Window Film Provides Cost-Effective Storm Safety Protection
Washington, D.C. – May 23, 2022 – With climatologist forecasting an above average number of severe storms this summer, the nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA) recommends the installation of window film for added glass safety, plus other benefits depending on the window film product installed.
Window films are permanently adhered to glass surfaces and they are commonly made of multi-layers of polyester strands with various technical coatings added to enhance their performance for such things as solar heat rejection, glare reduction and blocking 99 percent of harmful UV rays.
Security window films may have similar traits, but they can be the thickness of two drivers licenses stacked together, or much thinner, and in addition to the strong adhesive used to secure the film to glass, a wet glaze system designed to lock the film’s edges to the sides of the window frame itself may also need to be added.
“What window film does is make glass less of a potential hazard by helping to keep broken glass together and this may offer a barrier against wind and rain,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. “If the wind persists for a long period after the glass has been broken, then the repeating changes in wind pressure on the window system, may cause the broken glass pieces to eventually cause a tear in the film even if fragments are still held together on the window film,” he added.
Glass can be dangerous as strong winds and debris flying through the air can cause it to shatter and unleash shards that may fly across a room causing potentially life-threatening injuries at the worst possible time. Security window films (and to a lesser degree, window films in general), make window systems more flexible and can secure many broken shards of glass in place as they remain adhered to the film. Similarly, during a strong hail storm, the large ice pellets may cause significant damage to unprotected glass.
Exterior windows and doors are part of protective shell of a home, usually referred to as the building envelope. In a severe storm, a typical window system will face both a “pushing” and “pulling” pressurization, which causes strain on the framing system of the window and the glass will pushed inward and pulled outward, eventually leading to breakage. The force of the wind may result in structures, such as windows and doors, to blow out. If a home’s protective shell is penetrated by an open hole in a window or door, high winds can enter and put pressure on ceilings and walls, causing structural damage and even a potential for building collapse.
“Window films are not designed or approved to be a hurricane-protection product that meet the state of Florida’s requirements, but they are a cost-effective safety layer and may provide a protective barrier during severe weather periods,” added Smith.