Window Choices Create Rooms With Safe Views
Replacing windows in an older home can mean more than easier cleaning. Half of the windows in U.S. residential areas are still made of the old single-thickness glass that can barely withstand the blow of a tree branch or a baseball. Thanks to modern technology, two relatively new types of special-purpose glass provide homeowners with an added sense of security and protection.
Tempered glass is heat-treated to make it four times stronger than single-thickness annealed glass. The heating/cooling treatment used in tempered glass design is what makes the window shatter safely to the floor instead of breaking up into shards of flesh-cutting glass. Tempered glass is required by most building codes today.
Laminated glass is the type of glass used in automobiles. It doesn't really break apart when struck. Instead, it cracks and remains together because of the layer of plastic sandwiched between layers of glass. Laminated glass is also used to protect such renowned treasures as the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.
Laminated glass is most often used in homes built in hurricane-prone areas. To ensure it will perform as intended, laminated glass has endured some very harsh tests. The large-missile impact test involves firing a 9-pound 2-by-4 at the window at more than 30 mph! If that doesn't make you feel safe from errant baseballs, maybe nothing will.