Fifteen years ago, even high-end homes were unlikely to sport windows that could withstand hurricane-force winds. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew changed that and gave quick birth to an industry — an industry that today has even the attention of non-coastal residents.
Today's impact-resistant glass sandwiches an inner layer made of polyvinyl butyral, a plastic, between two sheets of glass. Stronger than a car windshield, the laminated glass might shatter if a heavy object crashes into it, but it won't break into small pieces.
But because panes so powerful also ward off thieves, harsh sunrays, cold weather, and noise, hurricane-rated windows are equally suitable for houses far from the ocean.
Dallas-based installer Doug Thompson, for one, has installed 50 storm doors equipped with hurricane-rated glass in the urban and suburban homes of single mothers and elderly homeowners. “No one's going to come up and hit it and break it and get through right away,” says Thompson of the glass. “You're probably going to wake up the neighbors before you can get through it.”
Considering the numerous advantages of hurricane-rated glass, it's no wonder it has made such an impact.
— This story first appeared in BUILDING PRODUCTS magazine.