Yes, impact windows can crack, but they are designed to be incredibly durable, especially in challenging conditions like those found in Miami.
What Makes Impact Windows Durable?
The durability of impact windows is primarily attributed to their unique construction, specifically the use of laminated glass.
What is laminated glass, and how does it contribute to the window’s strength? Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when shattered.
It consists of multiple layers:
- Outer Glass Layers:These are the layers that face the exterior and interior of your home. They are usually made of strong, tempered glass.
- Interlayer:Sandwiched between the outer glass layers is a clear plastic layer, usually made of Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) or Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA). This layer acts as a glue that holds the glass layers together.
What is The Role of Each Layer
- Outer Glass Layers:These layers are the first line of defense against external forces like wind and debris. They are designed to be tough and can take a lot of impact without breaking.
- Interlayer:The plastic layer in the middle is flexible and can stretch. This layer holds the broken pieces together if something hits the window hard enough to break the glass. This prevents the window from shattering into dangerous shards.
Withstanding High Winds and Flying Debris
The combination of these layers makes impact windows incredibly strong. They are tested to withstand high winds, often up to 200 mph, which is crucial during Miami’s hurricane season.
The laminated glass also stands up well to flying debris, like tree branches or roof tiles, that strong winds can propel.
Some impact windows have reinforced frames and additional coatings for extra strength and durability. These enhancements further increase the window’s ability to withstand extreme conditions.
Safety Standards and Certifications
Impact windows must meet strict safety standards and are usually certified by relevant authorities. This ensures that they are up to protecting your home from break-ins and extreme weather conditions.
Factors That Could Lead to Cracking
While impact windows are highly durable, they are not entirely invincible. Factors that could lead to cracking include:
- Extreme temperature changes
- Manufacturing defects
- Physical impact from heavy objects
- Age and wear over time
What to Do If Your Impact Window Cracks
If your impact window does crack, it must be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to maintain its protective qualities.
Most manufacturers offer warranties that cover cracks under certain conditions, so check your warranty information.
Can Impact Windows Shatter?
While they can crack, they are unlikely to shatter because of the laminated glass design.
How Long Do Impact Windows Last?
Proper care and maintenance can last up to 25 years or more.
Impact windows are designed to be highly durable, especially in extreme weather conditions like those in Miami.
While they can crack under certain circumstances, their overall resilience makes them a worthwhile investment for the safety and protection of your home.
By understanding their durability and the conditions that could lead to cracking, you can make an informed decision and enjoy peace of mind, no matter what the Miami weather has in store.