by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers
Everybody wants windows that make an impact, but how many people insist on windows that can take an impact? The professionals at Integrity® from Marvin® Windows and Doors offer a dedicated line of windows that are made to withstand especially harsh coastal conditions, giving homeowners another layer of defense and some peace of mind when storms roll in. The IMPACT line of products is made to meet the International Building Code for Impact Zone Three, which outlines the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts of the United States as well as the coastlines of the Great Lakes. It answers the need for extremely strong building products in these regions and helps to remove windows as a point of vulnerability. Continue reading to learn all about the properties of these windows and see if they’d be a good investment for your home!
Storm-Resistant Windows Protect the Entire House
It’s not just a matter of having to replace broken windows if high winds and airborne debris manage to cause a breach; it’s exposure to the elements that can cause serious damage. Even just an inch of rainwater can result in thousands of dollars of damage to floors, drywall, and electrical wiring that will necessitate costly renovations, during which the home won’t be habitable. As devastating as water is, wind has the potential to be much worse. An entirely enclosed home will experience pressure and suction from the outside, but as strong currents are forced through an opening, pressure builds up inside, too. This creates a push me, pull you type of situation, and there is a significantly increased risk of the roof and walls blowing out.
Keeping a house’s envelope watertight and airtight is the ultimate goal. Windows are weak spots, which is why shutters have been used for hundreds of years to protect them, and why people board them up when they know of a particularly treacherous forecast. These extra measures are a small price to pay to prevent dangerous structural damage, but now you can install storm-ready windows that provide hardy defensive strength on their own.
The Durability of Ultrex® Fiberglass
The proprietary material that makes Integrity® stand out is Ultrex®, which produces windows with properties far beyond what most of us realistically expect. It outperforms other materials across the board by providing unmatched consistency in varying conditions, meaning that Ultrex® windows resist being weakened through the seasons. Thermal expansion and contraction can break seals and reduce household efficiency by allowing air currents to pass through—thus wasting money on heating and cooling costs—but Ultrex® expands/contracts 87% less than vinyl and resists distortion even in extreme temperatures. IMPACT windows are in it for the long haul and will protect your home day-to-day as well as during weather events.
The stability of Ultrex® extends to conditions you wouldn’t normally expect windows to stand strong in the face of, and that’s what makes it perfect for applications where the forces of nature can wreak havoc. With the tensile strength of steel and a flexural modulus well beyond that of the competition, IMPACT windows are resilient. They are more likely to bend and send things bouncing off than to shatter, and they can withstand wind speeds of up to 140 miles per hour. Per the requirements of the International Building Code for extreme weather, IMPACT windows stand up to boards being shot at them at speeds of 50 feet per second. This might seem like a drastic test to pass, but it is exactly the protection you need in a hurricane.
Intelligent Design for All Seasons
Homes built on the coast need to be outfitted to withstand harsher conditions, but they also should be customizable to suit different environments. Homes from Florida to Maine will experience storms that require durable windows, but they will need different insulating coatings to be efficient at such different latitudes. Consider how a northern home will want to let in as much light and heat as possible during the colder months, while a southern one will want to filter sunlight out to keep the interior cool. You can find the solution that works for you with IMPACT windows, just like any other product from Integrity®. And with corrosion-resistant hardware that won’t rust in the salt air, these are windows that take everything about coastal living into account to deliver the most practical solution possible.
If you’re ready to discuss the options and outfit your home to withstand all the elements, find your local Integrity® dealer to get started! You can protect your investment and could even get a discount on your homeowners insurance to help sweeten the deal!