Call Christina: Impact windows aren't full-proof

Employee at ES Windows says impact windows can still crack, won't shatter

A Local 10 viewer call the "Call Christina" hotline after her impact window cracked and she thought it wold be covered under the warranty, but employees at the window company say impact windows aren't full-proof.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Hurricane season is nearly here and protecting our homes against storms is everyone's concern.  

What happens when those impact windows break?  And what's covered by the warranty?  The answers may surprise you. 

Deborah Warren installed impact glass at her home to protect against storms and break-ins.  She thought impact glass could not be broken. After noticing her window was cracked, she thought it should be covered under warranty. 

At first glance, she thought someone had colored yellow crayon on her window.  But after a closer look, "I realized the whole window had cracked" said Warren. "I thought, 'Oh dear God, could this be someone trying to break in again?"

Unsuccessful at getting the issue resolved with her contractor, she called us at the Call Christina hotline. 

Samir Sabagh of ES Windows in Miami said one of the most common misconceptions about impact glass is that it is somehow "crack proof." Instead, the benefits are in what happens after an object smashes into it.  "When it gets impacted, it doesn't fall apart," Sabagh said.  

That's opposed to tempered glass which just shatters and falls apart. 

Sabagh showed us the three layers that make impact glass strong enough to stay in place during a storm. 

"The first layer of glass, the plastic layer, and then the other layer of glass," said Sabagh. And when impact glass does take a hit, "It doesn't fall apart. You can see it's still in one piece" said Sabagh.  

Potential product problems covered under warranty might be a stress crack or paint cracking on the frame.   

"If you see bubble inside also under warranty, stains within the glass as well, but not breakage," said Sabagh.  If something or someone hits the glass and it breaks in the way it is designed, it's not a warranty issue.

Sabagh's team determined Warren's window broke because it was impacted; maybe by a small rock.

Even though that would not be covered by the warranty, the manufacturer decided to help her out and replace her glass.  

"She's been trying to resolve it for a while.  We just stepped up and decided to replace it to avoid her having to go through any more trouble," said Sabagh.