Impact versus Non-Impact Window Glass
Simply put, impact glass is specially designed to protect the inside of a home or business from severe weather events like hurricanes or high winds where debris is moving rapidly through the air. The Florida Building Code requires impact-resistant glass if a property is located within a certain distance from the coast, or in areas where wind can potentially reach speeds of over 140 MPH during a storm.
Standard, non-impact glass found in windows is made of a single layer of glass, called ‘float glass’. This glass breaks into large shards when it is struck hard enough by an object or projectile. The glass itself is potentially very dangerous, sharp, and could be deadly. Moreover, the window space is now open and exposed, leaving the entire interior space vulnerable to wind, rain, and additional flying debris. Door glass is made from tempered glass. Simply put, this type of glass is heated and then cooled quickly to create more tension and strength than standard glass. When an impact occurs, the glass will shatter and break off into smaller pieces. Tempered glass, although a bit more durable than standard glass, isn’t ideal for areas where weather potentially produces storm force winds and hurricanes.
In areas where there are hurricanes and potentially dangerous weather events, impact glass is the best way to protect the interior of a structure. Impact glass is made by sealing two pieces of glass to an interior resin layer. This resin layer is extremely fortified and exceptionally strong. Where non-impact glass will shatter when being struck hard by objects or debris, impact glass will adhere to the resin inside and keep the structure’s interior protected from wind, rain, and additional flying debris. Although the window will essentially be broken, the protection it provides will remain in place. Impact glass is not only required by law in areas vulnerable to hurricanes and strong tropical storms, but it is ideal for areas all over Florida and for owners who want to ensure that the interior of their home, office, or business is fortified from potentially dangerous and destructive storms.