What Are Hurricane-Rated Windows?

Hurricane impact windows are typically manufactured with glass that’s specially treated to make it less likely to shatter and break loose from the window frame during a violent windstorm. Although the glass may still shatter when struck by airborne objects propelled by powerful winds, an impact-resistant window is designed to remain intact so that pieces of glass don’t become dangerous missiles inside the home and the risk of damage from heavy rain and wind is minimized.

There are a number of ways that impact-resistant windows are rated, but one of the most common incorporates the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale that is used to classify hurricane strength according to wind speed. For example, a storm with sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph is classified as a Category 1 hurricane, while a storm of 157 mph winds or higher is referred to as a Category 5. A window’s ability to withstand high-speed winds is typically expressed as how many pounds of pressure the window can take without breaking—a measurement that’s called “design pressure,” aka DP. Although the higher the DP rating, the more wind speed the window can handle, there are variables such as window size and whether the window is in the center of an exterior wall or located near a corner. Therefore, an impact window that’s rated to withstand a Category 5 hurricane is likely to have a DP-45 score or higher, but a DP-45 rating may not necessarily mean the window will stand up to a Category 5 hurricane in every situation.

An Easier Way to Look for High-Performing Hurricane Windows

If you’re in the market for impact-resistant replacement windows for your home, an easier way to gauge their likely performance is to ask whether they meet Florida Building Code standards for high-velocity hurricane zones. Thanks to the ongoing threat of hurricanes, Florida has adopted high standards for hurricane windows that can protect homes from damage and help homeowners potentially lower their insurance costs.

If you’re a Florida homeowner on the hunt for hurricane-rated windows, you can feel confident turning to NewSouth Window Solutions. We proudly manufacture and install beautiful replacement windows designed to meet the needs of Florida homeowners, including storm protection. Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to discuss the outstanding features and ratings that make our windows an excellent choice for your home.

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