Author Archives: superowner

Buying Replacement Windows: DIY or Hire a Professional?

Replacing old windows can do a number of things for your home in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It can improve the look of your home, reduce your heating and cooling costs, and increase your comfort. Buying and installing replacement windows can be costly and you will want to make sure you get what you need on the budget you have. When you are preparing to buy replacement windows, you might be tempted to go to home improvement stores and attempt to purchase windows yourself and then install them on your own, just to save money. Don’t! Here are a few problems that can pop up if you buy and/or install replacement windows yourself.

Problem#1: Wrong Sized Windows

If you are not a replacement windows professional, you may not correctly measure the window space you need to fill. It’s simple to make mistakes when you are doing something that isn’t your specialty! When you buy the wrong sized window or order it, you will either have to return it, or you are stuck with a window that is the wrong size.

Problem#2: Window Options are Limited

When you work with a professional replacement windows company, you have almost unlimited options. You can customize anything and get the exact replacement windows you want. When you go to a big box store you do not have those options. They have just a few options from which to choose and none of them may be the highest quality, either.

Problem#3: Improper Installation

Even if you are handy around the house, installing replacement windows in Fort Lauderdale, FL is a whole new ballgame. Your inexperience with replacement windows could lead to leaky, ineffective windows that could actually make your energy bills go up instead of down. Leaks can let water into the home and even cause more damage, forcing you to get professionals to repair the issues you created.

Problem#4: Voided Warranties

If you get windows on your own and then try to install them, you could void the warranty they come with. Many manufacturers require that installation is handled by a professional with the correct qualifications in order for them to honor the warranty. If you void the warranty and something goes wrong, you’re out of luck!

Avoiding these problems is easy! Just contact High Impact Windows & Doors when you are ready for replacement windows in your Fort Lauderdale, FL home. We have a complete showroom so you can view a wide array of products. IT helps to be able to evaluate and compare items side by side as you make important decisions for your home. Give us a call and set up a consultation appointment or ask any questions you have about replacement windows at 954-782-7100. You can also stop by our showroom at 1472 S Dixie Hwy E, Pompano Beach, FL 33060 and speak with our knowledgeable staff. We will listen to your individual situation and help you understand the best options for your home and lifestyle needs.

How Impact Resistant Windows Protect the Structural Envelope

You have likely seen the destruction—shattered glass, scattered possessions, decimated homes. The damage done by hurricanes and tropical storms isn’t a pretty sight. If you live in the larger Fort Lauderdale area then you are all too familiar with what these types of natural disasters can do. It is no wonder why meeting the stringent building codes is so important. Impact resistant windows are part of that code. These windows withstand natural forces and maintain the exterior envelope of your home.

What is the Structural Envelope?

The building envelope is the physical divider between the inside and outside of a building. It includes walls, floors, roofs, doors, and fenestrations. A fenestration is any opening like a window or skylight. A well-designed envelope works with the climate of the area. In a tropical climate like that of Fort Lauderdale, FL, you need a roof to keep the hot sun off, and plenty of ventilation to move the humid air. But with windows comes weakness.

Why is Maintaining the Envelope Important?

During a natural disaster, a break in the envelope can trigger massive destruction. The weakest link in most cases is your windows. Windows fail because of broken glass, weak frames, and water coming through the joints. When a window is broken it allows air to enter the space, changing the internal pressure of the structure. The roof can lift off and the walls can blow down. Total destruction will take only a matter of minutes. This is why impact resistant windows are so important.

What are Impact Resistant Windows?

These windows are specifically designed to withstand impacts from projectiles and high force winds. Manufactures sandwich a resin membrane between two or more panes of glass. If the window is compromised it will not shatter and collapse. Instead, the broken glass will stick to the impenetrable membrane and remain mostly intact. As such, the structural envelope is also intact—keeping the wind and moisture out.

Impact Resistant Window Standards

To be labeled as hurricane or impact resistant, windows must undergo rigorous testing by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). For the large projectile test, they fire a nine pound 2×4 piece of lumber at the center of the glass at 80 feet per second. If the glass remains intact they fire another large missile projectile at one of the corners. If the window remains intact they subject it to cyclic pressure both inward and outward. If the window remains intact, and inside the frame, only then does it pass.

If you are interested in upgrading to impact resistant windows in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we hope you would give us a call at 954-782-7100. At High End windows, we take great pride in our work and offer unparalleled service. You get expert installation by professionals are licensed and certified. Want to see some of our products firsthand? Visit our showroom at 1472 S. Dixie Hwy. E., Pompano Beach, FL 33060. We won’t bombard you with high-pressure sales tactics. Instead, we will answer all your questions and find the best way to help you protect your home at a reasonable price.

How Do I Know if I Have Hurricane Impact Windows?

In the larger Fort Lauderdale, FL area, where hurricanes are a common natural disaster, you need to take extra precautions. Windows especially need to be protected or hurricane proofed to meet modern building codes. But not many homeowners know if they meet the new building standard.

Standard Windows vs. Hurricane Windows

The main difference is the glass. Standard windows typically are made of float glass. Upon impact, the glass breaks into large shards. These can be dangerous, especially during a hurricane. For impact and hurricane windows, two panes of glass are bonded together with a resin membrane sandwiched between. The membrane is usually made from Polyvinyl Butaryl (PVB). If broken, the shattered pieces of the glass adhere to the film and the window remains, for the most part, intact. That way a crack will not expose your house to the disastrous wind and water from the storm. The specialized glass is paired with beefed up frames.

As you can imagine, hurricane windows must meet specialized standards. As such, they undergo rigorous testing before they can be marketed and sold. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) performs these tests by subjecting glass to projectiles and wind pressure. And while building codes vary by community, most Fort Lauderdale FL hurricane windows must meet these guidelines:

  • Must pass large missile impact test. They launch a 2×4 at the window at 80 feet per second, and the window must hold together.
  • Must pass small missile impact test. For this, they shoot 10 small projectiles at the window at 80 feet per second, and the widow must hold together.
  • Must pass wind pressure test. If the window passes the first two tests, then they subject the glass to wind pressure of up to 200 miles per hour and the window must remain in the frame.

How Can I Tell if I Have Hurricane Windows?

Here are the signs to look for:

Check for a Permanent Mark

Tempered glass often has a small label etched in one of the corners. In construction, this is called a “bug.” This helps identify the glass with the name of the manufacturer and the standers under which it was made. Laminated glass, which is often used in impact resistant windows, doesn’t always have this permanent mark.

Read the Label

Because laminated glass can be cut to size, the permanent mark might be missing. If so, many manufacturers will place a temporary label on the glass to help identify it. This label will outline the thickness, the date of manufacture, the place of fabrication. It will also display any certifications or standards the glass meets. This label will tell you if it is hurricane or impact resistant.

Examine Your Reflection

When you put an object next to the glass, check the reflection. Because impact resistant glass has two or more sheets of glass, you should see two or more reflections.

Ask a Professional

What do you do if you can’t find any labels and are not sure about the reflection? Just ask a professional in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They can come and examine your existing windows and let you know if you are safe, or if you need an upgrade.

Looking for more information about hurricane windows? Come by High End Impact Windows and Doors at 1472 S. Dixie Hwy. E., Pompano Beach, FL 33060, or call us today, 954-782-7100.