The glass in your home is one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. The windows can be damaged in many ways but if you live in an area that has a lot of hurricane or storm potential, installing impact-resistant glass might be something you want to consider for your home.
Understanding Impact-Resistant Glass
Impact-resistant glass is basically not that much different from the glass in your standard windows. The most significant difference is that impact-resistant glass has a thin polyethylene film that is laminated in between two layers of glass. The film bonds the glass sheets together and helps reduce the structural collapse of the glass if something hits it.
Standard glass can shatter when even a small projectile hitting it but impact-resistant glass can stand up to large, wind-driven objects impacting the glass. The glass is rated for specific impacts so you will need to select the level of resistance you want when you order your windows.
Many glass companies are offering impact-resistant windows that can be installed like standard replacement windows. They are pre-glazed and pre-hung so all you have to do is remove the old window and replace it with the new impact-resistant one.
The windows are a little heavier than the standard windows and the frames are built with a little more material to make sure that the frames stand up to impacts as well. Many companies can do custom windows if you want them but the cost is going to be something you may want to consider before going that route.
Check with a local glass company to find out what the options are for impact-resistant glass in your area. In some situations, the windows have to be ordered from the manufacturer and the lead time for you to order and receive that windows may need to be a consideration in planning your project.
Impact-resistant glass has become a requirement in some areas of the country that are heavily affected by storms and hurricanes. Some counties have started to require contractors and builders to use the glass in any new construction, but most are not requiring homeowners to change the glass in their homes.
If you live in an area that has a lot of storm activity, check with your local code enforcement office about the requirements and if they have an upgrade program in place. Some municipalities may pay for the windows or help you offset the cost if you update the glass in your home voluntarily.