How Do You Install Impact Resistant Windows?

Impact Resistant WindowsKnowing how to install impact resistant windows can save someone’s home from severe storm damage. High winds from a storm, such as a hurricane, can turn branches, trash cans and other items into dangerous projectiles. The trick to preventing storm damage is to secure all openings within the house. Unfortunately, windows are the main avenue to serious storm damage, so securing these areas is very important. Even tempered glass will become damaged in this kind of scenario. The only sure way to prevent this type of damage is to install certified impact resistant windows. For the most part, installing an impact resistant window is a lot like installing a regular window in many ways. However, there are a few difference to pay attention to. Improper installment can lead to premature failure of the windows or house.

Installation and Design

Around 20 years ago, impact resistant windows were very limited on the market. Thanks to stricter building codes, manufacturers of impact resistant windows had to keep up with the demand. As a result, impact resistant window technology has come a long way. Just about any design is available for impact resistant windows, including fixed pane, awning, casement, horizontal roller and much more. Even skylights, door glass and patio doors are available in impact resistant form. One thing to understand is that there really are no protection levels of impact resistance, meaning all impact resistant windows must meet high standards regardless.

Most importantly, there is no specific or general way to install impact resistant windows. This is mainly due to the fact that each manufacturer warrants different installment instructions for a particular make and model. Not following these very specific instructions can lead to premature failure of the window. Always install impact resistant windows accordingly to the instruction manual. According to Brian Hedlund, installation methods are typically set forth by each manufacturer, and often test reports will dictate what the installation method should be.

Although the strength and durability of the window itself is important, the structure of the building that holds the window in place is critically important. There is no use in a window that is not secured in place very well. To get a better idea, a window that is 53 inches by 76 inches would have a surface area of 28 square feet. If this window were to be in a 146 mph hurricane wind, there would be a total of 1,958 pounds exerted on the window. As one can see, installment and structure of the window is very important. Depending on the house’s structure, a serious remodeling may need to be done in order to allow for sufficient strength and protection.

Keeping Windows Airtight

When installing impact resistant windows, it’s very important to use a watertight caulk seal. This is primarily done to prevent any water from seeping through. The most important areas that need to be watertight are the window bucks and window itself. As a general rule of thumb, the closer that one is to the coastline, the more stringent they will have to be on watertight caulking. In fact, most homes near beach areas require stainless steel screws to stand up to salt sprays. Nails are not recommend since they tend to pull out easily under great force, unlike screws.

Building Codes

Many years ago, it was only places like Florida that required special impact resistant windows. Now, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts and several other states, all require some form of impact resistant windows. This is mainly due to many severe storms that swooped in these areas.

Cost and Availability

According to an independent study, impact resistant windows will raise the value of a home by a few thousand dollars. These kind of windows can be ordered and shipped anywhere. However, many stores located in severe storm prone areas stock up on impact resistant windows.

Insurance Benefits

Aside from protecting a valued house from storm damage, these windows can qualify someone for extra insurance benefits. Since these windows secure a house from storm damage and other break ins, a person can receive insurance breaks, especially when buying a new home.

Overall, there are many benefits that come with installing impact resistant windows. While installing the window or windows, make sure that the exact installment instructions are followed. Always check with insurance companies to see if there are any discounts or beaks available. Building codes, insurance codes and other laws should be kept in mind when beginning the installation process as well. Consulting a professional that installs impact resistant windows can save one a lot of headache and lead them in the right direction.

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