Let’s start by stating that in Florida, any product on the exterior of a dwelling or other structure must have either a current Florida Product Approval or a Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance. These documents certify the quality and the resistance of an impact door or window against severe weather conditions. To obtain these certifications, the products need to be tested at a certified facility and these should pass all the required testing protocols.
Testing can be categorized in three main groups.
Air Leakage: Usually, this is the first test. Positive and negative pressure difference is created across the system. The air leakage is measured and must not exceed the maximum allowable levels for exfiltration and infiltration. Air filtration pressure alone does not affect the pressure rating of the window.
Water penetration Resistance: The system is subjected to various pressure cycles while the system is sprayed with water then observed for any water penetration. The effects of a wind driven rain are recreated. Basically, pressure applied to the test unit is held for four intervals of five minutes each with a one-minute rest between intervals. This makes the test 23 minutes long in duration. To pass this test, the impact-resistant glass units must not have any drops of water pass the most interior vertical plane of the frame, which is often considered the sill dam.
Structural Testing: Finally on this test a high positive or negative pressure difference is created across the system for Design Pressure (DP) and Structural Test Pressure (STP) tests. On this category there is a test that stands out among the others. During the impact testing, a wood 2×4 is shot against the glass and frame to simulate flying debris thrown during a hurricane such as tree limbs, furniture, and other objects on the ground (LMI). The objective is that these projectiles do not penetrate the glass keeping the home protected. Same test is done for windows designed to be installed at 3rd floor or above (SMI). Here the 2×4 is replaced by a group of small ball bearings shoot at a high speed .This is because once you are above approximately 35-40ft in the air, the type of projectiles that are carried by storm winds changes.
The following are other tests done depending on each system.
If you feel your impact windows and doors need to be inspected or repaired, please do not hesitate in contacting us at [email protected] or call 786.245.4595.
At Impact Glass Services, we specialize in performing maintenance and repairs of impact windows and doors. Always following manufacturer recommendations, according the product’s Product Approval and/or Notice of Acceptance and using original parts and components.