Living safely in Florida simply couldn’t happen without impact-resistant windows and doors. These technological marvels not only help keep our homes and businesses safe from wind-borne damage in hurricanes and other storms, but they also protect us from break-ins and even high-energy costs! But where, exactly, did impact glass come from and how was it discovered? Here’s a little background information about the history of impact glass.
Impact Glass: An Accidental Discovery
Impact glass can trace its origins to a laboratory experiment accident in 1903. French chemist, Edouard Benedictus, dropped a glass flask which had been coated with a plastic – cellulose nitrate solution – by mistake. When the glass shattered, the pieces did not break into a multitude of shards, however, but remained safely intact. Benedictus, realizing the value of this safety glass, thought it would be an excellent material to reduce injuries in automotive accidents, but the material didn’t catch on until it was used in gas masks during the First World War.
In the 1930s, demand for the glass began to grow, as designers and architects realized the clear, yet tough material could be used to create towering glass green houses and gardens, and light and airy concert halls. Impact glass also became a mainstay of the automotive industry, as it was used to help protect windshields and reduce injuries – just as Benedictus had hoped.
Impact glass really came to the forefront as rugged protection from natural disasters after Hurricane Andrew devastated the Sunshine State in 1992. Miami-Dade County was the first municipality to enact legislation calling for stricter building code requirements – including impact-resistant products.
The need for impact-resistant windows was underscored by Hurricane Katrina. The second-most costly catastrophe in U.S. history, Katrina claimed 65 lives, destroyed or damaged well over 600,000 homes and all-told, caused in excess of $25 billion in damage. Post-storm assessments by the Dade County Building Code Evaluation Team found that the major cause of damage was loss of integrity of the structure once the exterior of the structure was breached. In fact, reviews of subsequent investigations and damage reports noted the key role wind-borne debris played in the devastation.
Today, South Florida has some of the most-stringent requirements when it comes to not only building code regulations but also for impact window testing. Choosing to have impact windows or doors installed in your home, condo or business is a no-brainer. With the constant threats of hurricanes always looming, now is the best time to prepare.
Considering Impact Windows or Doors? Call ASP Windows Today!
Living in South Florida is amazing! But fun in the sun is offset by an occasional hurricane which can stop the good times. Fortunately, that’s where ASP Windows comes in. At ASP Windows, we want you to be worry free when the next storm’s coming. Fully licensed and insured, and Ygrene certified, we offer no down payment and 100 percent financing until December 2018 on new impact windows and installation. Contact us today at (888) 782-8342 for a free in-home estimate on our extensive range of fully customizable windows, doors, and glass.