Learn More About Hurricane Window Basics


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Hurricane Window Basics

Our hurricane window basics page is a great place to start for consumers who have be considering purchasing these strong and costly replacement windows. Hurricane windows have several names, including storm and impact windows, although often storm windows are simple inserts that work with a home's existing windows.

Official Definition

In order to "qualify" as a hurricane window, the window unit must undergo a stringent testing, rating and certification process to insure they can stand up to hurricane like conditions. More specifically, these windows must have a DP or Design Pressure Rating of 45 or higher. DP is a measure of how much pressure a window can withstand. Some windows do not qualify initially, however they can become code compliant with several upgrades.

Design Components

Hurricane windows typically use strong glass systems or laminated glass, high end hardware, very strong frame extrusions and extremely strong seals and glazing methods in order to produce very tight and structurally sound window. The result is a very well made window that is usually quite a bit more expensive when compared to "normal" replacement windows.

Laminated Glass

The window glass panes are the most important component of any impact window. If a hurricane blows out the glass, the homeowner can experience mild to moderate to extreme damage inside the home, particualrly to the ceiling and roof. In some cases, homeowners have lost their roofs completely due to the difference in the air pressure and the severe gusts that entered the home and pressed up on the roof. Laminated glass is similar to a car windshield, even when it is hit very hard with an object it will not shatter, but instead will break and stay in place.

Costs & Prices

Hurricane window prices will typically range from $500 to $1500 + fully installed for a normal sized window. One reason why they are so expensive is the testing and certification process. Some manufacturers get around this by manufacturing a well made window and marketing it as a standard replacement. Then they will suggest several upgrades, such as laminated glass and a reinforced sash rail, that will basically qualify the window as hurricane code compliant, without the added cost of the testing process etc.

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