The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Hurricane-Resistant Windows

Hurricanes and their accompanying debris wreak havoc on buildings and homes. Instead of having to board up your windows

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Hurricane-Resistant Windows

Hurricanes and their accompanying debris wreak havoc on buildings and homes. Instead of having to board up your windows and install shutters, homeowners in hurricane-prone areas can opt for impact-resistant windows.

Wind Load Requirements

Living in an area prone to hurricanes comes with particular challenges. These storms are devastating, their high-speed winds converting unanchored objects into missiles, and they can create storm surges that can cause flooding and property damage. If a window breaks during a hurricane, it can cause pressure to build up and ultimately break the roof and walls of a home. Hurricane-rated windows prevent this by incorporating a tough shatter-resistant membrane that keeps the glass intact. To qualify as a hurricane-resistant window, a product must undergo rigorous testing to meet building codes in areas prone to powerful storms. These tests simulate anticipated wind loads, the positive and negative changes in air pressure, and impacts from flying debris during a storm. This information can help builders and homeowners narrow their selection of hurricane-resistant products.


When you buy hurricane windows, you have several glazing options. Laminated glass involves multiple layers bonded with a durable interlayer, while tempered glass is strengthened through rapid heating and cooling processes. Choosing the right frame material is also crucial. Aluminum, clad aluminum (wood wrapped in aluminum), and pultruded fiberglass are stronger and better at resisting direct hits from loose debris than vinyl.

If you live in Florida or other coastal areas, your building code may require that you have hurricane resistant windows. These windows can protect your home from catastrophic damage caused by flying debris during a storm and help you qualify for lower homeowners insurance rates. These windows also protect against burglaries and intrusions by looters searching for valuables in evacuated neighborhoods.


Home protection should be a top priority for areas prone to hurricanes and other severe weather events. The wrong window choice could cost you more than just money. It could mean shattered glass, damaged furniture, and a loss in your resale value. Hurricane windows are designed to be stronger than regular glass panes and not shatter when hit by debris during a storm. They’re similar to laminated car windshields with a heavy tint. They’re between two pieces of glass that are bonded together. These windows are available with aluminum, vinyl, and wood frames. They look like traditional windows and can be opened and closed like other doors and windows. They can also save your home from structural damage by preventing sudden air pressure changes that can cause roofs to blow off and walls to collapse.


While regular windows may shatter during a hurricane, impact-resistant windows tend to remain intact or only crack into large, soft pieces. This results from the plastic membrane surrounding the glass, similar to laminated safety glass found on car windshields. These windows also feature a strong frame to keep wind and debris from entering the structure. In addition, they can reduce noise levels, protect against UV rays, and provide energy efficiency. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, installing impact-resistant windows is essential for your home. Not only can they reduce damage from flying debris, but they can also help save your home from costly structural repairs and lower homeowners insurance premiums. 


In addition to preventing water damage, hurricane windows prevent structural damage by reducing air pressure changes. When regular windows break, air can enter homes, increasing pressure and potentially blowing off roofs and walls. Hurricane windows are designed not to break when hit by debris or high winds, and they offer a more attractive alternative to traditional plywood home shields. Hurricane-rated windows are a must in any storm-prone area. Without them, buildings face the threat of significant wind, debris, and water damage that can cost property owners thousands of dollars in repairs or even total building destruction. While they may cost more than traditional window options, the investment can be worth it as they are more aesthetically appealing and provide better protection for your home or business.

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