You are currently viewing Hurricane Windows vs Impact Windows: What’s The Difference?

Hurricane Windows vs Impact Windows: What’s The Difference?

Updated: January 16, 2023

As a coastal city of the Sunshine State, Miami experiences plenty of sunshine year-round, making it one of the best places to live in the United States. However, every six to eight years, the weather swings to the extreme, ushering in destructive hurricanes. 

Securing homes and businesses to minimize the effects of hurricanes is a common practice among Miami area residents. For instance, installing hurricane-resistant windows, especially hurricane and impact windows, offers increased protection against extreme storms in the region.

Often, people confuse between impact windows vs. hurricane windows. If you’re shopping to replace old windows or a new home and wonder whether impact windows are the same as hurricane windows, read on to learn how the two differ.

Hurricane Windows

Hurricane windows are designed to offer safety during extreme stormy weather. Unlike ordinary glass that shatters dangerously when debris hits, hurricane windows are made with laminated glass making them safe. A layer or two layers of laminate PVB are placed between two pieces of glass, which adds flexibility. 

Whether you prefer casement, single-hung, horizontal rolling, designer fixed, project-out/awning, or simply fixed windows, you can find appropriate hurricane windows for your house or building.

Benefits of hurricane windows include;

Flexible and Wind-Resistant

When the glass is hit by debris, it may crack, but the laminate holds it together. The laminate does not break. Instead, it flexes in the frames and remains intact, resulting in a protected home from potential flooding.

Breaks without Shattering

The wind-resistant flexing qualities of hurricane windows help them resist only a small amount of impact; the glass itself cannot withstand extreme impact. However, it falls safely without shattering into flying shards after being hit by debris.

Designed for Florida Weather

Indeed, hurricane windows are designed to withstand the extreme weather Florida experiences during hurricane seasons. With the laminate offering an added level of protection and the safe glass shattering guaranteeing the safety of your people, you have confidence for better protection when storms hit. 

Impact Windows

Impact windows offer more impact resistance than hurricane windows, minus the quality of flexibility. This is because the windows are made from multiple layers of glass and laminate, making them thicker and heavier, hence less flexible. 

Impact window designs include single hung, horizontal rolling, casement, and fixed windows. They come in large and small missile impact options so that you can select based on your preference.

Benefits of impact windows include;

Thicker with Layers of Glass & Laminate

Due to the multiple layers of glass and laminate, the windows are unlikely to crack easily under impact. As the name suggests, the windows are made to withstand heavy impact. This offers added protection in case of severe storms or home break-in attempts.

Wind and Impact Resistance

Impact windows are designed to resist high winds and heavy impact from debris. As much as their thickness decreases their flexibility, the multiple layers of laminate help increase the overall pane’s resistance when high-velocity objects strike it. 

Heavy-Duty Window Frames

Due to their thickness, impact windows require equally heavy-duty window frames for support. As a result, the thick frames and windows provide increased resistance during severe storms.

Hurricane & Impact Windows in Miami

Hurricane and impact windows enhance safety in homes and other properties in the Miami area. Homeowners have been installing these wind and impact-resistant windows for years for ultimate protection. As a result, they enjoy numerous benefits besides storm protection, including:

  • Improved home aesthetics 
  • Higher home resale value
  • Peace of mind from heightened security (especially those owning holiday homes in the Miami area can worry less about possible break-ins when they’re away)
  • Lower insurance premiums
  • Reduction in energy bills

Secure Your Home

Securing homes in Miami and across South Florida against hurricane damage is essential. While choosing between impact windows vs. hurricane windows is a matter of preference. Knowing the unique qualities that set the two apart can help you choose the best option based on the severity of storms in your area.

The windows may not be completely weatherproof, meaning they may still get damaged by high-velocity objects during hurricanes. But the fact they don’t shatter into dangerous shards when hit is a welcome safety measure to look forward to.

If you’re looking for reliable and energy-efficient impact and hurricane windows in Miami, Elite Impact Glass has the right solution for you. Contact us now for more information.

Image Source: Massima / Shutterstock