Between salt spray and high winds, coastal environments are a harsh environment for your windows. If you're replacing your window frames on your beach home, it's important to pick a material with durability and longevity that can stand up to this harsh environment. You'll also need to choose a window that keeps your cooling costs low during the humid coastal summers. To help you make the right choice, here's how to pick the perfect windows for your beach home.
Go With Vinyl Frames
Stainless steel and aluminum window frames will resist corrosion in most installations, but not in beach homes. The reason behind this is that the window frames on your home will be constantly exposed to salt spray. The minerals in the ocean water can react with stainless steel and aluminum, causing them to corrode — you'll have to clean them periodically in order to prevent salt from building up on the frames, which adds to the maintenance they require. If you don't clean them often enough, they'll corrode and allow air and rain to leak into your home.
Wood is also an unsuitable choice for beach homes due to humidity and wind-driven rain. Wooden window frames tend to quickly rot in coastal environments, especially if you don't stain and seal them frequently. Wooden window frames also tend to be quite expensive, so the cost of replacing rotted wooden frames can quickly add up.
In coastal environments, the best material to choose for your window frames is vinyl. Vinyl window frames don't corrode or rot, which frees you from performing extra maintenance tasks on your windows or needing to periodically replace failed frames after they have rotted. They're a durable choice and perfect for harsh coastal environments.
Install Windows With Impact-Resistant Glass
When debris carried by high winds smashes through the glass in your window, it opens your home up to water and wind damage. To prevent this from happening, choose a window with impact-resistant glass. While you will pay more for an impact-resistant window compared to a typical window that uses annealed glass, your home will be much safer during a storm. Depending on the impact rating of the window you choose, you may even be able to skip shuttering your windows before a major storm event — in the long run, this can save you time and money by avoiding the need to purchase and install storm shutters.
Choose a Window With a Low Solar Gain Heat Coefficient
On the coast, your windows are typically exposed to the full effects of the sun all day long. The sunlight heats up your home, driving up your cooling costs in the summer. In order to save on your energy bills during warm weather, it's important to choose a window with a low solar gain heat coefficient — this number is a measurement of how much heat from the sun will enter through the window and into your home. A lower heat coefficient means less heat from the sun passes through the window, which helps to keep you cooler during the summer. For coastal homes, it's best to look for a solar gain heat coefficient smaller than 0.3.
To sum it up, impact-resistant vinyl windows with a low solar gain heat coefficient are the best choice for your beach home. They'll protect your home from wind and water damage while reducing your cooling costs in the summer due to their high energy efficiency. When you want durability and longevity from your beach home's windows, choose vinyl windows.
Contact a company like Innovations Siding & Windows for more information and assistance.