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.
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.
What is Impact Glass?
ODL's Approach: Severe Weather
How It's Made
Ratings, Certifications & Materials
Identifying Impact Glass
Doorlights 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep reading to learn more about severe weather glass ratings, certifications, materials, and what sets our products apart.
< What Is Impact Glass? | Back to Top | How It's 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.
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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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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< How It's Made | Back to Top | Identifying Impact Glass >
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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
Want to talk to an expert about which type of glass is right for your door? Find an ODL partner near you to get personalized advice.
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