Can Impact Windows withstand Hurricane Category 5 Winds?

impact windows DP Rating 5

If you have impact windows and doors in your home, you can thank hurricane Andrew for that. Most Floridians over 30 years old or older know of hurricane Andrew’s category-five winds and have installed hurricane windows and doors for protection. Today, building codes have changed how our apartments and houses are built. 


However, in 2022 hurricane Ian decimated Fort Myers and many more counties and their homes, so these big storms still are something to consider when living in Florida. We can keep discussing hurricane damage or how Clearwater, Florida, quality impact windows will prevent future disasters instead.


Impact windows became the norm after hurricane Andrew in 1992, and for a good reason. 


Can Impact Windows withstand Hurricane Category 5 Winds?

can impact windows prevent category 5 hurricane winds

 I say yes, and it depends.  Yeah, if you have installed high-quality hurricane windows with a DP rating of 50, you can boost that. However, only some have installed this window. Usually, standard impact windows can prevent hurricane category 1, 2, and probably 3 winds and debris.

To buy hurricane window replacements, you must research them to see which can withstand high winds and debris.

Replacement windows installation is a project you will do once or twice in your lifetime. Therefore, you have to ask questions since Ian made landfall as a category four a few months ago. The weather doesn’t get better but always worsens as the oceans get hotter. If you will invest in home windows, ensure you buy quality windows with a DP rating of 30 or 50 above.

So, how do you know if you have or buying a quality impact-resistant window? First, let’s understand the hurricane impact window DP rating below.


Understanding a Hurricane Window DP rating of 50


A building component’s ability to sustain a specific wind load is indicated by a “DP” or “design pressure” rating. Structure load, water resistance, and air infiltration resistance are the three performance components described by the DP ratings. For example, if a window or door has a greater DP value than one with a lower DP, it can handle more wind, water, and structural load.


A door or window with a structural DP rating of 50 has successfully endured a structural test pressure of 75 pounds per square foot or withstand category 5 winds on a Saffir-Simpson scale. A product that has received a 50 DP rating for air performance has also successfully survived testing in conditions of 8″ rain driven at 50 mph and withstood air infiltration at 25 mph.


What is a Category Five Hurricane?


  • Category 5 hurricanes bring winds of 157 mph and higher gust speeds. 


  • There will be catastrophic damage because most frame homes will be lost with complete roof failure and collapsing walls. 


  • Downed trees and utility poles will cut off residential areas. 


  • Power outages could linger for several weeks. 


  • Most of the area will be habitable for several weeks unless there is proper Federal and state assistance. 


The Keys Hurricane hit South Florida in 1935, and the Andrew Hurricane in 1992 were the only 2 Category 5 hurricanes.


Hurricane Impact Windows to the Rescue


Impact windows are made to withstand hurricane winds, debris, and other severe weather like tornadoes. Also, impact windows are tested in storm simulations to ensure they will hold up.

Impact windows are remarkable because their safety design extends beyond simple durability. They also have a solid yet flexible plastic-like layer between the glass panes.

This interlayer will hold the broken pieces of glass in place if a piece of debris strikes your window forcefully enough to break it, preventing injuries from flying glass from entering your home.

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