When Should Hurricane Windows Be Replaced?

Estimated read time 3 min read

Hurricane windows are a must-have for Florida homes prone to storm damage. They are designed to resist shattering, providing protection from wind and rain that could otherwise cause expensive remodeling and repair costs.

Impact windows are tested to withstand the force of debris hitting a window up to 30 feet above ground level. But just like any other window, they can break or crack.

Loose Hardware

When the hardware for your hurricane windows starts to break down or become loose, it’s time to replace them. It helps to ensure they can withstand debris and maintain the proper air pressure inside your home during a storm.

If the crank operator has loose teeth in its handle, you can easily replace it (available at home centers and full-service hardware stores). Remove the screen and disassemble the crank until the plastic guide bushing aligns with the window’s guide track notch. Then, install the new operator, re-install the screen, and test it by cranking it open and closed a few times.

If more than 10% of the frame is rotted, replacing the window rather than repairing it is best. Attempting to repair a rotted frame with wood filler can weaken the window’s integrity. It’s best to replace rotting frames with impact-resistant ones that can withstand the high wind speeds of hurricanes.

Cracked Glass

Hurricane windows are a must in Florida to protect against water damage, wind-borne debris, and more. They’re also crafted to withstand projectiles, offering additional strength.

These windows are made from two or three layers of laminated glass to create a strong barrier against impacts. While they may shatter under extreme pressure, they won’t be penetrated and can save homes from further structural damage.

If the glass in your hurricane window is cracked or completely broken, it must be replaced with new glass. Cracks in the frame should also be inspected and repaired immediately.

Warped Frames

When a window frame becomes warped, it can ruin the exterior appearance of your home and cause the windows to malfunction. While tightening hinges and filling gaps with additional weatherstripping can be a short-term fix, if the wood has warped to an extreme degree, it is best to remove the storm window and replace it with another in good condition.

Hurricane windows are built to withstand extreme conditions. They are constructed with tempered glass that, unlike standard glass, breaks into round pellets rather than sharp shards of glass. Strengthening the windows and lowering the chance of injury protects your house against hurricanes.

Because of this, hurricane windows can sometimes become warped. It is primarily due to shifts in humidity and temperature that can affect the moisture content of the wood. Over time this can cause the wood to expand and contract, causing it to warp.

Loose Seals

Hurricane windows are made to increase your home’s ability to withstand strong winds and flying debris. A window with loose seals will likely let in moisture during rainstorms. It can cause the window to become foggy.

Loose seals signify it’s time for a new window installation. They also mean that air will leak into your home, making it harder to keep it cool and comfortable during hurricane season.

While most homeowners understand that a home must be repaired after a hurricane, many don’t realize it’s also time for a hurricane-proof window replacement. Inspecting your hurricane windows after each storm and removing any signs of damage or wear is essential. Then, you can rest easy knowing your home is protected against powerful Florida weather and future hurricanes.

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