Written By: Brittney Phillips | January 23, 2023
If you’re looking for ways to protect your windows and doors against impacts without using traditional, unsightly methods like bars, grates, shutters, storm panels, and board ups, impact windows may be just what you’re looking for.
Impact windows are a category of security glazing that can be used to replace existing glass or be placed over it to create a protective barrier against many different types of impacts, especially those from flying storm debris.
Impact-resistant windows can be made from a variety of different materials, but they’re most commonly made from polycarbonate or some combination of polycarbonate and laminated security glass, known as glass-clad polycarbonate.
These materials provide the highest level of impact resistance you can get for windows and doors.
There are many products out there being marketed as impact windows that don’t actually have the proper certification to be classified as such.
So, it’s important to understand what to look for when you’re shopping around for impact-resistant glazing to make sure you’re getting the real deal.
When it comes to impact windows for hurricane and storm damage protection, you should make sure they are tested and certified to Miami-Dade County hurricane missile testing standards.
This means they have been tested in a laboratory using the most rigorous standards and are legally approved for use as hurricane impact glazing in Miami-Dade County, the place in the US with the highest standards for storm damage mitigation barriers.
Plywood board ups, hurricane shutters, and storm panels are the top methods people with businesses and commercial facilities in hurricane zones use to secure their properties before a storm.
But, while these solutions can create effective storm damage mitigation barriers to protect windows and doors against flying storm debris, they come along with many disadvantages as well. These include:
This is why being an alternative to traditional storm damage mitigation barriers is at the top of our list of the benefits of impact windows.
Impact-resistant security glazing (as long as it’s properly tested and certified) has all the advantages of these traditional barriers, with none of the disadvantages.
Polycarbonate impact glazing, such as ArmorPlast® AP25, looks and feels like regular window glass, so it doesn’t block natural light, reduce visibility, or make your business or facility look closed and uninhabited.
Additionally, polycarbonate impact glazing can be retrofitted on top of your existing doors and windows, providing permanent, virtually unbreakable impact protection after a one-time installation.
The traditional storm damage mitigation barriers discussed above are primarily intended to prevent glass from breaking during a storm. As such, they don’t provide adequate, round-the-clock protection against other security threats, specifically forced entry and burglary.
Since impact-resistant windows are a permanent solution, they also protect your doors and windows against forced entry attempts — 24/7.
If the glazing is strong enough to withstand impacts from large, heavy missiles tossed by hurricane-force winds, they’re definitely strong enough to resist forced entry attempts using common burglary tools, such as hammers, pry bars, bats, and other heavy hand tools.
This makes impact glazing an ideal all-in-one solution for many different types of businesses and commercial facilities, including:
When you retrofit your doors and windows with impact-resistant security glazing, you no longer have to worry about forced entry, burglary, rioting and looting, and other security threats — and you can say goodby to unsightly forced entry barriers, like bars and grates.
By adding security glazing to your windows and doors for impact protection, you’re essentially adding another pane of glass. And, the more panes of glass your windows and doors have, the more energy efficient they are.
For commercial facilities, the increased energy efficiency provided by additional impact glazing can potentially result in thousands of dollars in savings on monthly utility bills.
Plus, it’s much easier to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures, making your building more appealing to existing and prospective tenants.
Impact windows can come with special anti-UV coatings that block out up to 99.9% of the sun’s harmful UV rays that can damage your skin and fade your furnishings.
These special coatings can also greatly reduce glare, making it easier to see computer screens, read, and generally stay productive when working near sunny windows.
For the same reasons that security glazing makes windows and doors more energy efficient, it can also help reduce noise transmission through your glass.
This is particularly beneficial if your property is located near a busy road, an airport, or an industrial area, for example.
If you so choose, your new impact windows can be treated with dark, colored, or reflective tints to add more privacy.
Besides the added privacy, this can also upgrade the outward appearance of your building by giving it a modern facelift.
Because of all the benefits impact windows provide, they increase your commercial building’s property value.
Potential buyers will be willing to pay more for a building that’s not only protected against storm damage, but also more secure from forced entry and burglary, more energy efficient and comfortable, and quieter.
At Riot Glass, LLC we manufacture and install premium impact windows, as well as a full range of other security glazing products.
If you’re ready to take your property’s impact resistance to the next level, without making it look fortified, contact us today.