Impact resistant windows reinforce windows to stop them from shattering in the event one is blown out by a blast, a gunshot, a hurricane, or even punched out during a break-in.
They provide an extra level of security typically found in critical structures like airports, government buildings, transportation venues, and other buildings that may be threatened or vulnerable to attacks.
Impact windows step up your doomsday prepping two ways:
They strengthen your homes most vulnerable points of entry to burglars and looters.
They protect your home from damage that occurs during the high winds of hurricanes and tornadoes.
We all know that doomsday preppers aren’t worried about ‘if’ but ‘when’, and that alone is a good enough reason to reinforce the glass. However, there are other really good reasons to invest in impact protection.
5 Benefits of Installing Hurricane Windows
Prevent Break-Ins (& Looting)
According to the FBI data in 2010, there were 2.15 million burglaries reported in the United States, and 79.3 percent of those were burglaries of residential properties.
Most burglaries aren’t committed by criminal masterminds. They’re committed by crooks who see a weakness in a home and simply exploit it. Your windows are one of your homes greatest weaknesses because a rock or the side of a fist can allow for easy access.
Protect your home from the traditional smash-and-grab method with impact resistant windows. Because the glass doesn’t fall apart upon impact, thieves aren’t able to get into your home simply by throwing a rock through it.
Reduce Weather-Related Damage
It’s impossible to completely protect your home from storms. But if we’ve learned anything in the last 10 years, it’s storm preparedness that serves as the difference between damage and total disaster.
Impact windows are one of the best ways to protect your home from severe storms, and they’re something to seriously consider if you live in a part of the country that falls in the path of tornados, hurricanes, and other types of severe weather.
If you live in Texas, Florida, Louisiana or other coastal areas regularly impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes, it’s best to splurge for the fully protected windows rather than shatter resistant film.
Windows are one of the most valuable upgrades you can make to your home because they’re not only a vulnerable entrance point for people or storms but for energy as well.
The glass is an escape point for energy when you’re using your heating or air conditioning system. When energy escapes, your system has to work harder to maintain the temperature, which drives up your energy bills and makes your home less habitable.
Installing impact windows provides a two-for-one investment because the laminated glass can provide an extra layer of energy efficiency. Unlike single or double glazed panes, the polyvinyl butyral layer between the glass prevents the loss of energy and damage from the suns UV rays.
Cheaper Homeowner’s Insurance
Your homeowner’s insurance company doesn’t want to see anything happen to your home because they don’t want to pay the claims. Insurance companies can’t profit if the homes they insure need dramatic repairs after every storm.
Because of this, insurance companies like to offer discounts to homeowners who take extra steps to protect their homes. This upgrade often qualifies for discounts because they protect your home from intruders and can stop additional flooding and damage in the event of a storm. Some insurance companies may offer premium discounts of up to 45%. The rate of discount depends on where you live, your policy, and your insurance company.
Why does this matter for doomsday prep?
Saving more money now allows you to save the extra money for an emergency later.
Prevents Fallout from Accidents
Finally, impact protection saves you from simple yet costly accidents that could become crippling if they occur just before or during a larger event.
Whether it’s a rogue football or a rock thrown from a lawnmower, you can destroy a window in a split second. A protected pane will hold together until you’re able to buy a replacement, meaning you won’t need to live with a draft or a piece of plywood in the meantime, which will keep your home more secure even in the worst circumstances.
Impact Windows vs Security Film
Shatter resistant windows are made of two slabs of impact resistant glass with a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) lying between the two. The PVB holds the pane together because it will still shatter when smashed, but the larger pieces will remain attached to the PVB rather than falling into your home.
They can run between $40 and $55 per square-foot, making them quite expensive. However, studies suggest that adding them to a new build may only increase the cost by a few thousand dollars. That’s way less than what a single insurance claim could cost you out of pocket from a hurricane or tornado.
You always have the option to finance improvements to your existing home. Our guide to financing a remodel is geared towards kitchens, but the principles apply here as well.
Shatter resistant film is used to cover regular window glass designed to do the same thing – hold the shattered pieces of together to keep the pane intact and the inside of your home protected.
The film is effective, but it’s more likely to fail under hurricane conditions. Impact windows also provide sound protection from the howling winds that frighten children (and adults), which the film does not.
Are They Essential for Doomsday Preppers?
Installing shatter resistant windows is in line with the most essential doomsday commandments – creating security, preparing for a loss of access to utilities, and saving money. There’s no reason not to install them during your next remodel because they’ll ultimately pay for themselves in one way or another.