Although it doesn't happen very often, late-season hurricanes can show up and place your home at risk for expensive damages, including shattered window glass and broken frames. Instead of riding out the storm and hoping for the best, prepare your home and protect your family and pets with the right hurricane replacement windows. Here's what you need to know about your replacement windows and steps you can take to reinforce your home against a late-season hurricane.
What Makes Hurricane Replacement Windows So Unique?
Traditional windows usually come with one glass pane surrounded by a thin wooden frame. Although single-pane windows protect your home during regular weather changes, such as an afternoon thunderstorm, they may not protect your home from intense hurricane force winds that reach over 90 mph. Even Category 1 hurricanes with winds up to 74 mph can damage your home's siding, roof and windows.
Manufacturers make hurricane replacement windows with two layers of tempered glass and one protective inner membrane that resists shattering, cracking and fracturing. Tempered glass is stronger and more reliable than traditional glass, because it doesn't shatter upon impact. Tempered glass is made under intense heat, which strengthens and reinforces it. Instead, tempered glass cracks or breaks into small pieces.
The protective membrane barricades your home against potentially deadly hurricane force winds because it doesn't shatter at all. Because of this unique feature, the third layer of glass, which lies directly behind the membrane, stays intact throughout the storm
If your home sits directly under or near large trees with substantial growth and long, powerful limbs, you need the protection of hurricane replacement windows. Hurricane force winds can rip off your trees' limbs and fling them into your home. If the trees' branches sway too fast or rock back and forth under a hurricane's powerful winds, the branches can push against your regular windows and break the glass, sending large shards of glass into your home.
What Kind of Frames Should You Choose?
Hurricane replacement windows come with vinyl, wood and aluminum frames. But you can find frames made with a combination of wood and aluminum or vinyl and wood. One material makes up the inner layer of the frame and the other material covers or protects it from hurricane force winds, rains and other weather hazards, such as flying missiles.
Frames reinforced with steel is a fourth option for you. Reinforced steel hurricane windows generally come with wooden exteriors and steel interiors. Because wood can deteriorate from rain, heat and moisture, manufacturers coat their wood with water and heat resistant sealants. The steel is typically stainless, which means it doesn't rust or warp under heat.
If you're unsure about which frames to select for your hurricane windows, speak directly with your contractor. Your contractor can give you a frame guide to look over, as well as discuss the benefits of each product available to you.
Can You Install Your Hurricane Replacement Windows Yourself?
Installing your hurricane replacement windows properly requires you to use locks, pins, mounting panels, and many other types of hardware to secure your windows. You must put the hardware into the right positions during placement or else they fail. It's better that you have a professional contractor install your replacement windows for you.
In addition, you may need to reinforce the walls surrounding your windows' openings to complete the installation. If the walls lack integrity, they can fracture around your new hurricane replacement windows. Even if the windows and glass stay intact, the foundation won't.
If possible, have a foundation contractor come in and install solid wood around your windows openings. Solid wood, such as white oak, is strong and durable.
For more information about hurricane replacement windows, contact a contractor like New Jersey Siding & Windows Inc for an appointment.