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A short guide to choosing impact replacement windows

If you live in a coastal area in Florida, you are prone to hurricanes and the flying debris and winds that go with it. That’s why its important to prepare before the hurricane season starts by replacing your old windows with new impact windows.

Hmmm. You know what they say: “You can’t stop a hurricane with a nail.” We see this all the time when homeowners prepare for hurricanes. There are many different ways to protect your windows from storms. Sure, the most popular one is plywood. But there are much better options that can be used in hurricane-prone areas.

There are two ways to protect your windows:

  1. board up your windows with plywood when a hurricane is headed to Florida
  2. Install shutters to cover non-impact windows prior to hurricane season 
  3. Prepare this year for next year with replacement impact windows in Clearwater, Florida.

Boarding up windows and doors with plywood or shutting storm shutters is a temporary solution and not very reliable. Impact windows will protect your home from category 5 hurricane force windows of over 140 miles per hour and it will stay intact when struck by heavy flying debris hitting your windows at over 35 miles per hour. That’s much more security for your home during a hurricane.

Here are some factors to consider when you are choosing hurricane impact windows for your properties.

# Energy efficient windows

Choosing windows in Clearwater or Tampa Bay, you have to be smart about the frame you select. Aluminium frames corrode with saltwater exposure and they don’t provide enough protection from solar heat transfer making them less energy efficient. You should always choose vinyl replacement windows. Karoly Windows & Doors provides vinyl frame impact windows that will exceed the minimum building code requirements for Pinellas County, Florida.

# Replacement window warranty

With a double lifetime transferable warranty and a 25 year craftsmanship warranty, the warranties are unmatched in the industry and do not find better coverage for your windows. Simonton windows provide the best warranty and with installation through Karoly Windows & Doors, you will have warranty claim assistance for the life of your warranty. Double hung windows provide the easiest warranty replacement. Both top and bottom sash can be taken out of the window without having to remove the window frame.

# Hurricane Resistant

Between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the Tampa Bay area has a constant threat of hurricanes during the season. With that in mind, it’s important to know how to choose windows that can withstand hurricane-force winds. The impact window must have been tested up to AAMA standards for impact glass. 

They must have triple pane glass, with one layer of lamination between two pieces of glass and a spacer between that and a layer of tempered glass on the exterior of the window. The spacer between the panes provides a sound dampening inter layer for noise reduction. It also reduces the transfer of heat from the ultraviolet radiation the Florida sun puts out.

# Building codes

Florida requires replacement windows to be made specifically for coastal areas. They require the glass to be impact rated and they have specific ratings that must be met before being approved. Each window must have a Florida product approval number. Specific guidelines must be followed during installation as well. The window contractor you use should be familiar with the building code requirements before installing your windows so the project will pass local building inspection.

# Impact windows cost

Replacing windows can be an expensive process. Impact windows cost about 20% more than non-impact windows. Some local reputable companies offer financing to help break up the cost of the project. Many will do a payment plan, giving time to get the down payment together before placing any orders. 

# Lead time for manufacturing

Manufacturers have had a hard time keeping up with the demand for replacement windows. Between covid slowing down manufacturing times (employees having to quarantine and plants getting shut down) and lack of supplies being transported across borders, the lead times have increased. Most normal orders with standard impact windows, white vinyl frames can take between 3-5 months from the time you place the order till the windows are installed in your home. For unique orders with painted frames, obscured glass, grids between the glass or larger windows and doors, the lead time could be up to a year.

Also see: 9 Signs You Need New Windows for Your Home

Zaraki Kenpachi