Making Buildings Resistant to Hurricane Winds

Powerful acts of nature are sometimes known as “Nature’s Fury,” and there is no realistic way for human beings to stop or redirect those acts of nature. A volcano may erupt, a blizzard may strike, or a hurricane may form and arrive on dry land. While these acts are impossible to prevent, meteorologists and other scientists are always hard at work studying these storms and events so that they are easier to predict and understand. This can make evacuation efforts much easier, such as moving people away from a hurricane’s path or issuing a tornado warning once a twister forms and touches down. But what about the buildings? They cannot be evacuated with the people, so specialized buildings and construction materials, such as impact sliding glass doors and hurricane glass windows, allow those structures to survive when a storm hits. Window manufacturers in Florida and similar areas often provide impact window models for construction crews to use, and this makes all the difference, along with wholesale impact sliding glass doors. What is there to know about impact sliding glass doors and windows, and the storms they are designed to survive?

All About Hurricanes

Hurricanes are among the most powerful acts of nature, and they often form on the Pacific Ocean (known as typhoons) as well as the Atlantic. Most often, Atlantic hurricanes strike the Caribbean and the American east coast rather than Europe, so many American and Caribbean communities have learned how to endure these storms. Records show that in the 20th century, a total of 159 hurricanes struck the United States, and Florida alone was hit with 58 of them (the Texas coast was hit with another 26). Hurricanes vary in power, or Categories, but even the smaller ones boast strong winds, floods, rain, and often hail or tornadoes. A hurricane may spawn tornadoes once it arrives over land, and in 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck Miami with great force. That storm spawned 62 tornadoes during its lifetime.

Data suggests that now in the 21st century, hurricanes are even more powerful than ever, and many scientists attribute this to climate change and warmer oceans. Hurricane Irma may act as evidence for that trend, as this 2017 storm ranks as the most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record. This enormous Category 5 storm had 185 MPH winds for 37 hours, and it contained an incredible seven trillion watts of energy. During its life, Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean, wrecking most of the structures in Barbuda and causing great damage to Puerto Rico. And it is possible that storms of this caliber may strike again, so construction crews are working hard to stay one step ahead. Impact sliding glass doors and windows are a fine place to start.

Glass for the Job

This is mainly a concern for construction companies who construct large buildings such as hotels, skyscrapers, and apartments. During a hurricane, pressure differences, strong winds, and flying debris may shatter the windows and sliding glass doors on a large structure, and that can wreak havoc on the inside. Wind and rain can get into the building, as will glass shards and debris, causing a lot of property damage and threatening anyone inside. But a building cannot simply omit its windows and doors, so construction crews may contact manufacturers of impact sliding glass doors and windows for their projects. And when a business professional purchases an older building, they will conduct many inspections on its hardware, which should include looking over the windows and sliding glass doors. Old, shabby windows should be replaced with new, high impact hurricane windows so that they will not shatter if a storm ever arrives.

Often, such windows have a glaze system rated at +105/-130, and this allows such windows to endure hurricane winds over 100 MPH in strength without breaking. These windows may allow flying debris to bounce right off of them, too, and such windows should stay strong in spite of significant air pressure differences inside and outside the building due to winds. The same is true of sliding glass doors in any building, small or large.

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