Before you buy windows for your beach house, take notice of the specifications that you’re being offered. It’s easy to fall into the assumption that all windows are the same, especially if you happen to be a landlocked person looking for the right window for your new house on the coastline. The wrong window could mean disaster for your house and personal belongings! Here are the most important things to look out for before you go shopping.
Any window company worth working with will have a reasonable warranty. These warranties usually last for 20 years on the glass parts and about 10 years on the non-glass parts of the window, mainly to account for the more common failures. A typical failure on a window would be something like the seal breaking down on the insulated glass unit. A broken seal can lead to a salt-spray-like appearance on the window that cannot easily be removed. Windows in coastal areas are especially vulnerable to this damage due to the increased humidity and rainfall, and so they need a warranty adequate enough to safeguard against any damage that occurs over a long period of time. When it comes to a warranty, look out for a “non-glass” clause. Here, the company outlines how long the owner of the glass is protected from this kind of wear-and-tear. Also, keep an eye out for labor and installation fees, certain exclusions, and whether or not the coverage extends to finishes on cladding and coatings on the exterior of the window. If these things aren’t covered, replacement can get expensive fast.
The NFRC provides a standard for energy performance on any decent window. One of these standards is the U-factor. This measures heat flow; a lower U-factor indicates that less heat will move through the window. The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) takes a window and measures the amount of solar heat that passes through. A lower-SHGC is optimal for any part of the world where air conditioning is relied heavily upon during the summer, like most summer houses on the beach.
Resistance to external damage
After a 2×4 missile is launched at it, the window will then be tested and evaluated according to how it holds up against pressure cycling. Impact-resistant windows can maintain their integrity depending on whether or not the interlayer and glass shards remain intact. Unfortunately, impact-resistant glass tends to be more expensive than its nonresistant counterpoint. However, this flexible interlayer also dampens sound, making the extra quiet worth the investment. Additionally, resistance to pressure is also important – this is tested by applying a static pressure and then measuring the pressure deflection. Another common form of damage to look out for is water damage. Houses, particularly those near the coastline, need a lot of protection against water, especially during hurricane season. Tests can be run that will measure the amount of water that will penetrate your window.