If you are a homeowner that lives in an area such as South Florida, which experience tropical storms on a yearly basis, then you know all too well that a lot of damage can be done if flying debris hits a glass window. After hurricane Andrew the Florida building code has been updated that required new construction homes to install impact resistant glass and doors. These types of building codes you will hardly find in any other state in the U.S.
Securing your residential windows during a hurricane warning can be a bit of a task, assuming you don’t have impact windows or accordion shutters. For homeowners that do not, you will see the long lines at the local Home Depot or Lowes whenever a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center, of people trying to buy plywood to protect their windows and doors before the storm arrives. You see homeowners doing this because they have seen the damage that can be done to windows during a hurricane, so they use plywood to prevent any direct impact from flying debris on their windows and doors.
And while flying debris is dangerous, there is something that can be even more dangerous and that is shattered pieces of glass that was broken when the flying debris breaks the window. And even if the entire pane of glass doesn’t break, it only takes one small crack in the window to make the entire window susceptible to more damage. There are several things that could cause a cracked window pane to shatter without any warning signs such as:
- People’s voices
- Traffic vibrations
- Temperature changes
- Variations in the sunlight passing through
And something else that you should be aware of is indirect impacts that could cause cracks in your windows such as:
- When debris hits the plywood so hard that the plywood actually bends and hits the glass of your windows
Indirect impacts should be a concern to any homeowner as they can cause damage that is not necessarily visible and the older your windows are, the more of a concern this should be, as eventually the amount of cracks could increase because of vibrations, temperature changes and more indirect impacts which will leave you with a few unstable glass and window frames. And this can be dangerous because if the window shatters you will have a lot of extremely sharp pieces of glass flying around.
Standard glass is a very fragile material and when it is broken the pieces of glass will be all shaped and sizes, from large shards of broken glass to microscopic sized piece of glass. And this is even more dangerous during a hurricane because when flying debris hits a window and breaks the glass, then the pieces of glass will distribute in your home in a spray pattern, so it can reach any and everywhere in that particular room. If flying debris enters a room of a house that is occupied by people you can expect to see the following:
- Broken bones
Fast forward to today’s windows that are impact resistant which can prevent such things from happening, especially the impact windows that are multi-layered. If you don’t have impact windows, then after every major storm you should contact a window repair company to come out and inspect all your windows to see if they are in good shape. If they find anything wrong, they will properly assess the damage and give you several recommendations to correct the problem and sometimes these window repairs can be easy and inexpensive.
Window repairs can be cheap if you find the problem early out and fix them, but if you delay fixing them because it just appears to be a small crack or hole, then it can end up be costly to repair and in some cases it may make more sense to just buy new windows. As that small hole or crack can turn into a big problem, so getting your window repaired sooner than later can save you a lot of headaches and money.
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