ODL Severe Weather and Impact Glass: What You Need to Know


Impact glass is one of the best ways to protect your home from severe weather. In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about impact glass.

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If you live in a zone with severe weather and high winds, door glass is more than a design element. During a hurricane, it can also protect your family and home from harm. Severe weather glass and highly rated door systems are essential to your security and peace of mind.

However, it can be difficult to gather all of your options, understand impact glass certifications and ratings, and pick the right product for your home project. We want you to get it right and are here to help.

At ODL, we’ve been fabricating severe weather and impact glass and door frame systems for decades. We’re proud to offer builders, renovators, and homeowners severe-weather door glass that’s durable, beautiful, and most importantly, able to protect their homes from severe weather.

PART ONE

What Is Impact Glass?


SevereWeather_Impact_2Doorlights are made with tempered glass, which breaks into tiny pieces during an impact. While it’s safer than annealed glass, it leaves a home vulnerable during a hurricane or other severe storm, as debris can penetrate the glass and cause property destruction and injury. That’s why most coastal areas require impact door glass.

Impact-rated laminated glass, also called severe weather glass or hurricane glass, is a specially fabricated type of glass created by laminating a plastic (PVB) film sandwiched between two pieces of glass. Should the glass break when impacted, the film holds the glass together and prevents debris from entering the home.

However, impact glass is only as strong as its doorglass frame and door system. The door system needs to have just as much integrity as the glass, which is why ODL’s highly rated systems stand out among the competition.

PART TWO

ODL's Approach to Severe Weather Glass


We believe that every home can and should have beautiful door glass, even if you live in an area affected by severe weather or high winds. That’s why we design high-quality impact glass and severe weather door systems for homes in windborne debris regions or high-velocity hurricane zones.

Durable, High-Quality Materials

Door systems are only as good as the weakest component. Because we use high-grade plastic, aluminum, and laminated glass, our severe weather door glass is highly rated. When you include ODL door glass in your home, you never have to worry about our glass's integrity compromising the strength of your door’s system, creating the security you need in almost all geographic locations.

Beautiful, Functional Design

Functional products and systems should be able to protect your home without sacrificing your taste and style. Our products are engineered to protect and designed to match the style of any home.

And in the event of a storm or other severe weather, you only need to replace the part of the system that is damaged. Our door glass and frame can be removed from the door slab so you don’t have to replace the whole door after a storm or other unfortunate event - only the damaged elements.

Industry-Leading Certifications

Our products are certified to meet Florida building codes and Texas Department of Insurance approval—two distinct markets that set a high standard for severe weather-resistant glass. Individual components undergo extensive testing and analysis to ensure their efficacy as individual components and as part of a system.


PART THREE

How Is ODL's Severe Weather Glass Made?


ODL’s severe weather glass is made by sealing layers of glass to an incredibly strong resin layer. When the glass is struck, undergoes extreme pressure change, or endures high-speed winds, any broken glass stays adhered to the resin layer, maintaining its seal in the door and protecting the home's interior from damage.

To make sure the glass can protect your home from severe weather, we subject it to rigorous testing. These tests include impact, pressure, moisture, slam tests, and more. The results of these tests are also used to determine product certifications based on local building codes and insurance coverage, which we’ll continue to discuss later in this article.

PART FOUR

Our Impact Glass Ratings, Certifications and Materials


Hurricanes are one of the most common forms of severe weather to impact the United States. Since 1851, roughly 300 hurricanes have made landfall and affected 19 states. Today, states most commonly affected by hurricanes and severe storms are Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and North and South Carolina.

Because the doorglass system performs such an important function, there are strict industry standards that rate door glass safety and performance under strain. However, our severe weather door glass and door glass systems are also rated for various other conditions that could damage a home, including moisture levels and more.

Here is a breakdown of our certifications, ratings, and what they mean.

Air and Water Resistance

Air and water are most likely to penetrate a door at its weakest points. ODL door glass systems are reinforced to protect against air and water in two ways. The insulated glass unit itself is sealed against moisture, and both the IG and the seal between the doorglass frame and the door slab prevent air and water from entering the home.

Our door glass’s premium components and performance are certified by the Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) for meeting their requirements of ASTM E 2190. The ASTM E 2190 is a harmonized standard test protocol used in the United States and Canada to evaluate performance, durability, and longevity. This certification has three parts:

  • High Humidity Test: Samples undergo high temperatures and 95% humidity for 42 days to test the product’s resistance to moisture forcing itself through the sealed unit.
  • Accelerated Weather Cycling: Temperature fluctuations can destroy a product that’s not correctly engineered to withstand rapid changes. The Accelerated Weather Cycling test simulates these drastic changes from hot to cold in a moist environment. Specimens are tested for 63 days and 252 cycles.
  • Volatile Fog Test: The Volatile Fog Test shows that components or impurities will not out-gas a volatile fog, which could cause fog on an interior glass surface. To pass this test, no fog can be visible when standing an arm’s length away from the door. This ensures a clear view that’s built to last.

Slam and Cycle Testing

While you might not slam your door shut every day, you expect your door glass to withstand these forces. We submit our doors to a testing cycle of 50,000 slams to ensure soundness when an ODL door glass system slams shut.

We also impose raise and lower cycle testing for all our enclosed blinds systems to ensure their longevity; at ODL, this means subjecting our blind systems to at least 10,000 raise and lower cycles.

Sound Transmission

While protection from flying debris in a storm or other impacts is the primary benefit of impact glass, it’s also the best type of glass to protect from the everyday intrusion of outside noise. The laminated and insulated glass units reduce sound transmission to maintain the quiet sanctuary of your home.

  • Sound Transmission Class: Sound Transmission Class (STC) is your door glass’s ability to withstand sound. It’s measured in decibels (dB), and the higher the rating, the more effective the product is at reducing sound. Achieving a good STC requires every component to be highly rated for the highest levels of sound insulation.

    ODL conducts third-party IAS-accredited lab testing on a range of our door glass options to ensure the highest level of sound protection. Our sound transmission loss tests were conducted following ASTM E 90, the results of which are available here.
  • Sound Transmission Suppression: Sound Transmission Suppression adds an additional layer of sound protection by reducing sound transmission from the outside. This feature is measured in dB, and third-party testing has rated ODL clear glass at a 35 and a 37 for decorative glass. The full results are available on our website.

Product Codes and Certifications

Product code criteria is about more than “passing a test”; it often makes the difference between someone’s home being destroyed in a storm or not.

  • Structural Integrity Criteria: Structural integrity includes any factor that may damage your home or impact its ability to withstand the force of a storm. Performance should be airtight, watertight, wind-resistant, and resistant to forced entry. The industry standard is the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 testing; feel free to read more about our air and water resistance testing results on our website.

    Our glass is highly certified to international industry guidelines set by the National Accreditation and Management Institute, Inc.’s (NAMI) Quality Assurance Program, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and recognized by the state of Florida.
  • Design Pressure Requirements: Hurricanes, high wind and other severe weather can cause extreme, rapid changes in pressure during a storm. Design pressure testing is designed to measure a system’s ability to withstand positive and negative pressure changes. We test this by subjecting door glass systems to extreme pressure changes via a vacuum and positive force.

    Design pressure requirements vary by region, the building's unique details, proximity to other structures, and wind zone. The Florida Building Code (FBC) continues to set the standard in terms of wind zone-specific design requirements for design pressure, which other states in severe weather areas continue to adopt.

    All our door glass products are certified to meet the 2020 FBC’s requirements for one and two-story buildings, and our door glass and systems are certified for other specifications as well. At a rating of +/- 66 DP, our doorglass systems are among the best rated in the industry.
  • Impact Standards: Pressure changes and wind aren’t the only things to worry about during a severe weather event. Windborne debris can also cause extensive damage to home environments. A projectile that would not normally be dangerous can cause extensive damage at high speeds, making impact resistance a critical component of any severe weather system.

    To ensure severe weather glass performs to the highest standards, we work with the Florida Building Commission to certify and approve our products in high-wind zones. ODL Severe Weather door glass is approved by the FBC 4. In addition, we test and certify our severe weather glass to withstand impact in Florida Missile Zone D, which entails shooting an 8-foot 2x4 weighing 9 pounds into a door with a doorlight installed at 50 feet per second. Instead of carrying multiple products for each wind or missile zone, one product can protect a home in any zone, worry-free.

  • Non-Impact Standards: ODL door glass is available and approves for use in non-impact situations. The FBC has issued statewide approval to substitute ODL door glass in any glazed door or sidelight.

RELATED: Learn How ODL Builds a Better Doorglass Frame

Energy Efficiency and Thermal Performance

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  • Energy Star Ratings: As an ENERGY STAR® stakeholder, ODL is proud to offer beautiful door glass systems that meet NAHB Green Building Standard specifications and increase a home’s energy efficiency. In the correct door system, select ODL door glass meets the regional ENERGY STAR thermal performance requirements for resistance to heat flow and sunlight warmth.

    You can view our products’ ratings in our thermal performance database, or you can contact us for more information.
  • National Green Building Standard: The National Green Building Standard criteria promotes sustainable design features that increase a home’s energy efficiency.

    Based on our severe weather glass’s energy performance, select ODL products can help homes earn performance level points toward the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Certification. Visit NAHB for more details, or see our product specifications for each climate zone.

RELATED: Find the Thermal Performance of Door Glass Systems and Products in the ODL Thermal Performance Database

PART FIVE

How to Identify Impact Glass


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There’s very little discernable difference between severe weather glass and float glass (untreated, “regular” window glass) or even tempered glass to the untrained eye. However, there are a few telltale signs that set impact glass apart from other types of glass.

  • Permanent etched marks: Impact glass is an investment. To ensure consumers and builders alike know what’s installed, small etched marks are a common signifier of higher-quality impact glass.
  • Temporary labels: Stick-on labels are another tool that manufacturers use to identify products. However, because these labels are not meant to last, you should contact your dealer or a local expert for help identifying the glass in your door if you’re not sure.

For more information on identifying impact glass, severe weather glass systems, and choosing the right product for your project, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at ODL. For more than decades, we’ve been industry leaders in creating the highest quality safety glass products and systems and are ready to talk to you about what you need and how we can help.

CONCLUSION

Our Industry Legacy


For decades, we’ve been honored to equip builders, homeowners, and suppliers with the highest quality severe weather glass and impact door glass systems.

When it comes to ensuring the safety and efficacy of our products, we refuse to cut corners. Our impact glass is highly rated, so you can trust it to perform in your system and your home. Our designs are crafted to satisfy individual tastes in mind, so no matter your style persuasion, there is an ODL product for you.

Learn More and Shop ODL Severe Weather Glass Online

At ODL, we’ve been making door glass for generations. Whether you or your customers are on the market for impact glass, the latest textures, or leading-edge Low-E products, we have the right solution for you. To learn more, browse our Severe Weather Catalog+ for our full impact doorglass offering.


References

Choi, C., Laycock, R. (2020, December 8). Which US states are hit most often by hurricanes?. Finder. Retrieved from https://www.finder.com/states-with-the-most-hurricanes

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