Many natural disasters may threaten property and lives alike, and while no one can actually prevent these natural acts, steps can be taken to save lives and minimize damage to property. Wildfires, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes and hurricanes, earthquakes, and avalanches are all being carefully studied and logged, and this allows geologists, meteorologists, and other experts to more accurately predict the timing and location of these events. That, in turn, can greatly aid in the planning and execution of evacuation efforts to save lives. But what about the buildings themselves? No one can evacuate a skyscraper or hotel before a hurricane strikes, so instead, engineers are always working on new models of hurricane proof sliding doors, hurricane glass windows, and high impact windows and hurricane shutters. What about the difference between impact windows and hurricane shutter? Windows and doors manufacturers may offer high impact glass, while other wholesalers may offer shutters for construction crews to install on a building. The difference between impact windows and hurricane shutters is something to consider, and a construction crew may weigh the difference between impact windows and hurricane shutters and decide which to install for a building.
The Power of Hurricanes
Just how powerful are these storms? Meteorologists are hard at work studying these storms to see what they are capable of, and trends suggest that hurricanes in the 21st century are even more frequent and powerful than those in the 20th century. From 1901 to 2000, a total of 158 hurricanes struck in the Atlantic, and Florida alone was hit with 57 of them. Hurricanes can deliver strong winds for hours, along with high storm tides and trillions of gallons of rain, along with wind blown debris. In fact, some hurricanes can create tornadoes during their lifetime, and Hurricane Andrew in 1992 spawned some 62 tornadoes before it finally dissipated.
What about hurricanes now? Many experts attribute the rise in hurricane power and frequency to climate change, where the world’s oceans are warmer and thus more easily create hurricanes. At the very least, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record was spawned in 2017: Hurricane Irma. This devastating Category 5 hurricane contained an incredible seven trillion watts of energy and boasted 185 MPH winds for over 37 hours during its lifetime. Hurricane Irma devastated 90% of the buildings in Bermuda and left 60% of the population there homeless, and it is possible that a hurricane of this magnitude may strike again. Engineers are ready for that, and this is why hurricane shutters and hurricane proof windows are often installed on buildings along the coast.
The Right Tech for a Hurricane
Meteorologists will help predict the power, area, and timing of a hurricane, and this aid evacuation efforts in areas such as Florida, the Texas coast, and many Caribbean islands. For the buildings who remain behind, construction crews and engineers often focus on the foundations and the windows. Hurricanes often involve rising waters, and levees may help contain these waters. Meanwhile, buildings may also have elevated platforms to allow water to pass right under them.
What is the difference between impact windows and hurricane shutters, and how are they similar? Specialized shutters and windows alike are geared to prevent hurricanes from tearing apart the interior of a building, and engineers are also prepared for considerable differences in air pressure when a hurricane arrives. Hurricane shutters, often made of metal or wood, may be fitted over ordinary windows and help prevent them from breaking due to air pressure differences inside and outside the building. Meanwhile, hurricane resistant windows and glass will have a special glaze on them that allows them to endure blunt trauma from strong winds and wind-blown debris. Many construction crews today buy high impact windows and sliding glass doors to install onto hotels, apartments, and skyscrapers.
Windows with a glaze system of +105/-130 can resist hurricane winds over 100 MPH in strength, and they may allow flying debris to bounce right off them. And if a person buys an older building for business, they may want to conduct an inspection on the windows and doors. If the hardware is old and worn out, the owner may contact contractors who will install fresh, tough windows and sliding glass doors that can resist hurricane winds.