impact windows and doors miami
Written by Florida Engineered Glass Corp.

Are Hurricane Impact Windows Required in Florida?

Windows may seem like an afterthought when building, designing, or remodeling a home. After all, their primary job is allowing light and air inside. However, Miami residents know that windows are not just for show, they are an essential part of the home. Not only do we need windows to keep the heat and humidity out, but they must also keep the cool air-conditioned air inside the house. More importantly, windows are a key entry-point for wind, rain, and debris during a storm, especially tropical storms and hurricanes. Unfortunately, hurricanes are a weather phenomenon Floridians are all too familiar with, and we must keep our homes safe. Florida Engineered Glass Corp can help build the specialty glass hurricane windows and doors Miami needs to protect their homes during a storm. We can meet the Florida building code for impact windows with ease.  


What are Hurricane Impact Windows?


Many consumers may assume that tempered and impact-resistant are the same, but they are not. Tempered glass is a heat-treated glass. When it breaks it typically fractures into small fragments. Due to the small size of the pieces, they are relatively harmless and present a reduced likelihood of injury to people. Tempered glass is traditionally used in places where there is a higher risk of human exposure, like bathtubs or hot tub enclosures. Impact-resistant glazing is a type of laminated glass. When impact-resistant windows break, the glass tends to stick to the plastic interlayer. This prevents wind, water, or debris from entering the home. Keep in mind that all glass other than impact-resistant window glass, even if tempered, needs to be protected during severe wind events such as tropical storms and hurricanes.


Does the Florida Building Code for Impact Windows Affect Me?


The Florida Building Code (or FBC) prescribes performance and construction requirements for exterior windows and glass doors installed in wall systems. It requires windows to be impact-resistant or protected by a shutter if the structure is located within one mile of the coast where the wind speed is 100 mph or greater. Furthermore, the High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) section of the FBC states every exterior opening, residential or commercial, must be provided with protection by shutters or impact-resistant windows against wind-borne debris caused by hurricanes. Although not all of Florida is required to have impact-resistant windows, Miami-Dade County has the most stringent requirements in the country when it comes to rain, wind, and wind-borne debris tests. The HVHZ applies to all Miami-Dade and Broward counties, regardless of how far from the coast the building is located.  You will need to ensure the hurricane windows and doors Miami homes have will meet the Florida Building Code. Florida Engineered Glass Corp is ready to help. We have products available designed to protect your home. They are tested and approved for wind load and wind-borne debris.


Contact Us Today

We can design the glass hurricane windows and doors Miami residents need. Florida Engineered Glass Corp will ensure your beautiful home also meets Florida building code for impact windows and doors. Call us today.