What are the Requirements for Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors
Hurricanes can generate wind speeds of 75 mph to nearly 160 mph, causing items like outdoor furniture, signs, cars, and other large items to become dangerous flying objects.
Hurricane-resistant windows and doors are designed to prevent catastrophic damage to buildings by providing structural strength to resist extreme winds, impact from wind-borne debris, and water penetration. With hurricanes, the assumption is that people have left the building due to advanced warning and the focus is on the building.
Hurricane Glazing Requirements
The main purpose of hurricane window glazing is to protect the building from damage for the duration of the storm. Products certified as impact-resistant must pass rigorous testing set by the ASTM International and the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance.
● The ASTM E1886 and ASTM E1996 standards test product-related compliance for owner and occupant safety under extreme environmental conditions such as hurricane-force winds and airborne debris.
● The AAMA 506 standard is quality control and testing process for exterior windows and doors to become AAMA Gold Label Certified
To meet these standards, products must pass specific air infiltration, water penetration, and structural performance requirements, and remain intact after simulated windborne debris pressure cycles.
How to Choose the Best Hurricane-Resistant Windows
Choosing window glazing depends on the building’s use, location, and safety objectives. 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.