WHAT ARE THE BEST HURRICANE IMPACT WINDOWS FOR MIAMI
Miami is a beautiful city; with one problem. While the entire area is picturesque during the winter season, the summer hurricane season can bring severe storms with strong winds that leave a trail of destruction wherever they make land. This is why all homes are required by code to be protected by hurricane impact windows whenever replacement of windows and doors are installed by a homeowner. Standard windows and doors that are not impact zone certified will not pass inspection unless they are covered with hurricane shutters.
YOUR IMPACT WINDOWS HAVE A JOB TO DO
There are many manufacturers of hurricane impact windows from which a property owner can choose but all of them must be capable of handling loose debris that becomes wind-borne with hurricane winds. Propelled by strong winds, this debris can destroy any part of your home, especially the windows. To help you make the best decision, here is everything you need to know about the best hurricane impact windows in Miami so you can keep your family safe from the next severe storm this hurricane season.
WHY INSTALL HURRICANE WINDOWS
Choosing hurricane impact resistant windows in Miami is more of a necessity than a choice. By installing them you are doing away with the threat of storm damage and protecting everything and everyone inside your Florida home during hurricane season. Hanging shutters is time consuming and can be physically challenging for some, especially on a two story home. Worse yet is trying to get plywood if you don’t have shutters to begin with. Either of these options leaves unsightly markings on your home’s exterior.
WHAT MAKES THE BEST HURRICANE WINDOWS?
There is a world of a difference between regular windows and impact resistant hurricane windows. Regular windows provide little storm protection and will shatter easily when category 5 hurricane force winds and debris strike. A hurricane window’s impact resistance on the other hand means it can withstand high wind speeds in a hurricane prone area. They can take hits from loose debris, withstanding the impact and preventing wind from entering the home and creating internal pressure that damages the roof and other windows.
ENERGY-EFFICIENT REPLACEMENT WINDOWS
Hurricane windows not only withstand category 5 winds and flying debris, but they also insulate your property while blocking harmful UV rays and maintain full functionality even when cracked. The best hurricane windows use laminated glass that is treated with a tint or, even better, an energy-efficient coating that blocks specific light from entering your home. Most Miami-Dade certifications require some sort of glass treatment although this is not always reinforced by building departments.
HOW TO CHECK FOR QUALITY
The moveable sashes should have adequate rubber insulation strips to seal the window when it is shut. The locking mechanism on doors and hurricane windows should result in a snug fit with little movement once secured shut.
IMPACT WINDOW AND DOOR PAINT
Finally, the best hurricane impact resistant windows should have a high-quality paint coating that doesn’t fade rapidly over time from the Miami sunlight and salty air so as to maintain their aesthetic value as long as possible.
For a higher cost, hurricane windows can be painted with kynar or a comparable high quality powder coat which will give the longest lasting finish without significant fading. Premium coastal windows are preferable where the salty, moist air is corrosive to paint and metal.
WHAT ARE THESE IMPACT WINDOWS MADE OF?
Vinyl Versus Aluminum Impact Windows
In Miami Dade, category 5 rated hurricane impact windows and doors are made from laminated glass and aluminum, wood or vinyl frames. The best hurricane windows use a form of heat-strengthened PVB laminated glass or SGP laminated glass. The process of fusing regular glass with a polyvinyl inner layer using high temperatures helps created a stronger window that resists stress cracks. Laminated hurricane windows’ thickness ranges from 5/16″ to 9/16″. The strongest hurricane windows are made with aluminum frames and 9/16″ SGP glass for maximum hurricane protection.
Vinyl Frames on Impact Windows and Doors
Viny frames are great for energy efficient hurricane windows but are not suitable for hi-rise projects or coastal projects where codes require the highest wind resistance possible. When installing high impact windows and doors, an engineer is often required to verify the extreme wind resistance necessary for those custom windows. Replacement windows in high rise properties often need hidden structural reinforcements. ES windows is a manufacturer that specializes in these products.
TESTED BEFORE USE
Before they are approved for use, all hurricane impact windows and doors are subjected to multiple tests in hurricane-like conditions. This means they are subjected to high-speed winds found in a category 5 storm. They also withstand hits from log-shaped projectiles thrown toward them at high speeds.
Insulated Impact Windows
Some impact windows, patio doors, french doors, and sliding doors can be designed with an insulated hurricane glass unit that is composed of a laminated piece of 5/16: glass on the interior or exterior, a space that is either empty or filled with argon gas and a final regular non-impact piece of glass. Totaling 1 1/4″. impact windows with this insulated unit are the best hurricane windows for energy efficiency because they block heat and sound transmission. Thanks to the frame and insulated glass, vinyl hurricane impact windows are energy star certified and offer the best noise reduction.
Insulated Impact Window Considerations
However, because a piece of regular glass is a part of the unit, they are not shatterproof glass units and they can be damaged easily even though they will still protect your home even after they are damaged. However, these hurricane impact windows can be expensive to fix. When shopping for these windows and doors, look for a limited lifetime warranty to assist with any repair cost.
FRAMES OF IMPACT WINDOWS
Vinyl and aluminum are the best choice for hurricane impact window frames because of their durability and finish. CWS windows manufactures impact windows that are made from white, virgin vinyl that are easy to clean and uv resistant. Virgin vinyl windows will remain white because they are not painted but are, instead, extruded from a white material. White paint can fade and scratch.
WHAT ARE THE BEST IMPACT WINDOWS TO CHOOSE FOR YOUR HOME?
The best hurricane resistant windows are the ones that fit the budget you need for the home you live in. The codes are similar for Miami Dade and Broward counties so for most homeowners in these areas, all leading manufacturers make aluminum impact resistant windows with laminated 5/16″ to 7/16″ glass with tint or Low e glass coating for UV protection because they are the best choice for high velocity hurricane zones. Basic impact windows with the thinnest glass and the lowest level of powder coat give the homeowner the most affordable price.
THE NEXT LEVEL OF IMPACT WINDOWS AND DOORS
If a homeowner needs or requires stronger impact windows and doors, they can upgrade to a product line from those impact window manufacturers that allow 7/16″ or 9/16″ SGP impact resistant glass. For those homeowners with a higher budget and a lot of sunlight, upgraded aluminum or vinyl framed windows with a coating on the glass that offers UV resistance are the right hurricane impact windows because those homeowners can afford to pay for the higher upfront costs while enjoying the added insulating cost benefits these hurricane windows offer.
In the end, hurricane windows cost is determined by many factors so it is important to get a quality consultation from an experienced seller. With over 16 years in the business, our experienced impact window installers can guide you in selecting the right windows doors for your home with window design matching the specifications your unique home and situation requires. Call ASP SuperHome for a free estimate and Let Our Family Protect Yours.