Hurricane Impact Doors And Windows: Does Your Home Need Them?

Hurricane season is just beginning here in Florida and the time to prepare is now. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there could be 13-20 named storms in 2013. Of those, seven to 11 could become Hurricanes with three to six expected to become major hurricanes with wind speeds of more than 111 mph.

You can do a lot of things to prepare for Hurricane season. Stock up on non-perishable food items, water, batteries and numerous other items. But what about actually protecting your number one investment, your home? What can you do to prevent your home from being damaged or even ruined during a big storm? You may want to start buy looking at Hurricane Impact Doors and Windows.

You may say to yourself “that sounds like it can be costly.” It is like anything else in life that you want to protect. It depends how you look at it. You may pay a little more for a car with top safety features and ratings but if it saves your life or someone else’s one day, the extra cost is well worth it. Same with your home. With that said, how do you know if you will need hurricane impact rated doors and windows and what can you do to be sure? 

Severe Weather Windows

If you live in a coastal region like Jacksonville Beach, Florida and you live within 5 miles of the ocean, you may want to consider impact resistant doors and windows if you are planning to replace your doors and windows anyway. If you live waterfront or within one mile of the beach, you for sure want to go with impact resistant replacement doors and windows. Just because you live in a coastal region or an area that requires hurricane impact glass, your home may not be properly equipped to handle a severe storm. If your home was built before 2004, chances are your home was not built with hurricane impact materials. Even if the home is built since 2004, the home may not have doors and windows that are up to current codes that have be altered in recent years as a result of the large storms that Florida has endured. If you are replacing just one door or window, you may not be required to go with hurricane impact, although it may be a good idea. However, if you are replacing 30% or more of the glass in the home and your live in an wind zone that exceeds 120 mph, you are required to replace with all severe weather glass in doors and windows. To be sure, check out some more info on the Florida Disaster Guide Site.

Wind borne debris is the major cause of damage in homes caught in extreme wind scenario storms. High Velocity Hurricane Zones or HVHZ areas of Florida are the most likely to have major wind borne debris that can push in windows and doors and break, shatter and throw glass that can act like flying razor blades.

Fiberglass Doors, especially out swing, are the best suited to stand up to the big storms. Door units that have heavy duty fiberglass panels, 100% composite jambs and impact resistant, 1″ insulated, laminated glass are the best defense against wind born debris in your area. Some hurricane impact doors such as Neuma, feature doors with removable glazing to allow doorglass to be repaired after the storm so that the homeowner does not have to pay for a new door unit as well as the cost to have it replaced.

Doors and windows that do stand up to coastal winds must go through an intense testing before they are certified as hurricane impact. Doors go through a missile impact test in which a nine-pound 2 x 4 is shot a various spots on the door at 50 feet per second and the door must be able to remain intact as well as survive 9,000 pressure cycles and pass water infultration testing. If you would like to see the testing, check out this video.

For specific options for patio doors as well as entry doors, check out ODL, the industry leader in Hurricane Impact Doorglass.