How are Impact Windows Made?

When you see a window listed as hurricane-proof or impact-resistant, this means the window can withstand heavy impact without fracturing or breaking apart.

Instead, when hit by a large object - either propelled by the heavy winds from a Category 5 hurricane or an attempted home invasion - your impact-resistant window will form a contained spider-web pattern. The glass will not shatter, even under extreme conditions such as these.

Why? Impact windows are made from uniquely designed materials such as the following:

Alco Impact Window Sketch

Vinyl or Aluminum Frames 

Impact windows are built with frames with higher-strength materials such as vinyl and aluminum. This type of heavy-duty material is much less likely to crack, splinter, or rust. As a result, the impact windows increase both a home’s value and curb appeal.

 

Exterior (Tempered) Glass

While impact windows are great for protecting a home during extreme storms, they offer additional benefits such as increasing a property’s energy efficiency. This is a result of the window’s exterior layer when made with tempered glass. 

 

Interior Heat-Strengthened Glass

The interior glass layer provides homeowners with several advantages as well. For instance, the laminated glass reduces UV rays from entering your home. This helps prevent furniture, carpeting, and other valuable items from fading due to sun exposure.  

 

Glass Film

The glass film located in the interior heat strengthened glass layer comprises both SGP and PVB materials. This high-performance interlayer has a tear strength of 5 times that of traditional glass windows. Additionally, the glass film prevents the glass from shattering and blowing into your house. This is the same technology used in car windshields.

 


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Holding Window FramesThe Importance of Window Frames

Most impact-resistant windows are constructed using aluminum, vinyl, or steel frames. These kinds of frames resist warping, weakening over time, or accumulation of rust. Steel and aluminum frames are obviously extremely tough, but they can be more expensive than vinyl.

Vinyl frames are themselves more than up to the task of protecting you and your family and providing the right supporting structure for your impact-resistant windows.

In fact, vinyl frames are seen as the most cost-efficient option if you're looking to protect your home against the elements and get great insulation and energy efficiency at the same time.

 

Window ShatteringUtilizing Shatter-Proof Materials

The "secret sauce" to impact windows is the inner layer, which is made from strong-binding, tough, and flexible vinyl materials like ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyvinyl butyral (PVB).

The inner layer of EVA or PVB can range in thicknesses, but the thicker the inner layer, the more expensive the window.

The upshot to a thicker layer is that you'll have much more protection, and your window will be able to take more of an impact without breaking a sweat.

The EVA and PVB inner layer on impact-resistant windows can vary from about .010 inches to .090 inches, which might not sound like much but is plenty protective considering this material's strength.

 

Additional Protective Layers

PVB is what makes car windows shatterproof. Combining PVB with a window-glaze layer made of polyvinyl terephthalate (PET) adds another layer of protection to your home. A PET film can also be used with a liquid glass resin applied to your new hurricane windows to make your home a veritable fortress.

A surface membrane added to the outside of your new impact-resistant windows can make your windows an even more formidable opponent against flying debris and heavy weather. The frame construction of your windows makes things that much tougher.

 

Happy family in homeBenefits of Installing Impact Windows

When it comes to storm preparation, not all homes are prepared equally. Impact windows act as the greatest defense to hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, blizzards, and more. However, installing impact-resistant windows are a great investment for any homeowner, regardless of living in areas with extreme weather. Here are three added advantages impact products provide to all homes.

 

Reduced Energy Costs

Impact windows with laminated glass improve HVAC efficiency and the overall durability of a home. For example, impact products prevent excessive heat transfer from the outside. As a result, energy costs are reduced because the air conditioning is not needed as much.

 

Heightened Security 

Not only does impact glass prevent break-ins from flying debris, but home invasions as well. This material makes it close to impossible for an intruder to shatter a window and enter a home. Installing impact windows is one of the easiest ways to burglar-proof your property.

 

Upgrade a Home’s Appearance 

Upgrading or replacing traditional windows with impact windows is a great way to increase a home’s value and curb appeal. There are hundreds of design options to choose from, so it can be done in conjunction with the rest of your property. By changing the windows of a home, you can change its whole personality.

 

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Ready to Learn More?

When you’re ready for more information on purchasing impact windows, visit Alco Windows and Doors. We’re a local business committed to enriching our community and providing a safe environment for everyone.

Buying impact doors and windows in Miami has never been this easy. Sit back, relax, and let the Alco Windows and Doors team provide the service you need. Give us a call or set up your FREE consultation today!

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