What are impact windows? How will I benefit from installing one? These are some of the questions homeowners in Broward County have on their minds. We have the answers.
Broward County has sunshine, beaches, and beautiful weather all year round. But despite the fantastic weather in this county, it brings hurricanes and storms. It's good to prepare for them since you can't escape them.
There are many solutions for residents to protect their property from storm damage. They include hurricane anchors, water drainage systems, and elevated foundations. But impact windows in Broward are the best solution for homeowners.
Unfortunately, most homeowners don't take advantage of installing these windows. They prefer other anti-hurricane measures, which are, in reality, far less effective. There are many benefits of investing in impact windows than glass windows.
Do you want to buy impact windows but don't know what process to follow? Read on to know how to protect your home with impact windows during storm season.
We'll also discuss the science of impact windows and how to choose the best installer. By the end of this article, you will know why Alco windows and doors are a top choice.
What Are Impact Windows?
Hurricane Andrew wreaked unprecedented destruction across South Florida, including Broward, in 1992. This led to a demand for impact windows as an alternative to traditional glass windows. It became clear that something needed to be done quickly to prevent hurricane damage.
The state modified building codes to meet this demand. Newly constructed homes were required to have impact-resistant windows. Impact windows are coated with a compound that is highly resistant to shattering.
Furthermore, they respond well to the impact of high-speed objects. In turn, this prevents or reduces the risk of injury to residents of the home.
Traditional windows shatter into pieces when hit by high-speed objects.
But impact windows fracture in a pattern that resembles a spider web. It serves as a barrier against elements until you install a new one.
The Science of Impact Windows
It's a top priority for anyone living in Broward to stay protected against hurricanes. As stated earlier, impact windows are specifically designed to withstand severe weather conditions. They can handle heavy impact without breaking or fracturing.
The interior heat strengthened glass offers support to withstand impact from flying objects. The internal layer consists of a clear PVB or SGP similar to that used in car windshields.
The exterior tempered glass helps improve energy efficiency. It's what prevents the glass from breaking or shattering.
The space between the interior and exterior layers is filled with argon gas. It helps to provide superior insulation.
Impact windows go through a thorough testing process during the manufacturing process. This is necessary to confirm they can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Are All Impact Windows the Same?
All impact windows in Broward and not equal. Each window replacement comes with different ratings for design pressure and performance grade.
Look for windows certified by an independent third party. They should provide the best protection against severe weather and hurricane.
Research your window options in advance. Or, reach out to a reliable contractor to help you decide on the best impact windows for your home.
Impact windows ratings vary based on the needs in a region. Someone living in Broward may install it for extra protection against hurricanes. But someone living in Rhode Island may want to install them for energy efficiency.
The easiest way to interpret ratings is to check for a GP rating of 50. It corresponds category 5 hurricane and is capable of withstanding winds up to 157 MPH. Always check the ratings before choosing windows to buy.
How to Choose Impact Windows
Impact windows are a vital feature of any Broward home. It's the second most popular County in the state of Florida. The frequent thunderstorms and hurricanes make them a necessity.
But not all impact windows offer the same level of protection. So, what factors do you need to consider when buying window options?
1) Frame Material
Most installers recommend windows made of heavy-duty extruded aluminum frames. Choose aluminum window replacement with electrostatic paint coating. This paint requires minimal maintenance.
Durability is the most crucial aspect when choosing windows. Impact-resistant windows are made of heavy-duty laminated glass and frames. They do not break easily when hit by wind-driven debris or strong winds.
Two panes bonded through a silicone glazing process make up the laminated glass. Such windows are of high quality and last a long time.
3) Energy-Efficient Features
Choose energy-efficient window options to ensure indoor temperatures remain at a comfortable level. Look for features such as heat-reducing glass tints and laminated insulating glass.
Remember that green features don't mean that a window is energy-efficient. You need to consider window performance too.
Impact Window Material Options
Choosing windows can be an overwhelming process. It's crucial to find out the different materials used to make impact windows. There are three main types which include wood, vinyl, and aluminum.
Pros of Aluminum
• Aesthetically appealing
• Low maintenance
Cons of Aluminum
• It usually needs to be painted for any color alignment
Pros of Vinyl
• Low maintenance
• High energy performance
• Low cost
Cons of Vinyl
• Recyclability is still not yet fully researched
Pros of Wood
• High energy performance
Cons of Wood
• High maintenance
• Rots and warps
Your budget and needs will determine the choice you make. It's best to choose impact windows that are resistant to corrosion.
Keep in mind that salty water from the sea means that the windows can rust with ease. But corrosion-resistant windows will serve you well for many years. Salty water will not affect them.
Impact Window Glass Options
A plastic film bonds the two sheets of glass together.
• Insulated Laminated
An extra pane of glass is added to a laminated unit. The glass has hermetically sealed air spaces in between.
These types of window options are common in colder climates. The outside and inside temperature differences are usually greater than 50 degrees.
Benefits of Installing Impact Windows
Hurricane season brings severe anxiety with it. It's good to prepare your home to withstand the storm. Laying down sandbags and boarding up windows can help prevent damage. But they are not very effective in the case of rising waters and wind.
Upgrading your windows will ensure you have peace of mind knowing that they can endure up to 200 mph gusts. Here are the benefits of installing impact windows for homeowners.
One of the benefits of impact windows is the insulating home from outside noise. They are made of an additional layer of polyvinyl butyral. This helps to catch debris, providing excellent soundproofing.
An average window has a Standard Transmission Coefficient (STC) of 29 or less. STC refers to the value used when gauging sound transmission.
But impact windows have a Standard Transmission Coefficient of between 32 and 35. So, impact windows will make your home comfortable if a hurricane hits.
2) Improves Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Utility bills can pile up fast in Broward during the summer. Impact windows help reduce solar heat gain during the summer. They also retain heat on winter evenings.
They are more effective than other window treatment options. Impact windows not only offer protection with the additional layers of glass. They also have an insulating effect.
Using air conditioning in a home with a single pane of glass makes your HVAC system work overtime. Switching to impact-resistant windows lowers your energy costs significantly.
Heavy-duty windows prevent indoor air from escaping. Your budget and preference will determine the choice you make. Consider how energy conscious you want the setup to be and how much you want to save on electric bills.
3) Safety in a Storm
Safety is one of the most obvious advantages of installing impact windows. Evacuation may be recommended if you live in an area affected by a hurricane.
But knowing that you have impact-resistant windows gives you a chance to stay for a few days. That is when there are less severe hurricanes. Your windows will likely get struck by flying debris and high-speed winds.
You will have peace of mind knowing that you can wait out the hurricane safely in your home. Why you may ask? When traditional windows get hit by the high-speed winds, they'll shatter upon impact.
But with impact windows, they will remain intact in their frame. You will only see fractures that look like a spider web pattern spreading from the impact.
4) Insurance Premium Discounts
Most insurance companies recognize impact windows as effective window protective systems. They offer protection, unlike shutters that need homeowners to close them.
Insurance companies offer reductions for insurance premiums if you have impact-resistant windows. If you live in an area with frequent high winds and hurricanes, you have to pay a high cost for home insurance. They charge high amounts because of the risk of property damage.
While this may not look fair to you, the high insurance costs are reasonable. That is when you consider the enormous cost a single hurricane can cause on a home.
As a result, insurance companies charge higher rates for those living in these areas. Contact your insurance company once you have installed impact-resistant windows. They will reduce your premium by a considerable percentage.
5) UV Protection
When the hot Broward sun blares into your home, it's bad, like being outside. Traditional glass doesn't protect your home again the sun's ultraviolet (UV) light. This can give you sunburn and cause other damages to the items inside your home.
Ultraviolet can damage and age interior coverings. It degrades fabric, paint, and artwork over time.
Do window replacement and choose impact windows to block up to 99% of ultraviolet rays. You'll protect your interior assets by preserving your furniture upholstery. You'll also preserve your valuable heirlooms, family photos, and artwork for many years.
Some homeowners add films and tints to the windows thinking they can solve this problem. But it makes more sense to replace old windows with strong impact glass with UV protection. You get to kill two birds with one stone.
6) Home Security
Impact windows provide improved protection from break-ins. They are shatter-resistant. It is hard for burglars to break in without using increased effort. You cannot compare impact windows with window grids or security glass.
But they are a significant home improvement compared to traditional pane glass windows. This benefit is more attractive for homeowners in areas with frequent high-speed winds.
The compound composition used to coat hurricane-resistant windows is highly reflective. This provides privacy to your home from the outside world.
7) One-Time Installation and No Storm Preparation
Impact glass installation requires one to replace your windows completely. They have sturdier framing and need to be swapped out as no coating can go over the current glass.
But after installation, there is nothing more you are required to do. Apart from occasional cleaning with water and soap, you install and forget about them.
But with hurricane shutters, you have to put them up anytime there is a hurricane. Even though a warning is issued right before a storm, it may not always hit you.
The task of putting up hurricane shutters and taking them down every time there is a hurricane is a hustle. Plus, they need more maintenance like regular washing and lubricating the track.
Impact windows offer continuous protection for years to come. They resemble regular windows but with added protection against damaging and strong winds.
Average Cost of Impact Windows
It's essential to know the average cost of impact windows to help you stay within your budget. Most impact windows range from $40 to $60 (per square foot).
Typically, installing a single-hung impact window costs around $795. A double-hung window costs an average of $1,025.
Fortunately, there are different financing options to help you buy these products. Research to find the best financing option for your needs.
When choosing windows, consider the various styles available in the market. Examples include horizontal roller windows, architectural windows, picture windows, or casement windows.
The main benefit of impact windows in Broward is storm protection and lower energy bills. Window replacement will save you a significant amount of money each year on energy bills. It also reduces your insurance premiums.
How to Choose Your Impact Windows
Selecting impact windows is like choosing any window. Shop for performance, quality, and beauty. Here is how to choose your impact windows.
1) Choose the Right Features
Impact windows have different features that improve performance and energy efficiency. Inquire from a window supplier about features like window tints and low-e coatings.
These features help to protect the flooring inside your home and your furnishings. They also help to reduce high temperatures in your home. This eventually reduces the burden on your HVAC system.
Extra features mean increased costs. Your window installer will help you find new windows that match your budget.
2) Choose Your Window Style
Impact windows are available in different styles. They include casement windows, picture windows, sliding, double-hung, and single-hung.
The architectural style of your property will determine the best type of window. Different windows have different performances. So, make sure you select windows that will function the way you want.
Visit a showroom and check out the different styles of windows in person. Open and close different models. You will quickly identify the most appropriate style for your house.
Looking at pictures may drive you to choose based on the aesthetics alone. But seeing them in person will help you know for sure.
3) Adhere to Building Codes
Make sure you buy impact windows that adhere to the set local building codes. State and federal governments have codes to be met when installing glass windows. It's essential to be on the right side of the law.
Broward building codes focus more on hurricanes and other storms. Most manufacturers in this area know the local building codes, and it's advisable to buy from them.
How to Choose the Best Installer in Broward
If you want to install impact windows in Broward, FL, you must hire the best installer. Finding the right person is more complex than you think.
How do you identify a reliable installer with many people providing the same service? Here are a few tips to help you choose the right installer for the job.
1) Do Your Homework
Get local referrals from your neighbors and friends. They will give you an accurate description of their experience. You will know if the prospective installer is reliable.
Prioritize a contractor from your local community to avoid worrying about travel time. They will maximize the available work hours. This will ensure your project is complete on schedule.
Meeting deadlines is of great importance in the construction industry. You want a contractor who will not fall behind the deadline, which could cost you more money.
Consider the materials delivery estimate to ensure that everything goes as planned. Some installers may offer lower prices but then include lead times of 4-6 months for materials delivery. We work with a variety of manufacturers, such as Cardinal Glass, to offer you the shortest lead times possible and get your windows and doors installed faster.
2) Research Their Reputation
The company you choose the installer from is of great importance. Take a look at the online reviews and ratings to get an idea of the company's reputation. Knowing how others feel about their services will help you make the right decision.
Also, check out their better business Bureau page. Confirm that they have a working phone or email and a current business address.
A contractor who has been in the same trade for many years will have a lot of experience. This will work out in your favor as they will do a good job.
3) review Their License(s)
Start by finding out information about their expertise on impact windows. They need to have a license to prove their area of specialization.
If they do, they should explain to you how impact windows work. It means that you can trust their suggestions before making your final choice.
Ask for proof of certifications. Poorly installed windows create safety concerns and can cost you a lot of money to replace in the long run.
Use a certified installer to make sure the job is done correctly. You'll be satisfied with the results for many years to come.
4) Schedule Multiple Consultations
It is not wise to reach out to only one installer for impact windows in Broward. Instead, schedule multiple consultations with potential contractors.
Comparing bids will help you better understand the average cost of installation. The installer will break down the cost between labor, permit, and materials.
Request for contact information from their previous clients and reach out. Compare all the details provided to choose an installer who can meet your needs well.
5) Check the Warranty
Compare warranty promises from several companies before making a final decision. Most warranties include free labor for replacing a product at defective. This mainly occurs due to faulty manufacturing.
Warranty exemptions include damage due to misuse, vandalism, or neglect. Make sure you understand warranty promises before signing a contract with your installer.
Why Alco Windows and Doors Is a Top Choice
Alco Windows and Doors are among the leading installers of impact windows in Broward. Our team members will discuss with you the best products in the market. We will also share the benefits of impact window installation in your home with you.
The day we conduct an inspection, we will provide you with a detailed quote. Take time to review it before signing the contract.
Our experts will take measurements of your window and place an order. Afterward, we will give you updates on the progress.
We also provide detailed instructions to help prepare your property for installation. To avoid any damages, we will cover your flooring and furniture.
Lastly, we will conduct a final inspection to ensure you're content with the results. Our lifetime guarantee includes home inspection, screen repair on mesh, and waterproofing. In case of any damages done to your window during installation, we will cover the costs.
Choose the Best Impact Windows Broward Service
Impact windows will transform your property into a more efficient and safer space. Choose a style that blends well with your property.
Take time to identify the best service provider. Prioritize one who offers impact Windows Broward products and installation services.
At Alco Windows and Doors, we'll ensure you know what you are investing in advance. We believe educated, confident customers, make the best buying decisions. We take the time to answer all your questions about pricing and project timelines.
Book a free appointment today for more information about our services.