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Are Hurricane Windows Required in Florida?

Aug 30, 2022

Satellite view of two hurricanes swirling over Florida

The short answer is yes. According to the Florida Building Code (FBC), any home built after 2001 must have a qualifying form of storm protection for its exterior windows. There are two ways to satisfy this requirement: (1) install hurricane windows with impact-resistant glass; or (2) protect the windows with hurricane shutters.

What Is Impact-Resistant Glass?

To qualify as impact-resistant glass under the FBC, a window must meet certain construction and performance standards, which vary by location. For instance, homes in Miami-Dade County—an area designated as a High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ)—must have storm protection that meets more stringent requirements than those enforced in other areas in Florida. The HVHZ designation is determined based on the frequency and severity of the hurricanes that have affected the area in the past.

In general, to meet the FBC’s requirements, a window must be certified as impact resistant by an approved testing laboratory. A marvel of modern engineering, impact-resistant glass undergoes rigorous air, water, pressure, and structural integrity testing. A certified window must be labeled as such, and the label must specify:

  • The window manufacturer’s name
  • The date the window was manufactured
  • The place of fabrication
  • The thickness of the glass
  • The performance and safety standards that the glass meets

The label may be a permanent marking, such as an etched, frosted mark in the corner of the window, or it may be removable.

Equip Your Florida Home With the Ultimate Protection Against Extreme Weather

Grayhawk Remodeling provides homeowners in Sarasota and Manatee counties with industry-best hurricane windows from PGT Custom Windows + Doors. These advanced products incorporate best-in-class impact resistance, energy efficiency, and customization options.

If you have questions about hurricane impact windows, we have answers. Contact Grayhawk Remodeling today.

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