The Florida Building Code underwent significant revisions to increase structural safety further. These steps came mainly due to Hurricane Andrew's massive devastation in 1992.
Initially, the Florida Building Code went into effect in 2002. Still, it's been updated every three years and may also be amended annually. Staying up to date with these changes is critical in giving your home or business the ultimate protection against the devastating impact of a hurricane.
Why You Need Impact Windows in South Florida
One of the Florida Building Code's key aspects is to follow the specific regulations for your region. South Florida resides in the "wind-borne debris" region. Each property must have hurricane protection on all windows and doors.
Investing in impact windows and doors is necessary for each building, as it provides the best protection against hurricane-force winds that often impact South Florida yearly.
Florida Building Code Specifications by Region
Impact windows and doors are not only required on the Florida coast but inland as well. Any areas located within a mile of the coastal mean high water line (MHWL) and face basic wind speeds of at least 110 mph must comply.
Impact products are also required for areas of hurricane-prone regions that have a wind speed of at least 120 mph or greater.
Understanding your region's requirements is essential in staying in compliance while also giving you the best protection against a hurricane.
Additional Requirements for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties
The Florida Building Code also requires additional regulations if you live in Miami-Dade or Broward counties. Your property must stay in compliance by receiving a Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance (NOA).
The NOA only approves impact-resistant products that follow the highest standards of safety in the industry. Following these guidelines is essential for anyone living in High-Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ), such as Miami-Dade and Broward counties. These safety standards are required for both residential and commercial buildings.
Why Impact Products are the Perfect Solution for Contractors and Builders
Staying in compliance with the Florida Building Code's latest regulations is essential for constructing homes or businesses in South Florida.
Impact products are always tested to withstand flying debris up to 200 MPH. The impact-resistant film and the inner membrane technology give your building the ultimate protection against a category five hurricane.
Impact products must undergo other rigorous testing procedures for air pressure, water penetration, and structural testing. Using impact products with a DP 50 rating is essential to withstand the massive winds of a category five hurricane.
Additional Benefits of Impact Products
Impact windows and doors also offer many other benefits besides giving the best protection against a hurricane and staying in compliance with the Florida Building Code. The main benefits include:
1) Operational Reliability
Impact windows provide reliable longevity in all types of weather conditions. They're also easy to operate and work when you need them most - such as in the case of a fire or other emergency. You can rest assured that every piece of an impact window will reliably work years down the road, unlike the breakdown that normally occurs with traditional windows.
2) Healthier Homes
Unlike cheaper options, impact windows do not gather moisture and cause condensation. Excess condensation can lead to the growth of mold, which can be harmful to your health.
Condensation is also one of the main reasons why traditional windows break down over time. By preventing condensation, impact windows will keep your home healthier and last much longer.
Impact windows relieve asthma sufferers by reducing pollen, dust, and other irritants.
3) Stronger Home Security
In Florida, a burglary occurs about every 5 seconds. Most burglaries happen through windows and doors, which is why impact products are a great way to increase your home security.
Impact windows and doors are much more difficult to break than traditional products. They're also fitted with more robust locking mechanisms that make them even more resistant to forced entry.
In addition, impact windows can't be removed from the outside, so even if a burglar does manage to break the glass, they won't be able to enter your home.
This is an important consideration for any Florida homeowner.
4) Exterior Noise Reduction
Impact windows provide a significant reduction in exterior noise. This can be a huge benefit if you live in a high-traffic area or near an airport.
The thicker glass and tight seal of impact windows create a barrier that significantly reduces the amount of noise that enters your home.
You'll be able to enjoy peace and quiet in your own home, even if the outside world is anything but quiet.
5) UV Ray Filtering
UV rays not only cause damage to your skin but also to your home's interior.
Impact windows filter harmful UV rays, protecting you and your home. This can help to prevent fading of furniture, flooring, and other household items.
6) Lower Utility Bills
Because impact windows provide such a tight seal, they also help to keep your home better insulated. This leads to lower utility bills as your home's HVAC system won't have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.
In the summer, you'll be protected from the heat, and in the winter, you'll be protected from the cold. Either way, you'll save money on your energy bills.
7) A More Comfortable Home
Have you ever walked from one end of your home to the other and felt the temperature change? This is a common occurrence in residences with traditional windows. Rooms on the south and west sides of homes get the hottest sun and can end up hotter than other rooms in the home.
Impact windows keep the entire residence at an even temperature, so you'll never have to worry about hot or cold spots again.
8) A More Significant Return on Your Investment
If you're planning on selling your home in the future, impact windows can increase its value. Because they provide a wide range of benefits, buyers will pay more for a home with impact products installed.
This means that you'll get a higher return on your investment when it comes time to sell.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Alco Windows & Doors
Alco Windows and Doors understands the importance of protecting your home and business from hurricanes. We provide the highest grade of impact windows and doors to ensure you comply with the Florida Building Code.
Our team stays continually focused on making every community safe and strong tomorrow by offering the best experience today.
You’ll receive a reliable combination of experience and expertise to ensure you receive the highest-quality installation services. Here's what the Alco difference looks like:
- We use superior products during installation for better results, such as marine-grade sealants and tap-con screws when mounting new windows and doors.
- Our installation crews take the time to fill gaps in your home's concrete after removing old windows and doors. This step ensures your new products fit more securely and resist bending and warping.
- We are registered with the Better Business Bureau and hold state contractor licensing to operate in the state of Florida.
- We hold full business insurance to protect our employees and your home and property during installation.
- We offer a guarantee on all of our installation work, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your hurricane-impact doors will last for many years to come.
Reach out to us anytime with questions about the Florida Building Code, as we take pride in offering top-quality customer service for South Florida businesses and homeowners. We also offer a lifetime warranty for all of our services.
Contact Alco Windows and Doors today to learn how you can stay in compliance with the Florida Building Code by using impact products!