Hurricane windows are always required in coastal buildings that can get damaged by hurricanes. One of the biggest threats of a building envelope in a hurricane storm: the windows. Even non-impact windows will stand up against the wind, rain, and other projectiles the way many impact windows do. Weak, inadequate windows can be the key factor in preventing destruction of properties and family safety. Impact Glass USA – Miami hurricane doors offers excellent info on this.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NABM), an industry group representing the largest manufacturers in America, recommends three major types of hurricane impact windows and doors for coastal structures: wood, fiberglass, and acrylic. Wood is generally the best choice, but it takes the longest time to install, requires the most maintenance, and is typically not cost effective due to poor insulation and design. Fiberglass is a good choice, especially if your structure is being built to be green – as fiberglass doors and windows are more resistant to water penetration and rotting. However, they are heavier and more expensive to install than acrylic or wood. And although it is more difficult to clean, vinyl is still better than wood at preventing wind loads and allowing water to penetrate the structure easier and with less water damage.
Regardless of which type of hurricane-proofing window or door you choose, the importance of installing them is paramount to protecting lives. As the only solid window/door left in a potential flood zone, any window should be considered an investment. If not, people in those areas will have no protection from winds, rain, or debris unless there are also steel or reinforced concrete windows. It is the money that is spent ahead of time that can mean the difference between life and death. You cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to hurricane impact windows and doors.