Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters

By February 15, 2021Blog, Storm Protection

Did you know that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active on record? During the season, there were a total of 30 named tropical storms, of which 13 were classified as hurricanes. All but one of those hurricanes made landfall in the United States.

Not only was the 2020 hurricane season particularly active, but it was the fifth hurricane season in a row with above average activity. 

 

This trend upwards in the number of hurricanes and tropical storms making landfall in Florida and the southeastern United States makes the need to protect your property against storm damage more necessary than ever.

Whether you own a small business or run a large commercial facility, it can be challenging to figure out exactly what hurricane mitigation barriers to use for your building. 

Of course, many people stick with the traditional method of boarding up windows and doors, but there are two even more effective commercial storm protection products that provide a more permanent and more aesthetically appealing solution: impact windows and hurricane shutters.

 

Impact Windows VS Hurricane Shutters: What You Need To Know

How To Protect Windows Without Plywood Using More Effective Barriers

Advantages of Hurricane Shutters Over Boards

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, chances are you already have a pretty good idea of what hurricane shutters are. These storm barriers essentially perform the same function as plywood boards: they cover your doors and windows to protect the glass from flying storm debris.

However, many business owners choose hurricane shutters over plywood because they are less labor-intensive to use, provide a permanent solution, and are available in a wide variety of styles that don’t detract from the curb appeal of a commercial building.

Types of Hurricane Shutters:

  • Accordion shutters
  • Roll-down shutters
  • Louvered shutters (Bermuda- or Bahama-style)

Hurricane shutters are a superior solution to plywood because they are permanently mounted above or beside your windows and doors. When a storm is on the way, all you have to do is lower them or slide them into a place.

Pros of Using Hurricane Shutters:

  • One-time installation
  • Easy to put into place and remove
  • Creates a solid, durable storm damage barrier
  • Lots of styles to choose from
  • Doesn’t significantly hurt curb appeal of a business

Advantages of Impact Windows Over Boards

You might not even notice how many commercial properties in your area are using hurricane impact windows as an alternative to boarding up windows. Why, you ask? Because they’re virtually invisible!

Impact glass gets fitted into your existing windows and doors and looks and feels basically the same as standard window glass. This makes it an appealing choice for business owners because it changes the appearance of their properties even less than shutters do.

Like hurricane shutters, impact windows offer a permanent solution to the problem of storm damage mitigation. However, they don’t require any action on your part to put them into place before a storm — hurricane impact windows provide 24/7 glass protection.

Pros of Using Impact Windows:

  • Virtually invisible glass protection
  • Don’t change the outward appearance of your building at all
  • Protect your property 24 hours a day
  • Don’t need to be lowered into place before a storm
  • Can be virtually unbreakable

So, who’s the winner in our showdown of impact windows vs hurricane shutters? We think the best option is clear (no pun intended): hurricane impact windows!

Both of these hurricane mitigation barriers can provide your commercial property with a high level of protection against storm damage, but hurricane windows definitely surpass shutters in terms of additional benefits.

 

ArmorPlast™ AP25: The Best Commercial Impact Windows

How to Protect Windows Without Plywood Using This Superior Solution

ArmorPlast™ AP25 is a highly impact-resistant polycarbonate sheet, which is to say that it does not contain any glass at all. However, the unique composition of these polycarbonate shields give it a glass-like surface hardness and a crystal-clear appearance.

Because it is not glass, AP25 is virtually unbreakable and will not crack or shatter when impacted by flying storm debris. Other types of impact windows on the market, that are actually made out of strengthened glass, still have a probability of breaking after high-force impacts.

Key Characteristics of AP25:

  • 1/4-inch containment-grade glazing shield
  • Single-layer, extremely impact-resistant polycarbonate construction
  • Virtually unbreakable by storm debris impacts
  • Surface is also abrasion and UV resistant

Besides being one of the most effective hurricane mitigation barriers you could choose, AP25 offers round-the-clock protection against a variety of other threats businesses face.

Its durability and impact resistance makes polycarbonate an ideal choice to prevent forced entry, burglary, and smash-and-grab theft. AP25 also creates a formidable barrier to protect your business or commercial facility from vandalism, rioting, and looting.

 

 

AP25 is not bullet resistant, but it can retain its form and continue being a barrier to forced entry even when riddled with bullets. So, you can imagine how little damage a piece of storm debris does to these robust glazing shields.

AP25 Is Commonly Used In:

  • High-end retail stores
  • Corporate offices
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Government buildings
  • Religious centers
  • Correctional and psychiatric facilities

Impact Windows VS Hurricane Shutters: The Conclusion

Impact Windows Provide More Benefits and a Superior Appearance

Both hurricane shutters and hurricane impact windows create solid barriers to protect your windows and doors against debris thrown by hurricane-force winds. 

However, hurricane shutters still require you to lower or slide them over doors and windows and they do change the appearance of your building when they’re in place, though there are some attractive styles available.

On the other hand, impact windows like ArmorPlast™ AP25 don’t change the appearance of your property and provide permanent, 24/7 glass protection against storm damage and a wide variety of other threats that your business may be at risk for.

We strongly recommend using AP25 to protect your commercial windows, so you can rest easy knowing that your property is secure around the clock.

 

Contact Riot Glass™ today or have your local glass contractor give us a call to discuss AP25.