What are Hurricane Windows and Are They Required on Sanibel Homes?

What are Hurricane Windows and Are They Required on Sanibel Homes?Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are located in a geographic area prone to hurricanes as is much of the southeastern portion of the United States. Because of this, there are building codes in place from the state of Florida, Lee County, and the City of Sanibel for building and keeping properties safe to inhabit when it comes to withstanding hurricane season. 

One of the most common building upgrades people talk about when it comes to hurricane safety is windows and glass features in homes. There are many different kinds of windows available to install, and some are built to withstand stronger winds. The two most common include impact and hurricane. Some people may get these confused with each other or assume they are the same thing.

The Difference Between Hurricane Windows and Impact Windows

Both hurricane and impact glass windows are designed with advanced safety measures and a focus on standing up to strong winds. they are both made with layers of glass and laminate fused together, this laminate is flexible plastic called polyvinyl butyl (PVB). 

Hurricane Windows

This type of window was designed after many regular glass windows were shattered in hurricane-force winds. A hurricane window is held together with the addition of one or more layers of PVB. This allows windows to bend under high winds. And should the glass in a hurricane window break the PVB is also designed to hold it in place rather than let it shatter in small pieces all over the place. The nice thing about hurricane windows is that it comes at a fairly affordable price. These windows require less glass and laminate and can fit into traditional window frames. 

Impact Windows

Impact windows have a thicker overall pane. They use multiple layers of glass and PVB laminate. An impact window is much heavier and less flexible than hurricane glass but is built to withstand things being picked up by hurricane winds and thrown into the window, hence the name impact. They are built to take the impact of other objects hurled at them. They also come at a higher cost. It is a great product if your building is in need of the utmost storm resistance. 

Are Sanibel Island Homeowners Required to Have Safety Windows?

Living on Sanibel Island and coming out of the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, you may wonder if you will be required to upgrade your windows. If you are considering a home purchase on the island right now, you might wonder if a home should have safety windows or if you will be required to upgrade them if it doesn't. 

According to the latest state of Florida building codes it is required that any building both commercial and residential within a mile of the coast have door and window protection for locations that experience wind speeds of over 110 miles per hour. The codes do not specify what type of measures must be taken so this means that shutters are acceptable. The building codes for Lee County uphold the state of Florida codes. In, addition to these codes, Lee County requires that windows be upgraded to safety windows if you are replacing more than one at a time. 

Codes change all the time and local codes are often more strict than state codes as they have the authority to take extra safety measures but are not allowed to hold codes with a lesser requirement than the state. It is always best to contact your local authorities and ask them about the latest safety window building requirements. 

For more information on real estate in Sanibel or Captiva Islands please contact us any time. 

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