent it from cracking should the window not break, and if it does, it won’t offer must protection from flying glass shards.
Storm Damage from Debris
The real danger in hurricanes, however, is debris. Even in Category 1 storms, sustained winds can reach speeds more than 90 miles per hour, uprooting trees and services. Branches, limbs, and other loose objects then become missiles which can easily shatter even the most-robust of traditional windows.
Hurricane windows are specially designed to withstand the immense pressure of these strong winds, as well as the sudden impact of large missiles and debris. Impact windows must undergo large and small debris missile tests. To pass the large-debris missile test, a window must withstand a nine-pound piece of two-by-four lumber traveling at 34 miles per hour. To pass the small-debris missile test, the window needs to withstand the impact of 10 ball-bearing traveling at 50 miles per hour.
Impact Windows are Your Best Bet in a Hurricane
When hurricane season arrives, your best bet for keeping your home safe and secure is with impact windows are doors. Without the proper protection, your home or business could suffer catastrophic damage from even the most minor of storms. Make sure you take preventative measures this spring.
Hurricane windows provide much more than protection from storms. They also offer improved security against burglaries and can significantly reduce outside noise. Not only that, but impact windows are great for retaining interior temperatures and reducing heat loss, meaning you can expect lower energy costs.
At ASP Windows, we want you to be worry free when the next storm comes. Contact us today at (888) 782-8342 for a free in-home estimate on our extensive range of fully customizable windows, doors, and glass.