Hurricane Window Film: The Facts You Need To Know
If you’ve been searching the internet for hurricane window protection options, you’ve probably come across something marketed as “hurricane window film.” We’re here to tell you why this term is a misnomer, and what better alternatives you have to protect your windows during a hurricane.
Is Hurricane Window Film Real?
What people are referring to when they market something as hurricane window film is really a type of pliable glass coating called safety and security window film. The most important thing to know is that manufacturers of this type of window film say themselves that it is NOT rated for hurricane protection.
What this means is that no window film is approved for use as a storm damage mitigation barrier in regulated hurricane zones, such as Miami-Dade County in Florida. In other words, it is not an effective alternative to hurricane screens, storm panels, or hurricane shutters.
What does safety and security window film do?
The type of window film that some companies refer to as hurricane window film is designed to hold shattered glass in place, but it does not do anything to actually prevent the glass from breaking.
The film may reduce the risk of injury from flying shards of glass, or help keep a broken window in place to block out heavy rains, but it is not strong enough to resist a piece of storm debris hurled by hurricane-force winds.
Safety and security window film can:
- Hold the broken glass in place
- Reduce chances of injury from flying shards of glass
- Help block out wind and rain
So, although safety and security window film DOES add a layer of security to your existing glass, it is not to be used as a cheap alternative to other storm damage mitigation barriers. If you want to use it for added storm damage protection in the event that another barrier fails, that’s great, but it should never be the only layer of protection you have.
Does window film do anything else?
Besides adding a thin layer of protection that can prevent personal injury and water damage, different types of window film can improve the performance of your glass doors and windows in other ways.
For instance, safety and security window film can delay forced entry attempts to deter break ins and burglary. Tinted, colored, and mirrored films can also add privacy, which further increases security by obscuring would-be intruders’ views into your property.
Other benefits of window film:
- Can delay and deter forced entry (security film)
- Can improve energy efficiency (Low-E window film)
- Blocks harmful UV rays
- Cuts down on glare
- Changes the appearance of your property (can increase curb appeal)
ArmorPlast®: An Alternative To Hurricane Window Film That Actually Works
So, now that you know that no type of window film should be used for a hurricane mitigation barrier, we’re going to tell you all about the best alternative to board ups, hurricane shutters, storm panels, and hurricane screens: ArmorPlast®.
ArmorPlast® is a proprietary line of polycarbonate glazing shields manufactured by Riot Glass®. It is the ultimate hurricane impact glass — and it’s not even made from glass.
Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is virtually unbreakable in the face of any type of impact. Whether it’s a flying piece of storm debris or a sledgehammer swung during a forced entry attempt, a polycarbonate glazing shield WILL protect your existing glass from breaking.
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Why is polycarbonate a better option than hurricane shutters and other solutions?
Storm damage mitigation solutions, such as hurricane shutters, storm panels, and hurricane fabric, are effective alternatives to board ups, but they don’t offer 24/7 protection against a full range of other security threats. Polycarbonate does.
Storm shutters and other solutions also reduce the functionality of your windows and doors by blocking out natural light and inhibiting views. Polycarbonate creates an invisible barrier over the existing glass while maintaining all of its original functionality.
This makes ArmorPlast® ideal for retailers, offices, and other commercial facilities with glass storefronts, where board ups, shutters, and panels often just aren’t practical or convenient.
Traditional storm damage mitigation barriers have to be put in place as soon as a hurricane watch or warning is issued, meaning that you could go days without natural light and views. Not to mention potential customers and clients might think your business is closed.
With ArmorPlast®, all you need is a one-time installation to get permanent storm damage protection. You never have to worry about installing shutters or other obscuring barriers before a storm that might not even make landfall in your area after all.
How does ArmorPlast® get installed?
ArmorPlast® is what’s called retrofit security glazing, meaning it’s designed specifically to fit into or onto almost any existing door or window framing system. There’s almost never any need to replace the existing glass or framing.
This makes ArmorPlast® an extremely cost-effective solution when you’re looking for an all-around security upgrade for any type of commercial property. Its accompanying security framing has a low profile and won’t detract from the curb appeal of your business or significantly alter its appearance in any way.
ArmorPlast® is ideal for:
- Retail stores
- Government buildings
- Religious facilities
- Luxury homes
If you only take one thing away from reading this article, let it be this: there is no such thing as hurricane window film that can be used instead of other storm damage mitigation barriers.
This is not to say that window film is not without its benefits, quite the opposite. Window film does add a thin layer of security to your existing glass and can improve the glass’s performance in a variety of ways.
However, for storm damage protection, you’ll need to rely on a more formidable impact-resistant barrier. If you want an alternative to hurricane shutters and board ups, we highly recommend ArmorPlast® AP25.
Contact us today or have your local glass contractor call us to discuss our affordable hurricane protection options.