Presented by Whiddon Glass
If your home or office has large expanses of glass, consider using impact-resistant glass to protect your investment. Make upgrades now that would prevent possible future damage.
What precautions can you take? If a storm threatens, secure your building. Taping your windows with masking tape or other such material is not enough to protect you. Cover non-impact-resistant windows with shutters or plywood. As much as possible, avoid being near glass windows, and have heavy blankets or other such material covering valuables in the event of flying glass.
Protecting your windows during a hurricane:
A lot of folks duct-tape their windows, however, this is a mostly ineffective solution against heavy windows and driving rain. Other options can cost very little and are for the DIY-ers, or call for a solution from a professional glass company.
Plywood: An effective and inexpensive option for covering windows, figure you’ll spend $1 to $2 per square foot if you do the work yourself. A contractor might charge between $3 and $5 per square foot. Set aside a weekend to measure boards (at least 5/8” thick and about 8” larger on each side than the opening you are covering) cut, and pre-install all the plywood for a typical house (using screws and anchors
or expansion masonry bolts). There are some limitations you should know:
• Doesn’t meet the new building code, making it technically illegal.
• No insurance discounts are offered if you use plywood shutters.
• If not secured properly, they can become dangerous flying objects. Installation is very time-consuming and difficult. It can’t be done alone or when a hurricane is approaching.
•Plywood is bulky and deteriorates over time.
• It’s ineffective in protecting sliding glass doors and big windows.
Storm shutters: Roll-up or accordion shutters are permanently attached to a house, which makes them easier to deploy than plywood. All you have to do is pull the shutters into place before a storm. Some shutters use perforation or translucent material to let in light. Any shutter system certified as “impact-resistant” by Leon County Building Code or Florida Building Code is very strong.
High-impact and Impact-Resistant glass: Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that remains intact when shattered. In the event of breaking, it is held in place by an interlayer, usually made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) that has been laminated between its two or more layers of glass. This interlayer keeps the layers of glass
bonded even when broken.
One of the most appreciated safety benefits is that its high strength prevents the glass from breaking up into large sharp pieces. It’s easily recognized by its characteristic “spider web” cracking pattern which results when an impact is powerful enough
to crack the glass. Expect to pay as much as $50 per square foot for single-glazed impact glass and $70 per square foot for double-glazed glass.
Exterior and garage doors:
Protect glass doors or wood doors with large glass panes as you would windows. Check all doors, including solid wood exterior doors, for loose or missing screws. Strong winds can buckle any door that’s not properly protected and secured.