How to Evaluate Windows for Hurricane Resistance
Preparing for hurricanes is always top of mind during late summer, but 2020 is predicted to be a particularly severe year. There are as many as 25 named storms expected in 2020 – twice the average number according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
How to Evaluate Windows for Hurricane-Resistance
Hurricane-resistant fenestration is designed to prevent catastrophic damage to buildings by providing enough structural strength to resist extreme winds, impact from wind-borne debris, and water penetration.
Current building codes for damage resistance due to wind pressure are proven indicators for preventing high-velocity winds from entering buildings and causing extreme structural damage. However, destruction from windborne debris is often a greater concern.
When it comes to choosing fenestration – windows and window glazing – for hurricane-resistance, it’s important to consider both wind and debris damage.
How to Choose the Best Hurricane-Resistant Windows
So how do you prepare for both wind and debris damage? Facility Executive suggests some specifics when choosing hurricane-resistant windows.
They should be independently tested by an accredited third-party laboratory and certified by an accredited certification body. All hurricane-resistant fenestration requires laboratory testing under simulated storm conditions per Miami-Dade protocol TAS 201/202/203 or AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 and ASTM E1886/1996. To pass these tests, the product must meet the specific air infiltration, water penetration, and structural performance, and remain intact after simulated windborne debris pressure cycles.
Key features to consider include:
- Laminated glass with a heavy interlayer, often polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or polycarbonate, between two pieces of glass bonded by heat and pressure.
- Anchorage to the building, additional fasteners secure the product to the rough opening and ensure maximum stability.
- Proper installation, even hurricane-resistant windows may leak if not properly flashed and sealed by joining the frame with the exterior sheathing and water-resistive barrier to form an integrated drainage plane.
Overall hurricane-resistance can be maximized by using impact-resistant glazing, a robust framing system, and appropriate installation into the building openings.
Keep these guidelines in mind during the build stage of any project to ensure that an entire building is prepared for hurricanes. Not sure which materials are right for your project? Contact us for a quote and learn more about St. Cloud Window impact window and door options.