Windows that are marketed as hurricane-resistant or storm-proof are constructed with impact-resistant glass treated with a layer of polyvinyl butral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). While this impact-resistant glass will probably still shatter upon strong impact from flying objects, it generally remains attached to the inner membrane and the window frame. When they break, these windows crack in a fine, spider-web pattern rather than sending out flying shards of glass.
In addition, ordinary windows can be made more resistant to shattering by adding a surface membrane that covers the window glass.This improves the shatter-resistant quality of the window, though not to the same degree found in genuine hurricane-resistant windows.
Like any standard window, frame construction on a hurricane-resistant, storm-proof window can use aluminum or steel, vinyl, or wood. Aluminum or steel frames are considered the strongest (and most expensive), but there is some maintenance associated with these. Hurricane-resistant windows are also available in a range of thermal options for use in different climates.
You might expect that the main advantage of non-breaking hurricane-resistant windows is that they prevent water from damaging the inside of your home, but the real advantage is structural. Studies have shown that total home destruction is often caused by the sudden pressure changes that occur when windows and doors blow out entirely. The increased air pressure entering the home can blow off roofs and cause walls to collapse. Keeping the windows and doors intact and preventing these air pressure changes can save a home from a devastating collapse.
If you're thinking about getting hurricane windows, the following advantages can help you make your decision.
No glass is entirely break-proof, but hurricane-resistant, storm-proof windows have the enormous advantage of breaking in a manner that cracks without sending out flying shards of glass. Some of the many benefits of impact-resistant windows are:
1) Will survive winds up to 200 mph without blowing out
2) No flying shards of glass
3) Available in different styles and sizes
4) Offer excellent insulation against sound
5) Blocks 99% of transmitted UV light
6) May reduce homeowners insurance costs by as much as 45 percent.
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