What is the difference between large missile and small missile impact?

Large missile impact is required for anything 30ft. or below or roughly 3 floors. Anything over 30ft. you are able to use small missile but some insurance companies do not recognize small missile impact as approved for South Florida and may require large missile impact to get insurance credit. Small missile impact is usually cheaper then large missile impact and both large & small missile are Miami-Dade County approved to be used.

What is the difference between using a tint vs. a low-e coating?

Tint is effective in cutting out glare and helps filter out UV rays from coming inside your house. Darker tints can help with privacy without the need of using blinds. Low-e is a coating that is applied to the glass that cuts out UV rays and helps with keeping your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Some benefits of using a low-e coating can be to help block out harmful UV rays that can fade furniture, carpet and paintings. However when combining a tint with a low-e coating your energy efficiency number will not be as good as if you solely used low-e.

What type of impact glass is available?

There are 2 different types of impact glass to choose from. The first is laminated glass. This can vary in thickness from 5/16” to 9/16” and glass type by using annealed, tempered, or heat strengthened glass. Laminated glass is 2 pieces of glass that are laminated together using a polymer interlayer. This interlayer also adds to the strength of the glass with a PVB interlayer being more of a soft plastic and SGP interlayer being a harder type of plastic that helps upgrade the window or doors design pressures. This interlayer can also have a milky white in it which is commonly used in bathrooms or anywhere where privacy is needed.

The second piece of glass is insulated laminated glass. Insulating glass is energy efficient and can help save on heating and air conditioning bills. This type of glass consists of 2 panes of glass separated by an air space. This air space is typically filled with a gas such as argon. The one piece of glass is the laminated piece of impact glass followed by the air space and then a safety tempered glass. Added benefits of using insulated glass vs. regular laminated glass are that it helps cut down more on outside noise, and reduces condensation. It also helps to keep the heat out during summer times and cool air during winter times.

What is the difference between aluminum frames and vinyl frames?

Aluminum frames are the most common type of frames in South Florida but for the rest of the country vinyl tends to be the most used material. Aluminum frames conduct heat and cold more easily then vinyl frames do. Benefits of using aluminum frames are that it is stronger then vinyl and requires low maintenance. Most aluminum frames are either electrostatically painted, powder coated or baked using a kynar paint. Different paints offer different warranties but most painted frames usually have a 10-year warranty against the paint blistering or chipping.

Vinyl frames are an excellent material for not allowing the transfer or heat or cold. They have a great insulating property due to the fact that the design of the frames is multi-chambered design that helps with increasing the insulating value. Vinyl frames cannot be painted but they also don’t peel or blister over time. The average warranty for vinyl frames is usually a lifetime warranty but you should check with each manufacturer before deciding what to choose. Aluminum frames will come with standard laminated glass while vinyl frames usually come with insulated laminated glass, which is the best for energy efficiency. While both materials are meant to last for many years, added care and maintenance is required periodically to help maintain the finish and quality of the product.