Did You Know


What Makes a Door Energy Efficient?

Categories // Did You Know, Impact Resistant Doors

Energy-efficient and impact-rated

What Makes a Door Energy Efficient?

Savvy homeowners have known for years that energy-efficient products will help them save money on their cooling and heating costs.  But what makes a door energy efficient?  The most common features of energy-efficient doors include the use of materials such as fiberglass, wood cladding, or steel, with a polyurethane foam core, tightly-fitted weather stripping, and insulated glass panes (if door design includes glass). 

Energy Star, a program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been tasked with identifying and promoting energy–efficient products in order to reduce energy consumption.

To be considered energy-efficient, products must be:

  1. Are manufactured by an ENERGY STAR partner,
  2. Are independently tested, certified, and verified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), and
  3. Have NFRC ratings that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

But for homeowners living in High-Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ) energy-efficiency is just one part of the equation as potential damage from severe weather storms requires protection.  Recognizing the need for energy-efficient impact products, manufacturers began manufacturing energy-efficient impact windows and doors.

Estate Entrance Series 450 Doors:

The Estate Entrances Collection from CGI combines style, beauty, and strength into a unique line of entry doors on the market today.  The Collection offers a wide variety of door styles, finishes, hardware choices, glass types, and sizes.  In addition to an amazing looking entry for your home, you also get a hurricane and intruder resistant product that is durable and requires much less maintenance over time than wood doors.

  • 2” thick (nominal) door panels
  • Complete frame and threshold weatherstripping
  • LoE 366 and LoE 270 (optional)

Therma-Tru Impact Doors:

Therma-Tru’s impact rated products are a better way to protect your home against severe storm damage, including heavy winds, rain, and flying debris. And, like other Therma-Tru products, they offer beauty and style for strong curb appeal.

  • Enhanced performance against air/water infiltration by maximizing the seal between the door and the frame.
  • A polyurethane foam core. Therma-Tru fiberglass doors have a solid polyurethane foam core which is among the most energy-efficient door materials available today.
  • Energy-efficient glass. Most Therma-Tru decorative, as well as privacy and textured, glass is triple-pane for reduced heat flow. Factory-coated Low-E glass options deliver exceptional energy efficiency.


In addition to offering energy-efficient impact options, Plastpro also brings the latest technology advancements to the industry to meet customer concerns. Hydroshield Technology® protects against water infiltration on all sides of the door, eliminating warp, corrosion, rot, delamination, mold, and mildew.

  • Full-length composite top and bottom rails – Additional non-porous protection keeps water from seeping into the door and helps prevent the buildup of mold or mildew.
  • Fiberglass reinforced skin – Fiberglass is unmarred by the wear and tear of everyday use and is unaffected by moisture and humidity. Our doors will not rot, splinter or warp like wood, and won’t dent or delaminate like steel.
  • Full-length composite stiles – All Plastpro fiberglass entry doors feature full-length composite stiles to prevent water infiltration into the door and ensures our door will never warp, rot, or rust.

Replacing Impact Glass

Categories // Did You Know

What you need to know

Replacing Impact Glass

Impact glass is resilient but not unbreakable.  On occasion, a homeowner may find that he or she needs to replace the impact glass in his or her home.  Unless there has been damage to the frame, many times just the glass can be replaced.  If there has been damaged to the frame, more likely than not, the entire unit will need to be replaced.  It is ideal for homeowners to take several pictures of the damage from various angles from both inside and outside to send companies when requesting repair estimates.


Existing Impact Products:

Replacing glass in impact products such as windows and doors can be a fairly simple process.  Once a homeowner has placed a work order with either the company that did the installation or with the manufacturer a service technician will come out to the home and assess the damage.  Using specialized tools, the technician will deglaze (remove the adhesives) the impact window/door and replace the damaged impact glass insert with an intact piece of laminate glass of the same size and thickness.  Once the pane of laminate glass is securely fitted within the frame the technician will seal everything.

Non-Impact Entry Doors:

Homeowners can spend a significant amount of time selecting a front/entry for their home, so it is no surprise that many homeowners would like to keep their existing door frames and swap out their existing glass for decorative impact glass.  Unfortunately, many homeowners are disappointed to learn that this is not a possibility. 

The reason for this due to how impact products are approved.  The entirety of the product (frames, material, glass, size, shape, and assembly) goes through rigorous testing, which includes testing pressure ratings, impact ratings, and water infiltration.  When an impact product is approved, it is approved for the product as a whole, rather than just the parts.  Replacing a non-impact door glass with impact glass does not meet the qualifications for Wind-Borne Debris Regions (WBDR) and High-Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ) approval.

Luckily, homeowners are happy to discover that they have many options when it comes to approved, impact-rated front/entry doors.  


Sea Turtle Impact Glass

Categories // Did You Know

Does your home require Turtle Glass?

Sea Turtle Impact Glass

Living on or near the coastline comes with many perks, but as most homeowners [situated near the coast] know it also comes with additional responsibilities/requirements.  Besides needing extra protection when bearing the brunt of severe weather storms, many homeowners are also required to comply with sea turtle protection ordinances.  Upon hatching, baby sea turtles instinctively move toward the moonlight and into the ocean.  However, over the years as artificial lights became more common along the coastline, the sea turtle hatchlings, confused by the light, would make their way inland where they would die of dehydration or consumed by predators. 

In an effort to preserve the dwindling sea turtle population, many local government agencies enforce ordinances designed protect the sea turtles.  One such regulation includes reducing light pollution during mating/hatching season.  Many homeowners have chosen to retrofit their homes with impact “turtle glass” as a solution to both local wildlife ordinances and to protect their home from severe weather storms.  But what is turtle glass?  That answer is surprisingly simple.  Turtle glass contains an additional layer of tint, which acts as a filter to reduce light.  


Check out ODL’s new impact glass design

Categories // Did You Know

Impact Resistant Glass Inserts for every style

Check out ODL’s new impact glass design

ODL has added three new designs to their expansive collection of impact-resistant glass door inserts.


Whether reminiscent of a soft linen shirt or an elegantly embroidered linen tablecloth, Linen's lightly etched glass and woven pattern complement casual or formal entryway designs. The translucent white glass and soft moiré of Linen's threads give it a high privacy level.


Modern design comes to life through strong linear lines interrupted by bold pops of gray glass. Crosswalk's look is abstract, modern, and stylish. Crosswalk offers a high privacy level.


Natural, free-flowing movement extends the length of Waterside and brings to mind a flowing river or grasses swaying in the breeze. Waterside offers a high privacy level.


Not all impact products are created equal

Categories // Did You Know

know your zone

Not all impact products are created equal

Not all impact windows and impact doors are created equal.  There are two zones in which an impact product might be approved for; WBDR (wind-borne debris region) and HVHZ (high-velocity hurricane zone).  When shopping for impact windows and impact doors it is important to know which zone you live in as products approved for WBDR might not necessarily be approved for HVHZ.

According to the 2015 Florida Building Code, wind-borne debris regions are located 1.) Within 1-mile of the coastal mean high water line where the basic wind speed is equal to or greater than 130mph, or 2.) Areas where the basic wind speed is equal to or greater than 140mph.  Homes located in this region must protect openings (i.e. doors and windows) with either shutters or impact resistant glass/doors.  The high-velocity hurricane zone is specific to Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.  Homes located here require impact windows and impact doors that are approved by Miami-Dade County, which is considered to have the toughest standard of testing in the United States.


What is Kynar and what are its benefits?

Categories // Did You Know

Should I use Kynar?

What is Kynar and what are its benefits?

What is Kynar? 

Kynar and Kynar 500 are the trade names for PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride), a resin-based paint/coating used to prevent aluminum, galvanized steel, and aluminized steel from chalking, pitting, chipping, and premature aging.  Its unique composition can withstand blistering sun, humidity, urban grime, acid rain, corrosive salt, and abrasion while maintaining a vibrant color.  Additionally, Kynar low maintenance.  It is resistant to mildew and fungus and easily repels dirt.  Because of this Kynar is a popular choice amongst architects and builders.  In residential communities, Kynar is often used by homeowners living near the coast who have aluminum frame impact windows and doors.

Kynar sold under comes in a variety of colors and is factory applied to the aluminum frames then oven baked.  The most common colors used to impact window and door frames are white and bronze, however, CGI offers custom colors for their Estate collection.


CGI 3 point locking system

Categories // Did You Know

strength and security

CGI 3 point locking system

It’s no secret that CGI (owned by PGT) makes quality impact resistant windows and doors.  In fact, they’re some of the strongest products on the market!  CGI also holds three separate patents for the components they use in their impact-resistant windows and doors.   Their Estate Collection Impact Entry Doors use solid brass or solid stainless steel hinges, but our favorite feature is their patented three-point locking system.  A simple turn of the key simultaneously slides deadbolts into the top, bottom, and center of the door, securely locking it into place.  The patented CGI three-point locking system is commonly used with their French doors and entry doors.


What is Low E and how does it work?

Categories // Did You Know

How Low E benefits homeowners in hot climates.

What is Low E and how does it work?

Impact glass tints come in a variety of colors and opacity levels.  The main purpose of tint is to provide homeowners privacy and/or reduce the amount of light that enters through the glass.  The use of tint will help keep a home cooler as the tint absorbs heat, but regular tint has its limitations.  When it comes to energy-efficient there is one tint stands apart from the others – Low E. 

But what is Low E? 

Low E is a microscopically thin, highly reflective coating that reflects long-wave infrared energy (aka heat waves) and ultraviolet waves.  In layman’s terms, Low E blocks the heat waves while allowing the light waves to shine through, making it a popular choice for homeowners in hot, sunny climates.  The Low E coating is applied to laminated glass during the manufacturing process and can be used alone or combined with another tint, as well as with insulated glass. 

Using Low E helps with energy efficiency by allowing HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) to work less to maintain a constant temperature.  Additionally, Low E helps reduce the amount of UV rays entering a home, which helps to prevent furniture and fabrics from fading.  Due to the reflective nature of Low E, homeowners also enjoy added privacy during the day as the exterior of the glass has a slight mirror finish.

 See Low E in action: 



Benefits of Window Tint

Categories // Did You Know

Is it worth it?

Benefits of Window Tint

When retrofitting your home with impact windows and doors it is important to know that impact glass cannot be tinted using aftermarket tint.  Placing tinted film on impact glass can retain heat, causing it to crack, as well as voiding the warranty.  Impacted glass consists of two layers of annealed or tempered glass bonded to an intermediate layer of a shatter-proof membrane.  If a homeowner has chosen to tint his or her impact windows a tinted layer is added to the center during the manufacturing process.

Increased Energy Efficiency:

Tinting your windows reduces the heat and UV transfer, which translates into lower energy bills.  This also helps keep rooms climate controlled and comfortable. 

Protection from Fading:

While window treatments, i.e. curtains, blinds, etc., are the best protection from UV rays, tint helps filter UV rays, protecting furniture, flooring, and carpets from fading.

Glare Reduction:

As the sunlight shines in your home is can cause glare on electronics and a variety of surface.  Much like how sunglasses work when outdoors, tinted impact glass helps cut glare inside your home.


Tinted impact glass comes in a variety of colors and levels of reflectivity.  Homeowners can appreciate an unobstructed view of the outdoors while enjoying added privacy.


How Impact Glass Is Tested

Categories // Did You Know

Missiles and Wind Pressure

How Impact Glass Is Tested

Miami-Dade County has the strictest code approval requirements in the United States.  In order for impact-resistant windows to be approved by Miami-Dade, the windows must be vigorously tested to ensure they meet all requirements.  Two main tests conducted by manufacturers are the Missile Test and the Cyclical Test.

The Missile Test determines the glass’s ability to withstand impact.  This does NOT mean that impact glass will not break, it simply means the window will remain intact and stay in its frame.  Windows and glass doors that have been proven to resist the hurricane impact testing from large windborne debris are referred to as impact rated products. To test the glass’s strength a 9-pound, 2x4 piece of lumber, traveling 50ft-per-second is launched at the glass – twice.  The lumber is considered a “large missile”.  To test for ratings for “small missiles” ten 2g (gram) steel balls are simultaneously launched at 89mph, three separate times.

The Cyclical Test determines if glass meets pressure requirements for storm-force winds.  Following the Missile Test, the glass is placed in a pressure simulator where positive and negative pressure flexes the glass pane for 4,500+ cycles.  The results determine the pressure rating for the impact glass.  



Thermally broken aluminum impact windows and doors

Categories // Did You Know

Now you can have it all!

Thermally broken aluminum impact windows and doors

Aluminum frames have long been a popular choice among homeowners due to their strength and relatively low level of maintenance but left many wishing they had more options regarding energy efficiency.  Now homeowners can have both strength and energy efficiency thanks to thermally broken aluminum.

Thermally broken aluminum has been on the market for several years and is gaining popularity.  Thermally broken windows are manufactured with a barrier in between the inside and outside window frames to prevent heat transfer, making them energy efficient.  The two main processes of creating thermally broken aluminum are 1) thermal bar and 2) pour and debridge.  The thermal bar method consists of placing a strip of polyamide in the cavity of the window frame and tightly sealing it, the pour and debridge method consists of pouring liquid polyurethane in the window frame cavity.

While manufacturers are catching onto the energy efficiency craze and creating products to satisfy the demand, Windoor Inc. has long been ahead of the curve.  Atlantic Armor is an authorized Windoor Inc. dealer and showcases Windoor Inc. products in its showroom.


Energy Efficient Impact Windows and Doors

Categories // Did You Know

Protecting your home and your wallet

Energy Efficient Impact Windows and Doors

Impact windows and doors offer much more than an attractive and convenient alternative to hurricane shutters; impact windows and doors also help improve a home’s energy efficiency.  Homeowners who prioritize energy efficiency should take frame materials, tint, and insulation options into consideration when choosing impact windows and impact doors for their home.

Starting with the frame, homeowners have two basic options to insulate their home and reduce heat/cold transfer, vinyl or fiberglass.  While some manufacturers offer thermally broken aluminum frames, the thermally broken aluminum frames tend to be more expensive and not as readily available.

Vinyl frame options are available for windows, sliding glass doors, and French doors, however, this option is not available for entry doors.  For entry doors, homeowners can choose fiberglass as an energy efficient option.  Both vinyl and fiberglass are very strong and have been tested and proven to withstand hurricane force winds.  Both materials are naturally poor conductors of heat and are slow to transfer heat and cold, making them energy efficient. 

The actual glass used within the window and door frames comes with many readily available energy efficient options starting with tint.  Tint comes in a variety of colors and is one of the most common ways to help reduce heat penetration.  Tint works by absorbing incoming solar radiation, reducing the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), visible transmittance (VT), and glare; however, most tints are not spectrally selective and some heat will continue to pass through tinted glass.  To combat this, homeowners may opt to add a LoE (low-emissivity) coating.  LoE coating is a microscopic layer of metal/metallic oxide that lowers the U-factor of the glass – in layman terms, LoE reflects heat waves, and reduces energy loss by as much as 30%-50%.

For further energy efficiency homeowners can install insulated impact windows.  Insulated impact windows consist of two panes of glass with a gas-filled space sandwiched in between.  To insulate the window, the glass panes are spaced apart and hermetically sealed, leaving an insulating air space. Insulated window glazing primarily lowers the U-factor, but it also lowers the SHGC.


Coastal Living

Categories // Did You Know

Fiberglass and Vinyl Impact Windows and Doors

Coastal Living

Sun-filled days, balmy nights, water activities, beachfront dining; there are many reasons people choose coastal living.  Nevertheless, homes located near the coastline are more susceptible to weather-related damage, with the most notable being hurricanes and tropical storms.  For this reason, many homeowners, especially seasonal homeowners, choose to install impact windows and doors to protect their homes.  Due to the concentration of air salinity near the coastlines, vinyl and fiberglass frames are popular options.  Unlike aluminum and steel, which can become corroded by the moist, salt air, vinyl and fiberglass fare well in even the most punishing coastal environments. 

Vinyl and fiberglass are excellent moisture-resistant materials, are resistant to pitting, durable, and are low maintenance.  Vinyl frames are the same color throughout, which means homeowners do not have to paint them and they are resistant to fading.  Fiberglass, on the other hand, can be painted, allowing homeowners the ability to customize it.  Both materials are also very energy efficient; their energy efficiency can be further enhanced with the addition of tint, LoE, and insulated glass.

Coastal living has its pros and cons, but the overall benefits generally outweigh the cons.  With a little bit of planning and preparation, homeowners can enjoy their lifestyle for years to come.


Aluminum Versus Vinyl Comparisons

Categories // Did You Know

Aluminum and Vinyl Frame Breakdown

Aluminum Versus Vinyl Comparisons

Impact windows and doors have two frame options, aluminum and vinyl, which leave many wondering “What is the difference?”  Both materials are approved and rated for impact windows and doors, and each one fulfills different prerequisites.  Ultimately the decision comes down the needs and budget of the homeowner.

Aluminum versus Vinyl: Strength

Aluminum is three times stronger than vinyl, making it a winner in the strength category.  Aluminum’s stiff frames also make it easier to install and once installed it is less likely to be dislodged or loosened. 

Aluminum versus Vinyl: Maintenance

Vinyl frames tend to be relatively low maintenance and do not need to be painted as the material is the same color throughout.  Aluminum frames require more maintenance and their moving parts need to be regularly lubricated with approved lubricants.  Additionally, aluminum frames need to be cleaned on a regular basis, especially if the home is located salt water. 

Aluminum versus Vinyl: Noise Reduction

Because aluminum is thick it prevents more external sounds from reaching inside the home, whereas less dense vinyl frames do not filter noise as efficiently.

Aluminum versus Vinyl: Energy Efficiency

Though some aluminum frames offer a “thermal” options, this option is not always available.  When it comes to energy efficiency vinyl always wins over non-thermal aluminum.  Unlike aluminum, vinyl is a poor conductor of heat and cold, making it more energy efficient and less likely to transfer temperatures.

Aluminum versus Vinyl: Durability and Resilience

Vinyl frames are less susceptible to environmental elements such as airborne salinity and air pollution. Because vinyl does not react with salt and does not rust, vinyl frames are more suitable for homes near saltwater.  Over time, especially if the frame have not been properly cared for, aluminum may experience rusting or pitting.  Houses located in environments with extreme temperature fluctuations or prolonged heat tend to fare better with aluminum frames.  Aluminum frames are more resistant to cracking and disfigurement, whereas vinyl frames warp and bend over time.


It’s Officially fall but hurricane season isn’t over

Categories // Did You Know

More cyclones form in the Atlantic

It’s Officially fall but hurricane season isn’t over

“Easy come, easy go” seems to be the theme with the majority of tropical storms brewing in the Atlantic Ocean and hopefully Invest 97L will disappear before wreaking havoc.  Though the National Hurricane Center estimates there is a 90% chance that Invest 97L will form into a cyclone within the next 5 days and possibly be named “Matthew”, there is still a good chance that it will not make landfall in the United States.  However, for most of Florida the weather forecast continues to look wet and windy.  With so much water on the horizon it is important for homeowners to take a few minutes to make sure their homes are not adversely affected by the weather. 

  • Apply wax-based polish to wooden floors (they tend to absorb excess water).
  • Check seals on windows and doors to make sure they are keeping water out.
  • Drain water from your pool if you see the water level is high.
  • Inspect Roof Gutters and Downspouts to ensure adequate flow.
  • Run a Dehumidifier to help cut down on moisture.
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