How Is Impact Glass Tested?

January 3, 2024
December 7, 2022

Hurricane Andrew devastated Florida in 1992, leaving a swath of destruction. Inadequate safety and building procedures were widely blamed for the fatalities and the millions of dollars of property damage. Hence, the government established new laws to limit the harm brought on by another significant natural disaster, including the installation of impact resistant windows.  

The entire State of Florida has realized the importance of safeguarding its citizens from the possible catastrophic harm brought on by hurricane-related wind-borne debris. An impact window needs a Florida Product Approval (FPA) for approval and certification, which the State sets.  

Protecting your windows and doors during a hurricane is one of the most necessary precautions. The pressure difference can become very harmful if the wind enters your home through any entrance.  

impact-resistant windows 

All You Need to Know About Impact Glass Testing    

By Whom Are Hurricane Windows Tested?    

In Florida, the window testing regulations are the strictest. Hurricane Approval Certification is required. After all, it sets the national standard for windows testing because it sustained the most damage from Hurricane Andrew.  

Products are deemed suitable for any region affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, or strong winds if they meet or surpass certain specifications. Anyone licensed to issue the certificate is responsible for the testing.  

How Exactly Do Hurricane Windows Safeguard Your House?    

Any secure home must have hurricane windows because many believe hurricane windows offer protection from flying objects. During a severe storm, if a window is broken, the fast rise in pressure exerts enormous stress on the walls and ceiling and can even blow the roof off! Heavy rains can also harm contents when a structure is compromised.  

What Are the Tests Required?  

Cyclical Test  

Otherwise known as the Pressure Test, this type ascertains whether the glass satisfies the pressure requirements for storm-force winds. After the missile test, the glass is put in a pressure simulator where it is bent 4,500+ times by positive and negative pressure. The findings determine the impact of glass pressure rating.  

You will receive the design pressure, or DP, for the window from this performance. It will reveal the window's strength. The higher the number of the design pressure, the better it is. The window label contains all this information because the Florida Building Code requires labels to be attached to each window and door. Structure and energy performance numbers must be listed on each label, and the Energy Performance Ratings must be NFRC-approved.  

Missile Test  

The glass' resistance to impact is evaluated using the Missile Test. This indicates that the window will be unbroken and remain in its frame; impact glass will break. Impact-rated items are windows and glass doors that have been demonstrated to withstand hurricane impact tests from massive wind-borne debris.  

A 9-pound, 2x4 piece of lumber traveling at 50 feet per second is launched twice at the glass to test its strength. The "big missile" would be the lumber. Moreover, ten 2g (gram) steel balls are simultaneously launched at 89 mph three times to test the ratings for "tiny missiles."  

How To Tell if Your Windows Are Impact-resistant?    

Check for Watermarks  

A reliable technique to determine whether a window has impact glass is to look for watermarks engraved into the glass. The window label will have the information you need if you need help finding the watermark.  

Check the Window Label  

On the glass corner, look for a label. You should be able to find a temporary or permanent label on the corner of the glass. However, this will depend on the manufacturer and the glass' cut. Most likely, the label will include information about the glass' thickness, supplier name, fabrication site, manufacturing date, and any certifications or safety requirements that it complies with.  

workers installing impact-resistant windows 

Get Your Impact-resistant Windows Today!  

Hurricane season is unavoidable if you live in Florida. Even though you might not be able to avoid the storm, you can reduce stress by safeguarding your house from destructive winds and flying debris. Call us for more information!