What are Impact Windows?

Impact windows installed in your home are a mighty line of defense against a major storm that includes high winds. As if the wind itself isn’t enough of a threat, wind packing debris of all shapes and sizes can literally have us running for cover.

The thought of shattering glass sending shards flying through the air along with whatever the winds blows in is a grim one. However, when we add our family into the picture, it becomes terrifying!

A hurricane’s impact

Impact windows, sometimes called hurricane resistant windows, sustain high winds. In addition, they are reinforced to stay intact when hit with the debris picked up and carried with those winds.

The need to create an impact resistant window was made clear by the destruction left behind after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The Category 5 hurricane ravaged Florida to such an extent that Miami-Dade county officials pushed for changes in Florida’s building codes. They wanted all new construction, both commercial and residential, to require using hurricane resistant building materials.

The new codes went into effect statewide in 2002.

Window manufacturers got behind the idea. It didn’t take long for them to come up with a plan.

Impacted by the protection

Manufacturers borrowed the idea of shatterproof glass from the auto industry. It had been using a combination of laminated and tempered glass for years.

Window manufacturers took this concept a step further.

Using a reinforcing material, often a sheet of high-tech polymer, between the glass panels, they created a window that can take a beating!

To prove a window’s impact resistance, it gets put through some serious testing.

Large missile test

The large missile test doesn’t mess around! A 6-foot long, 9-pound 2×4 shot from a cannon hurtles directly at the window with a force that covers a distance of fifty feet per second. The 2×4 must strike the window end first. In brief, if the window survives, it goes on to the next test.

Small missile test

Utilizing steel ball bearings or gravel of the same size and weight, the small missile test hurls all projectiles simultaneously. Covering a distance of eighty feet per second, the projectiles smash into the window full force. If the window remains intact, it passes the test.

Cyclonic winds and storm-driven rain

Impact windows must do more than survive being beaten with debris. They must stand up to the natural elements of a major storm.

The cyclonic wind test includes introducing the window to varying degrees of pressure likened to those produced by the extreme conditions of a severe storm.

Last but not least, the window must repel water and avoid becoming saturated. Testers apply force likened to the force of wind-driven rain.

Moreover, not only must the glass remain intact throughout, the entire window unit must survive. This even includes the glazing.

As a result, ratings depend on the unit’s overall performance.

Impactful for intruders

An intruder is looking for easy access into a home.

Many consider our windows the least path of resistance. It makes sense then that if home invaders will risk the sound of shattering glass, odds are that’s how they plan entry.

Imagine their dismay when they give your window their best whack. Intruders expect the familiar adrenaline rush that accompanies the sound of breaking glass. What’s going to happen when they are met with a dull thud instead?

It may leave them thunderstruck.

When they recover their senses, odds are they won’t be sticking around.

Impacting our carbon footprint

It’s estimated that energy use accounts for one-quarter of our carbon footprint. You can reduce yours with impact windows. These reinforced windows are extremely energy efficient. Subsequently, you stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter without sending your utility bill through the roof.

Impact your environment

The world is a noisy place and, frankly, it’s good to get away from it all sometimes.

Yes, there’s a lot to be said for peace and quiet. We like to think that our home is a place of serenity and seclusion.

However, life goes on everywhere all the time. Sometimes other people’s lives hone in on our down time. Noisy neighbors, construction projects in the area, traffic, and trains are a few examples. If any or all of the above apply to you, installing impact windows can alleviate most or all of it.


They reduce the outside noise level considerably. Therefore, you are able to enjoy the sound of silence.

UV impact

There’s no doubt that the sun’s UV rays damage not only our skin but our stuff as well. Slow fades cease when you have impact windows. They offer excellent protection from ultraviolet rays.

No more drawing the drapes or closing the shades during the day to save your furniture or carpet!

Let that glorious sun shine through the windows all day long.

Are you impacted?

If you don’t have impact resistant windows installed in your home, it’s worth considering isn’t it?

The main benefit without doubt is the safety factor that they provide when threatened by storms. When coupled with the fact that home invasion becomes less likely, impact windows are hard to pass up.

The added benefits regarding energy efficiency, noise reduction, and UV protection are all great too. And, we didn’t even mention the fact that you can find them in every style you can imagine. So they impact the entire look of your home in a big way!

Beauty and brawn.

You can’t beat that.

However, those safety features are paramount.

We love our families and want to provide the safest and most secure environment for them when they are at home. There is no doubt that installing impact windows in your home reinforces your peace of mind in that aspect.

From the moment of installation, they stand as silent sentries from that point forward.

They are at the ready 24/7.

264 replies on “What are Impact Windows?”

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