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How Thick Should Impact Windows be?

By June 21, 2022No Comments

Your home, possessions, family, and you are only as safe as your windows are strong. This is true all of the time, but particularly during a hurricane. For those of us who live here in South Florida, a hurricane hitting the area isn’t “if,” but “when.” This means savvy homeowners need to prepare now, instead of waiting for the Weather Channel to announce a named storm is headed this way.

The best way to prepare ahead of time for a severe weather event is by having impact windows installed at your home. That being said, not all impact windows are the same. You have quite a few choices. One of the most important decisions you will make when choosing impact windows is their thickness. How thick should South Florida impact windows be? 

Thick glass is definitely stronger than thin glass. Impact windows use thick laminated glass and sturdy framing materials, which result in a safer window. Their overall thickness ranges from 7/16” to 9/16”, as compared to typical single pane glass measuring an average of 1/8”. The result is a strong, durable glass which can withstand continuous wind speeds of up to 200 mph or direct strikes by 2x4s and other debris. In a hurricane, that is exactly what you’re looking for!

Impact windows go through a design pressure test that will ensure the windows will be able to hold up during dangerous major storms. The test consists of three parts: Air Pressure, Water Penetration, and Structural Testing. In this third portion, the glass and frame of the window are tested. A higher rating is given due to the thickness of the glass and the hardware of the frame. When higher-end and structurally sound material is used, the rating is usually higher. The rating of the frame can actually increase the overall rating of the window itself.

It’s no secret that in South Florida, we experience mother nature’s fury a bit too often. If you’ve been on the receiving end of that temper, you’ll know that taking precautions against it can be one of the smartest moves you can make. Vista Impact Windows & Doors is here to help you protect everyone and everything you love with high-quality impact windows. Installing impact windows represents a permanent solution to the ever-present problem of dangerous South Florida weather by outfitting your house with durable, long-lasting armor that is both good-looking and strong.

Because we specialize, we can manage all phases of your project, from start to finish. First, we educate and guide you so you can select the products that best suit your needs, budget, and personal taste. Then we consider the location and orientation of your home and submit the data to a structural engineer who calculates design pressures and certifies each and every one of our projects. Your impact windows are ordered only after a structural engineer and the municipality issuing the permit have approved them. It is no accident that our impact windows work effortlessly for many years to come.

We encourage you to consider your need for impact windows now, while it isn’t Hurricane Season. If you wait until summer, you’ll be racing against time- and against the next Atlantic Ocean hurricane!