Glass Glossary

Hurricane Resistance

Last Updated: November 23, 2023

Hurricane resistance in the context of windows and doors refers to the ability of a window or door system, including its glass, frame, and installation, to withstand the extreme wind pressures and flying debris commonly associated with hurricanes. Impact-rated windows and doors are specifically designed to provide this type of protection.

The key component in an impact-rated window or door is the laminated glass. Laminated glass is made by bonding two or more layers of glass with an interlayer of tough, resilient plastic, usually polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). This construction means that if the glass breaks, the fragments adhere to the interlayer, preventing the window or door from shattering and allowing dangerous wind and debris to enter the building.

Cardinal’s Sea-Storm® glass is a perfect example of hurricane-resistant glass. It is a specially engineered laminated glass that can be used in windows and doors to provide superior protection against hurricanes. Sea-Storm glass can meet the most stringent building codes in coastal areas and can be certified for use in hurricane-prone regions.

However, hurricane resistance involves more than just the glass. The window or door frame, installation, and other factors are equally important in ensuring a window or door is impact-rated:

Frame: The window or door frame must be sturdy enough to resist the forces of a hurricane. This typically involves using reinforced materials like aluminum, steel, or impact-resistant vinyl. The frame also needs to be securely anchored to the building to prevent it from being dislodged during a storm.

Installation: Proper installation is critical for hurricane resistance. The window or door must be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications and local building codes. This includes using the correct fasteners, sealants, and anchoring methods to ensure the window or door can resist the pressures of a hurricane.

Seals: The window or door should have strong seals to prevent water infiltration during heavy rain and storm surges.

Impact-rated windows and doors in the United States are subject to stringent testing and certification based on standards set by organizations such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Miami-Dade County. These tests include subjecting windows and doors to wind pressures, impacts from projectiles, and cyclic wind loading to simulate the effects of a hurricane. Windows and doors that pass these tests receive impact ratings indicating their ability to resist hurricanes.

Investing in impact-rated windows and doors, such as those made with Cardinal’s Sea-Storm glass, is essential for protecting property and occupants in hurricane-prone areas. They not only offer protection against hurricanes but also provide enhanced security, noise reduction, and energy efficiency.