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Do hurricane impact windows break?

May 16, 2020

Large hurricane impact windows in a client's home

Replacement windows in Florida

Are you looking for replacement windows? In many parts of Florida, it makes sense to install impact windows. In certain parts of South Florida, it is a state mandate that all windows replaced must have hurricane protection, and this protection includes impact windows and doors. People that live in high-velocity hurricane zones (HVHZ), or within a wind or in a designated wind-borne debris region assigned by the Florida Building Code, must protect their home from hurricanes. 

Do impact Windows Break?

The short answer is yes, under extreme conditions, and if impacted hard enough, hurricane windows can break. Because of the way they are constructed, your window may break, but cannot be penetrated. The outer layer behaves much like a car windshield. Three separate layers are laminated together to form an impenetrable seal. This seal is vital to stop negative pressure from external forces from literally pulling a window or door from your home!

But, the important takeaway here is that whilst they may break, they cannot be penetrated. That saves lives and homes every year in Florida.

Importance of a good installer?

‘Pulling a window from my home.’ We hear you say! That’s right, and incorrectly installed impact windows will allow the envelope or seal of your home to be breached. Once that occurs, property damage or worse is inevitable! These negative forces build around your home during a hurricane, and it is imperative that this pressure stays out of your home. If there is a weak point due to bad installation, it will be exploited by the storm!

Can the damaged glass be replaced?

In most cases, it can be replaced. If the damage has occurred on the galls only, that can sometimes be replaced on its own. If the frame gets damaged, especially during an attempted break-in, we may have to replace the frame and glass. 



Jason Southard
Jason Southard
VP Sales & Marketing at Wrights Impact Window & Door LLC | Website

Jason joined Wrights in 2018, and leverages decades of experience as a business leader in both B2C and B2B markets, with a wealth of experience in marketing, management, and technology. Before joining Wrights, Jason had significant Client, Consulting, and Agency experience from blue chips to start-ups – working across national and global roles. Originally from the UK, Jason has executive education from the London School of Economics and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

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