Hurricanes are tropical storms in which the winds can reach sustained speeds of 74 miles per hour and higher. Generally, a windspeed like this can uproot trees, destroy light poles, break glass and lift objects. In any of these situations, these objects potentially become “missiles” that can impact the glass of your windows and doors causing breakage and, in some cases, breaching the building envelope. This can be dangerous for the integrity of your home, since the wind and water can enter through these penetrations causing extreme pressure changes.

Over time, studies on the formation and evolution of hurricanes have improved. In turn, security protocols have been increased in terms of planning and protection against hurricanes, especially in places historically affected by them. The data extracted from these studies is of vital importance for the design, manufacture and installation of hurricane-proof window and door systems. These systems are called “impact” systems due to their ability to resist the force of hurricane winds and their resilience over time. These are most made of high resistance aluminum, manufactured under rigorous production processes, and tested in laboratories. It must be considered that, like everything else, these products must be properly maintained since its resistance capability depends largely on the proper functioning of all its components.

Maintenance protocols may vary depending on the state and design of your windows and doors, starting with basic maintenance to more complex ones. Below, we reveal different maintenance methods that can be applied to impact systems:

Maintenance protocols for sliding doors and horizontal sliding windows:

If your door or window is not working smoothly, the following basic maintenance protocol can be applied:

  1. Cleaning and vacuuming of tracks for dust and debris.
  2. Track lubrication.
  3. Lubrication of operable components.
  4. Adjustment of operable panel, handle and locking mechanism.

If your door or window moves with great difficulty or does not move at all:

  1. Cleaning and vacuuming of tracks for dust and debris.
  2. Track lubrication.
  3. Lubrication of operable components.
  4. Adjustment of operable panel, handle and locking mechanism.
  5. Replacement of wheels.
  6. Track repair or track cover installation.
  7. Replacement of handle and locking mechanism

If your door or window is noisy due to wind intrusion:

  1. Operable panel adjustment.
  2. Replacement of weatherstripping and rubber gaskets.
  3. Cleaning and unclogging weep holes.
  4. Protection and sealing of installation screws and assembly screws.
  5. Removal and reapplication of silicone on the perimeter and in assembly joints.

If your door or window has a broken glass:

  1. Glass replacement.
  2. Removal and reapplication of structural silicone seals around the glass perimeter.

If your door or window presents salt accumulation and/or oxidation on the surface of the aluminum.

  1. Chemical cleaning on all aluminum profiles surfaces.
  2. Removal of salt accumulation and cutting of rubber gaskets.
  3. Filling of aluminum in surfaces with holes affected by salt.
  4. Application of activator and primer.
  5. Application of electrostatic painting of the corresponding color.
  6. Curing and drying of the applied paint.
  7. Application of structural silicone in the perimeters of the glass and assembly joints.

Maintenance protocols for single hung windows:

If your window won't stay open and it's hard to open or close:

  1. Cleaning and vacuuming of windowsills for dust and debris.
  2. Lubrication of operable components.
  3. Adjustment of operable panel, handle and locking mechanism.
  4. Replacement of spring balances.
  5. Replacement of missing plastic guides.
  6. Replacement of weatherstripping and rubber gaskets.

With the above we want to express the general concern with the lack of maintenance that is seen daily on existing impact doors and windows; There are cases in which it is necessary to replace integral components that can take months to be delivered by the manufacturers. Sometimes the damage is so severe that the maintenance and repair protocols require extensive amounts of time and labor to be carried out. For these reasons, it is necessary that basic maintenance protocols be carried out at least every 6 months.

IMPORTANT!

Keep in mind that your impact window and door systems are manufactured and installed by certified companies, Likewise, it is necessary that the maintenance protocols are carried out by a specialized company like us. If maintenance is not performed on a regular basis, it is very likely that the components that make up the systems will not work correctly and therefore lead to major problems in the future.

As a resident of South Florida, you should be aware that hurricanes are a reality for you and your family. If you are still not convinced of using Impact Windows for your home, here we explain everything you should know about the advantages of using these and why these are the best option over the non-impact windows.

1. Protection

Most building codes in the state of Florida require windows that protect you and your property during high wind events. Standard or non-impact windows don’t provide the protection required. In case an object impacts the monolithic (non-impact) glass, it will break allowing water and wind can get into your home, experiencing severe damage during a storm.

On the other hand, Impact/Hurricane Windows  use double layered/laminated glass to prevent damage. If high winds send an object against your window, the frame and the glass are strong enough to withstand it. The object may break the glass but it will stay adhered to an innerlayer or membrane preventing shards to come into your home. At the same time, wind and water will not come into your home. Preventing significant damage during a storm.

2. One less thing to worry about

If a hurricane is headed towards your area, then you have a lot to think about. Worrying about your windows only adds to your list of things to do. If you have standard windows, then it could take hours to prepare them to weather the storm.

Impact Windows give you one less thing to worry about. Instead of securing your windows, you can focus on what really matters – the safety of you and your family.

3. Energy Efficiency

Impact Windows allow more light into your home than shutters. When a hurricane hits, it is very common to run out of electricity. During this time, your impact windows could come in handy, allowing you to have natural light in your home. Additionally, you don’t need to rush to take down any shutters after a storm.

4. Noise reduction

Impact-resistant windows provide an excellent noise barrier to block disturbing sounds in addition to protecting against hurricanes.

As a conclusion, having impact resistant/hurricane windows adds the most benefits to your property and provides peace of mind. If you already own these systems, it is imperative to keep these working all year round. Proper maintenance and repairing your products with a specialized firm will ensure this. Most manufacturer’s recommend a preventive maintenance at least every six months. If you are interested in this service or in any other type of repair, please visit our website at www.impactlgassmiami.com  You can also contact our customer service department at 786-245-4595 or [email protected].

In some cases, having impact resistant windows is not enough to avoid headaches during a storm.  To mitigate damages of your floors, baseboards, drywall, blinds, carpet, and furniture among others, it is very important to maintain or inspect certain components to guarantee the systems performance.

1. Are Locks Working Properly?

Inspect the locking hardware.  Ensure operable panels are locked properly to avoid them opening with the high winds a storm can bring.   Periodically, clean the locks and lubricate them to maintain their proper function.

2. Is your Weather-stripping, Gaskets, and wet glaze in good condition?

Inspect the weather-stripping, gaskets and wet glaze of the doors and windows. Visually inspect these components for any missing chunks, damage, cracks, movement, or lack of compression.  Any of these signs, could mean that the component needs to be replaced.

3. Are the weather components in the correct position?

This is one of the hardest inspections to do. Each System/manufacturer has weathering components strategically installed along the frame to minimize the strength of air coming thru.

It is important to keep in mind that operable system is not air and watertight. Existing gaps are necessary for panel movement and alignment.

4. Are weep holes unclogged and/or debris-free?

Weep holes are small openings that allows water to drain from within an assembly. It is crucial to have the weep holes inspected to make sure they are free of debris.  If they get clogged, these must be cleaned to restore their proper draining function.

5. Are screw heads sealed properly?

Since it rains most of the year in Florida, this inspection should not be limited to just hurricane season, but throughout the entire year.  Anchors need be sealed to avoid water entering the frame’s predrilled penetrations.  Within time, this sealant disintegrates or peels, leaving a perfect path for water to enter the system causing mold growth and destroying surrounding components.

6. Are the Vents or Panels properly aligned?

Check the Alignment of Vents and/or panels with the frame.  Proper alignment will guarantee that the locks, weather-stripping, gaskets, and pile pads can achieve their purpose.  This simple step is a compliment to all previous maintenance steps.

Following these guidelines, will ensure that your impact resistant product(s) will be preforming at the very best level that they were designed. It is recommended that all of the above procedures be conducted by a professional licensed contractor at least every 6 months to ensure that your windows will be in the best shape possible to confront the worst of the elements.