There are a lot of different products out there being marketed as hurricane impact windows, but not all of them do what they claim to do.
The only way to be 100% sure that your impact-resistant windows will stand up to high-force blows when you need them to is to read and understand their impact ratings.
This article will tell you everything you need to know to ensure you get the product you need when you’re shopping around for new impact windows.
What Are Impact Windows?
Impact-resistant windows combine heavy-duty security framing with impact-resistant glass (or polycarbonate) to protect your property against storm damage during hurricanes and strong windstorms.
These types of windows are also commonly known as hurricane windows or storm windows. They can be retrofitted over your existing windows to protect the glass from flying storm debris and high-force winds and to bring you building up to par with current hurricane building codes.
Impact-resistant windows can greatly reduce the risk of catastrophic damage to your property during hurricanes and other extreme weather.
Impact-resistant hurricane windows:
What Types of Impact Window Ratings Are There for Storm Windows?
Impact windows for storm damage mitigation are most prevalent in Florida, where building codes are most strict regarding the level of impact resistance facilities and their windows must-have.
In order for impact-resistant glazing to get approved for use in Florida (including Miami-Dade County), they must undergo a series of impact and pressure tests. These trials are known as Testing Application Standard (TAS) tests.
Different hurricane window tests have different numbers associated with them. When a window passes a test, it gains the resistance rating for that test. In other words, it’s basically passed or failed when it comes to impact window ratings for storm damage mitigation.
For Florida-approved hurricane and storm damage resistance in new glazing, you want to make sure the glazing has a pass rating for the following impact and pressure tests:
These ratings indicate that the glazing has been tested according to Miami-Dade county hurricane resistance standards, and are thus appropriate for use anywhere in Florida or in other hurricane zones in the southeastern United States.
How is hurricane window impact rating scale testing performed?
To pass a TAS 201-94 impact test, glass and other types of window glazing must be sent to a laboratory, where they will be set up and tested for impact resistance.
Large missile impact tests typically simulate the effects of storm debris impacts by shooting 2x4 pieces of lumber out of a steel piping cannon using compressed air.
If three samples of the exact same window glazing withstand the large missile impacts in two different locations on the surface of the glazing, the material passes the test.
After the large missile impact testing, the window glazing goes on to get pressure tested with extreme positive and negative Pounds per Square Foot (PSF) loads to ensure they can withstand the pressure changes that occur during hurricanes.
If the glazing samples pass these tests, they earn TAS 202-93 and TAS 202-94 ratings.
When a window has all these different TAS ratings, it is approved for use as a hurricane damage mitigation barrier in Miami-Dade County and throughout Florida.
Since these areas have the country’s highest standards for storm damage resistance, you can be confident that materials with such ratings can be used in any hurricane zone or storm-prone region in the US.
Does Riot Glass, Inc. Offer Miami-Dade Certified Impact Glazing?
Yes! Our AP25 containment-grade glazing shields from the ArmorPlast® line of polycarbonate security glazing have been tested by the Intertek Building & Construction testing facility in accordance with the Miami-Dade hurricane damage resistance standards.
During the testing, our AP25 samples showed no signs of penetration or failure and met the requirements of Section 1626 of the Florida Building Code and Section 1620 of the Florida Building Code.
This signifies that AP25 is approved for use in Miami-Dade County and throughout Florida in new construction or hurricane impact window retrofits.
ArmorPlast® AP25 is an excellent alternative to traditional hurricane damage mitigation barriers, such as plywood boards, roll-down shutters, and corrugated storm panels.
Benefits of using ArmorPlast® AP25 as a storm damage barrier:
More than just hurricane damage prevention
Besides acting as a highly efficient storm damage mitigation barrier, AP25 also protects your property against forced entry. This makes it ideal for business owners and commercial building owners looking for an all-in-one security glazing solution to protect the vulnerable glass.
AP25 is virtually unbreakable, so bad guys can’t smash or dislodge it using sledgehammers, pry bars, bricks, or any other common burglary tools.
AP25 fortifies your building — without making it look fortified. Your windows continue to look and function the same, and your business doesn’t lose any of its curb appeal, yet you can rest easy at night knowing your property is fully protected against storm damage and other threats.
Contact Riot Glass, Inc. today or have your local glass contractor in Florida give us a call today for more information about using ArmorPlast® AP25 impact glazing for storm damage protection.