Living in Palm Beach County is like living in paradise. But as we all know, paradise has its challenges. Among them? Hurricanes. Let's explore how hurricane impact windows can be your home's knight in shining armor.
The Threat of Hurricanes in Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County and South Florida are known for their beautiful beaches and sunny weather but also dangerous hurricanes.
Given the area's vulnerability to hurricanes, local authorities consistently urge residents to prepare for the most severe outcomes and to consider evacuating the island ahead of storms, regardless of prevailing forecasts and projections.
Over the years, hurricanes have resulted in property damage, deaths, and flooding through low and high impact from objects in the storm. Living in a hurricane-prone area requires you to protect your investments before hurricanes hit, and this is where investing in hurricane-impact windows comes into play.
According to the Florida Code of hurricane protection, impact products are required for hurricane-prone regions with a wind speed of 120 mph or greater.
Ask any resident of Palm Beach County about the advantages of hurricane-proofing their home, and you'll discover impact windows and doors are at the top of most homeowners' priority lists.
This preference is for good reason: with hurricane season beginning in June and lasting until November, your home could be in the line of fire of strong winds and heavy rains at least six months out of every year.
What are Hurricane Impact Windows?
Hurricane impact windows, often called storm-proof windows in Palm Beach, are specially designed and reinforced windows created to withstand the intense pressure and flying debris a hurricane brings.
These windows are constructed from heavy-duty glass and feature a laminate layer that prevents shattering upon impact. They can withstand the force of high winds and blunt force from flying debris from hurricanes up to 150 mph.
Why Every Palm Beach Home Needs Hurricane Impact Windows
Most Florida homeowners know the powerful protection that impact windows offer during hurricanes and tropical storms. Here are the top reasons for investing in hurricane-impact windows in Palm Beach County:
1. Protect Against Harsh Weather
This benefit is obvious but always worth revisiting. Impact windows are necessary if you live in a hurricane-prone area like Palm Beach, FL. They stand strong against high winds and debris. They also help keep roofs safe. When a window breaks, winds can cause internal pressure that might blow off roofs. Impact windows keep this pressure in check.
2. Guard Your Home Against Theft
Home invasions are disturbing for all homeowners. Impact windows offer a layer of protection against burglaries. They're tougher to break than regular windows, making homes with them less appealing targets for thieves.
3. Boost Home Energy Efficiency
Impact windows can help cut down your energy costs. They keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer, making your HVAC system work less. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that impact windows can save an average of $350 annually on heating and cooling.
4. Keep Noise Out
Noise pollution, especially in busy Florida locales, can be disruptive. Impact windows block about 50% of that noise, ensuring a calmer home.
5. Raise Your Home's Market Value
Are you planning to sell your home? Impact windows can boost its market price. Homes with these windows often sell about 7% higher and quicker than those without.
6. Get Better Insurance Deals
Insurance companies often offer discounts for homes with impact-resistant windows since they reduce potential storm damage. Impact windows could be the answer if you're looking for ways to save on your homeowners' insurance. Just be sure to discuss with your insurance agent about possible discounts before making a purchase.
7. Shield Your Home from UV Rays
Excessive sun can warm your home and fade furnishings. Impact windows block nearly 99% of UV rays, ensuring a cooler home and protection against furniture discoloration.
8. Enjoy Peace of Mind
The standout benefit of storm-proof windows in Palm Beach is the peace they offer. They shield your home and give you a sense of security. You can skip the hassle of climbing ladders to install plywood, struggling with locking accordion shutters or placing tape across the glass on every window and door on your property. You can trust these windows' robust protection against strong winds and hurricanes.
The Science Behind Impact Windows: How Do They Work?
Impact-resistant windows are designed to withstand strong winds up to 170 mph and resist shattering when struck. Unlike regular glass windows, impact windows are constructed using multiple layers.
Usually, they consist of two glass layers with an inner layer of clear polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). This inner layer is vital to the window's strength. Even if the glass breaks, the PVB or EVA layer keeps the shards in place.
This multi-layer construction is often called laminated glass. The outer layer might crack when something hits the window, but the inner layer prevents the glass from shattering completely. Think of it like the windshield of a car; when it gets hit, it might crack, but it usually doesn't break and fall apart.
While the glass is essential, the frame of hurricane windows is critical, too. Every strong glass needs a good frame to hold it. If extreme winds or hits push the glass out of its frame, rain, wind, and debris from outside can get inside and damage things or hurt people.
In terrible cases, the whole window might get pushed inside, letting the storm enter your house. Impact window frames are thicker than regular ones and are made from rigid materials like aluminum and vinyl. Additionally, the glass has a special silicone glazing that helps it stick to its frame.
Comparing Costs: Impact Windows vs. Potential Storm Damage
Installing hurricane-impact windows in Palm Beach County might seem like a costly investment. However, the decision becomes clear when you compare the initial cost with the potential expenses incurred from storm damage.
Repairs from a single hurricane can run into thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. This doesn't account for the potential risk to your safety or the emotional toll of enduring a storm without adequate protection. Therefore, you can't compare this cost to a one-time investment of $3-5,000 per opening in your home, which is the average cost of impact windows as estimated by the National Association of Realtors.
While the upfront costs of installing hurricane-impact windows can be substantial, they offer long-term value. These windows are durable, often lasting several decades, so the return on investment is considerable when one calculates potential savings on energy bills, reduced insurance premiums, and avoided repair costs.
If you'd like to install hurricane-impact windows in your Palm Beach home and can't afford the upfront cost, don't worry! Check out this guide to impact windows costs to learn about the available financing options.
Making a Wise Investment for Safety
Investing in storm-proof windows for your Florida home is not merely a financial decision but a choice prioritizing safety, peace of mind, and the long-term protection of your property. The threat of hurricanes is real, but with the proper precautions, you can storm-proof your home, ensuring it stands strong against harsh weather. You don't need to go to the hardware store for plywood or set up shutters whenever you predict a storm.
If you're looking to install storm-proof windows in your Palm Beach home, Alco Windows and Doors got you covered. We've helped many homeowners in South Florida to safeguard their homes since 2017.
We'll help you protect your home from hurricanes and tropical storms for many years through impact windows and doors.
Contact us today to learn more about Palm Beach County window safety and get free estimates for your next project.
MORE TOPICS FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY RESIDENTS
- Understanding the Need for Impact Windows in Palm Beach County
- Our Guide to the Palm Beach County Window Replacement Code