View Full Version : Hurricane Windows...tempered or not

Don Jackson
02-10-2009, 05:27 PM
I have inspected a home that has large windows in the living room that are 14" from the floor and are not labled "tempered". They are labled "hurricane protected". Living in Florida, I thought I would have run across this before, but this is a new one to me. Being that close to the floor, do they still need to be tempered if they are hurricane protected/proof?



Rick Hurst
02-10-2009, 05:36 PM
I think those are covered with a film that allows glass that is not tempered to break as if it was tempered.


Don Jackson
02-10-2009, 05:45 PM
They do have a film cover, but is that a write-up since they are not tempered?

Jerry Peck
02-10-2009, 07:36 PM
*IF* the windows are impact resistant windows, no, nothing needs to be done.

This is because they are laminated with a sheet of film between two pieces of glass and will not break if you fall against them.

*IF* the windows are not impact resistant but are simply regular windows with so-called 'hurricane film' placed on the inside of the glass, then yes, because they are not really impact resistant and are not laminated either.

With the laminated windows you should see something like 1/4-060-1/4 or other combinations of numbers which indicate the outside glass thickness(1/4"), the interlayer sheet thickness (0.060"), and the inside glass thickness (1/4"). The interlayer may be as thin as 015, with the thickest interlayer being 090 (as I recall). They will also be labeled with SMI or LMI, which stand for Small Missile Impact or Large Missile Impact.

Typically, the 'films' (the so-called 'hurricane' films as well as the solar films) are all simply applied to the inside of the window and trimmed off (excess material is cut off) around the insider perimeter of the glazing. Thus, when the glazing breaks, the glazing can break out around the perimeter, leaving nothing in the opening, with broken glass around the opening in the frame (if any glass remains in the frame), with (possibly, if you are lucky) the entire filmed but shattered piece of glass laying crumpled on the floor.

Jerry Peck
02-10-2009, 07:38 PM

IF you would, please click on the 'User CP' link just under the 'InspectionNews' logo and fill in your location with your city or county, Florida is a big state and that helps know where you are.


Christopher Gorton
02-13-2009, 07:45 AM
The window in question is about 14 feet above the outside grade as well?
The window manufacturer and window size would also help.
Fixed pane glass?
Typically a window is rated for wind load and positive/negative pressure and is required to meet higher standards nearer to the ocean/gulf
Impact rating is another matter.
Film may also be applied in the manufacturing stage that goes in behind the frame to give it better impact performance.
Some aftermarket applied films may void insulated glass warranties
Tempered glass would shatter with an impact from a pebble.
"Hurricane Protected" sounds like a manufacturers term and probably put on there with a sticker that means it complies with local wind loads.
Proper installation is as important as the selection of the window itself.
Approved wind load and impact tested glass is etched with words to the effect of, passed the Miami Dade Missile Impact test and the code #.
Last I checked it was Broward county that held the highest standards of impact and wind loads.

Jerry Peck
02-13-2009, 08:08 AM
Film may also be applied in the manufacturing stage that goes in behind the frame to give it better impact performance.

The key to that is "that goes in behind the frame", films applied after manufacturer do not go behind the frame, you can see and/or feel the trimmed off edge next to the frame. Those applied-after-the-fact films which are trimmed off at the frame do little to make the window stronger. There are 'blast resisting films' which are installed after the window is installed, however, those are not trimmed off at the frame, they are continued up and over the frame and secured with strips to the frame, the jamb, or the wall, those films provided a heck of a lot of protection - because the film is held in place to the structure.

Last I checked it was Broward county that held the highest standards of impact and wind loads.

Broward County and Miami-Dade County are both under the same code, that is the HVHZ (High Velocity Hurricane Zone) portions of the Florida Building Codes. Both counties are in the 140 mph wind zone area and both counties apply the code county-wide.

Other counties in the 140 mph wind zone areas only apply the requirements they have to where they have to, and they fudge the line as far as they can to avoid having to use the higher wind speed design requirements. Given that mother nature does not read maps, let alone a wind speed map, she does not know that she is not allowed to cross over those lines drawn on the map, thus, I agree with Broward and Miami-Dade counties supposition that the higher wind speed applies to the entire county - also makes things simpler for the contractors, there is but one code to follow, regardless of where the line is.

Christopher Gorton
02-16-2009, 10:49 AM
The counties are both under the same statewide wind zones for wind loads but Broward holds a higher standard for missile impact testing, actually the highest minimum standard in Fla.
Glass must pass a small missile impact test from faster moving objects.
Post should have read Broward holds the highest standard for missile impact testing, their wind load regions are obviously geographic.

Sorry Don, the thread got away from the main point of your question. On reread the 14 inches from the floor " means the single mark that I read ' is wrong.
The distance from the glass to the floor in this county if less than 18 inches requires glass to be tempered. Filmed glass is not an equal substitute.
Your "hurricane protected" sticker is put on by a film company whose product is guaranteed through manufacturers testing to meet impact requirements.
Odds are it was installed as solar film is typically done up to the frame on the inside of the window.
I would also verify the film manufacturers installation instructions as there are likely other windows in the home that are filmed.