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What Year Were Hurricane Windows Required in Florida

What Year Were Hurricane Windows Required in Florida?

Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and unfortunately, its vulnerability to hurricanes. The state has a long history of devastating storms, which has prompted the implementation of various building codes and regulations to ensure the safety of its residents. One such requirement is the installation of hurricane windows in homes and buildings. In this article, we will explore the timeline of when hurricane windows became mandatory in Florida and answer some frequently asked questions regarding their installation and benefits.

Timeline of Hurricane Window Requirements in Florida:

1. 1971 – The first building code in Florida addressing hurricane protection was established. However, it did not specifically mandate the use of hurricane windows.

2. 1992 – Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, hit Florida, causing widespread destruction and highlighting the need for improved building standards. In response, the Florida Building Code (FBC) was developed to address wind resistance and hurricane protection.

3. 1994 – The FBC was adopted, incorporating wind-borne debris requirements for windows and doors in high-velocity hurricane zones (HVHZ), which includes Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

4. 2002 – The FBC was revised to include a statewide requirement for hurricane protection, extending the need for hurricane windows to other coastal areas beyond the HVHZ.

5. 2006 – The FBC was updated again, introducing more stringent requirements for hurricane windows and doors in both new construction and retrofits.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hurricane Windows:

Q1: What are hurricane windows?

A1: Hurricane windows, also known as impact-resistant windows, are specially designed to withstand high winds and flying debris during a hurricane or severe storm. They are constructed with multiple layers of glass and a durable interlayer, typically made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), which prevents the glass from shattering upon impact.

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Q2: Are hurricane windows required in all parts of Florida?

A2: Yes, hurricane windows are required in all areas of Florida, as the entire state is susceptible to hurricanes and strong winds. However, the specific requirements may vary depending on the location and proximity to the coast.

Q3: Are hurricane windows expensive?

A3: While hurricane windows may have a higher upfront cost compared to regular windows, they provide long-term benefits such as improved energy efficiency, noise reduction, and increased home security. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts for homes with hurricane windows, which can help offset the initial investment.

Q4: Can I install hurricane windows myself?

A4: It is recommended to hire a professional window installer who is experienced in working with hurricane windows. Proper installation is crucial to ensure the windows meet the required standards and provide maximum protection during a storm.

Q5: Do hurricane windows require any maintenance?

A5: Hurricane windows are designed to be low-maintenance. Regular cleaning and inspection to ensure the integrity of the window seals and hardware is typically sufficient. However, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and care.

Q6: What are the benefits of installing hurricane windows?

A6: The main benefits of installing hurricane windows include enhanced safety during storms, protection against flying debris, improved energy efficiency, noise reduction, and increased home security. They can also provide protection against intruders and offer UV protection for your furnishings.

In conclusion, hurricane windows became mandatory in Florida in the mid-1990s, following the devastating impact of Hurricane Andrew. Since then, the requirements for hurricane windows have been continuously updated and strengthened to ensure the safety and protection of homes and buildings throughout the state. Installing hurricane windows offers numerous benefits and provides peace of mind for residents living in hurricane-prone areas.

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