If you'll be getting replacement windows soon, consider upgrading to impact windows. These increase the security of your home and improve energy efficiency. Here's how impact windows are made and their benefits.
Why Impact Windows Are So Strong
Impact or hurricane windows are made differently from plain replacement windows. They have sturdy frames that are usually made of thick aluminum or vinyl so the frames won't be broken apart by impacts. The glass in the windows is designed to be strong as well.
The windows have at least two panes of glass. The outside pane is tempered glass and the inner glass is usually heat-treated so it is stronger than plain glass. Plus, there is a vinyl film placed between the panes that bonds to the glass. The thickness of the film varies according to how much protection you need.
Impact windows are tested to verify they can withstand hurricane-force winds and impacts. They're also tested for water penetration, air infiltration, and structural strength.
How Impact Windows Work
It's important to understand how these windows work. The glass might still crack when something hard hits the glass in a strong wind, but the glass is bonded to the invisible vinyl film so the glass stays in the frame. The film itself is very hard to bust through, so you don't have to worry about flying glass shards.
If an intruder tries to bust out your window, they may create spider-web cracks, but it's unlikely they'll be able to bust through the vinyl film that's bonded to the glass.
How The Windows Benefit Your Home
Impact windows cost more than typical replacement windows, but they also provide a lot more protection for your home. They keep wind, rain, and flying debris out of your house during a bad storm and they hold together if an intruder tries to bash out the window glass.
Since they're strong, they're also durable so they'll last a long time. They are energy efficient since they have two panes of glass and are made with a tight and secure fit in the frame. They might even help muffle outside noise so your home is a little quieter.
Plus, the film between the glass panes is transparent, so the windows will still be a beautiful addition to your home. Getting new frames often makes a big difference in the way your home looks and new windows can even make your home more comfortable when the weather outside is extreme since they block air infiltration and reduce heat transfer.