Impact Windows: Common Questions & Features
Florida’s extreme weather demands more from our windows and doors than anywhere else in the country, especially for hurricane resistant windows and doors. As a result, Florida product testing and the standards for hurricane rated windows and doors are the most stringent in the nation.
What is an impact window?
Also known as hurricane rated windows or impact resistant windows, these products are built to resist the impact of flying debris as a result of hurricane force winds. With the correct approval for their specific zone, a homeowner will not be required to provide additional window or door coverings. This eliminates the need to put up coverings or scramble for plywood during the stress of pre-hurricane preparations.
How does NewSouth build an impact window for Florida homeowners?
NewSouth impact windows are built with metal reinforcement in the sash and frame and double strength, laminated glass in the insulated glass unit. Laminated glass is a combination of two pieces of double strength glass baked together with a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer. This glass sandwich is forged together with heat and pressure to result in a unified piece of laminated glass. An additional sheet of Low-E glass is added to the glass unit (now with three pieces of glass + PVB interlayer) creating a system that is not only energy efficient, but will not allow debris to penetrate, protecting your home.
Why is flying or wind borne debris so important?
Much of the damage that occurs to a home during a hurricane is a result of failed or broken openings in the home due to winds and flying debris such as branches or roof tiles. When the envelope of your home is compromised, the storm moves inside and serious damage can escalate very quickly. This not only causes long lasting water damage but could create pressurized conditions that could undermine the opening of your home and lift sections or all of your roof. Impact resistant windows and doors are built to prevent this type of breach.
What are the wind borne debris zones for my area?
Florida has identified the wind-borne debris regions as it relates to hurricane wind speeds, based on research and historic details from years of Florida hurricanes. South Florida has the highest wind speed zones, and therefore has a special criteria, known as HVHZ or high velocity hurricane zone. NewSouth’s 9000 Series meet Miami-Dades HVHZ and TAS 201,202 and 203 protocol.
Florida testing for a hurricane rated window
Impact window product testing in Florida is conducted by non-affiliated, 3rd party testing facilities. NewSouth products are tested by a licensed independent engineering team who is approved by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. Testing is specific not only to the product, but also to the installation of the product with directives for anchoring.
The missile tests require the window to undergo being window hit twice by a 2×4 shot out of a cannon, 50 feet per second or 34 miles per hour, followed by a series of cycles of positive and negative pressure to simulate both the forward moving and passing pressures of a hurricane.
NewSouth’s 9000 Series Impact Windows are approved in the wind borne debris regions of 175 MPH window and are in compliance with:
- The Florida Building Code 6th edition (2017) including HVHZ and HVHZ water infiltration specific to Broward and Dade County
- TAS 201, 202, 203-94
- Section 1626 of the Florida Building Code (FBC) and does not require additional impact covering
- FBC Sections 109.1.2 and R301.2.1.2
- Meets missile “D” and includes wind zone 4
- ASTM E 1996 and FBC Sections 1609.1.2 R301.2.1.2
Impact Resistant Equals Intruder Resistant
The additional benefits of impact windows include intruder protection. A would be intruder would have to bring special equipment and work very hard to gain access through the impact resistant windows and doors, and would likely move on to a home with easier access.
An unexpected benefit from hurricane resistant windows is the reduction of outdoor sound transmittance. While the windows are not soundproof, you can turn down the volume on outside noise for a quieter inside of your home.
NewSouth manufactures The Ultimate Florida Window, blending the strength of our impact resistance with the benefits of energy efficiency.