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Florida window installation

How to Tell if You Have Impact Windows and Doors

Does Impact Glass Already Protect Your Florida Home?

Impact windows and doors are a necessary protective measure against hurricanes in Florida. Unlike other solutions like wooden boards or metal shutters, impact-resistant glass provides a defense against the wear and tear of intense storm activity without requiring setup or teardown, all while complementing the aesthetics of your home. 

Like any home improvement project, impact windows and doors are an investment in your property’s long-term wellbeing. Beyond hurricane protection, a more robust glass can also aid in preventing home intrusions and increase the value of your property. 

If you are a new Florida homeowner or have recently moved to a new property in the Sunshine State, you might be wondering if you already have impact-resistant glass installed. There are a few ways that you can know for certain and we’ll cover them here. 

Check the Markings and Labels on the Window 

Most window manufacturers will leave a small series of small markings in a corner of the window. This will contain information about the glass itself, such as the brand name, thickness, and certifications or ratings for safety. 

If there are no permanent markings on the window, look for any labels that might still be stuck to the window or door frame. In some cases there will be a sticker with the same safety information.

All Florida hurricane impact-rated windows and doors have a Florida Approval Number. Depending on the manufacturer, they may also explicitly designate the window as being impact-resistant. 

However, just because a window or door has a Florida Approval Number, does not mean that it is impact resistant.  Some windows and doors only have a design pressure rating, which is different from being impact-rated.

“Impact-resistant” means that the window or door can withstand both an impact from a flying object and also handle extreme air pressure. For example, the air pressure from a large hurricane alone can blow out a window. Windows that are just rated for design pressure are intended to be used with storm panels or shutters. Only impact-rated windows can be used by themselves.

The safest way to know the impact-resistance quality of your window is to look up the Florida Approval Number on the State’s website and see what type of approval it has. Even impact-rated windows will have different levels of protection, which may depend on how old the window is. Depending where you are located, you may need one with the stronger High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) rating.

Have Impact Windows and Doors Professionally Inspected

If you are unable to determine whether your windows or doors are impact-resistant, you can always contact a professional impact glass installer to inspect your property. During the inspection, they can also identify if any existing impact windows need to be repaired or replaced and offer you an estimate. 

Tips for Florida Homebuyers 

Some homeowners may live in a house for years without knowing whether or not their windows and doors are impact-resistant. For those shopping properties, though, there are some extra steps you can take to learn more about a potential property’s glass: 

  • Ask the seller of the home if they have had impact-resistant windows and/or doors installed
  • Check the property’s MLS listing to see if impact-resistant glass is one of the home’s featured amenities 
  • During the pre-closing inspection, ask the property inspector to check the windows to see if they are impact-resistant
  • Ask a realtor to only show you homes that they know feature impact windows and doors 
  • If you are looking at a condo or townhome, ask the homeowner’s association (HOA) president about the windows installed in the units 

Don’t Have Impact Windows and Doors on Your Property? Get them Professionally Installed Today 

As we’ve mentioned above, installing impact windows and doors is a smart and stylish investment in your home’s long-term durability against hurricanes. To ensure they protect your property for years to come, it is best to have them installed by a qualified professional. 

At Paradise Exteriors, we are proud to be Florida’s leading installer of hurricane-resistant glass for homes and commercial buildings. We strive for quality and courteous service, excellent product quality, and to provide our customers with the lowest costs and most generous warranties possible. To learn more about installing impact windows and doors for your property, contact us today. 

Also see: 10 Ways to Cut Energy Costs for Florida Homeowners

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