Inhabitants of the coastal areas of the United States, or other hurricane-prone areas of the world, can benefit greatly by installing hurricane windows to protect their property. A hurricane window can withstand far more impact from wind forces and flying debris than a common glass window.
What is a hurricane? The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale classifies a counter-clockwise, circulating sustained wind force on a scale from 1-5. Hurricanes are classified as a “one” at 74 mph but a “five” when winds exceed 155 mph.
What is a hurricane window? This is a high-impact, hurricane window built to withstand high winds and flying debris. It consists of a top layer of glass with a thermoplastic material such as PVB that is sandwiched between another layer of glass. They are highly resistant to breakage. When they do break, they do not shatter into tiny pieces like regular glass.
When a window is shattered, whether by wind forces or flying debris, it allows wind to enter a structure and creates a pressure that exceeds the outside pressure. This weakens the building and causes it to break apart.
Other benefits of using these windows: Lowers insurance rates, provides UV protection, reduces outside noise, lowers heating/air-conditioning bills, provides resistance to thieves, and is as transparent as a regular glass window.
Storm shutters are not as effective as hurricane windows during a severe storm but combining them together can provide maximum protection. Installing hurricane windows throughout a building can provide peace of mind to the owner.
*Image “storm watching” appears courtesy of Flick user, qmnonic courtesy of Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).