Impact windows

How many of you note in your report if the windows are impact rated or not, and why? And if you do, what do you base your knowledge on?

Yes, markings or labels

On a wind mitigation report - yes
On a residential report - yes

Not sure I understand what you mean by “what do you base your knowledge on?”
If the windows are impact they can be either a rated impact window that has been tested and certified, or an older impact window (say prior to 2002) that was manufactured but not necessarily tested in a wind tunnel and/or certified to any standard. On a Wind Mitigation report, the windows must meet the Miami Dade County criteria (TAS 201, 202, 203) for impact (9lb blaa blaa blaa) to qualify in Dade County – or ASTM E 1886 & 1996 in areas outside of Miami Dade County. You cannot simply have laminated glass that is field installed in a frame. The assembly (glass & frame) must be tested and certified to qualify for opening protection.

Like John S. stated, you can find etchings in the lower corners of some windows like PGT. Some have stickers (gold) on the inside top frame of the window that say impact rated TAS 201, 202, 203.

Florida Building Code: TAS 201 Large and Small Missile Test Standards, TAS 202 Uniform Structural Load Standards, and TAS 203 Uniform Cyclic Pressure Test Standards. These are the Test Standards required for a Miami-Dade Product Approval. A product with a NOA (Notice of Acceptance) is approved for use in Miami-Dade and Broward counties if it meets the requirements of these test standards.
ASTM E 1886 Standard Test Method for Performance of EXTERIOR WINDOWS, Curtain Walls, Doors, and Storm Shutters Impacted by Missile(s) and Exposed to Cyclic Pressure Differentials, and, ASTM E 1996 Standard Specification for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors and Storm Shutters Impacted by Windborne Debris in Hurricanes. These are the Test Standards required for Product Approval in the rest of Florida and in International Building Code for use in Windborne Debris Regions for the US, Hawaii, and Caribbean Islands. This standard is not sufficient for opening protection devices in Miami-Dade or Broward counties.

No, we do not note this in the home inspection report. If client asks, we will verbally advise them.

Why do you ask?

I ask because some inspectors I have talked with only say they do ‘performance inspections’ and check to see if the windows function properly.

Next question. You walk into a house and the agent / seller have all of the permits and NOA’s sitting on the table for you as verification for impact rating. Do you stop their, or also verify that with the etching on the windows?

Worthy of repeating. A lot of WM inspectors disregard this rule. The proof should be a sticker on the frame of the unit. And, watch out for impact rated solid doors that somebody modified for a laminated glass insert. These are not rated as an “assembly”. I think everybody knows, or should know, that storm panels only on the glazing portion of a half-lite glazed door does not count as fully protected.

I always note impact windows on my wind mitigation report. I also try to photograph the etching or the sticker to show the insurance company. In a home inspection report I’ll note it as a FYI. :mrgreen:

Someone please tell the door makers to stop making their stickers mirror finish. looks bad in pictures.

Not picking on you Shawn, but this is what most home inspectors are going to say. I am waiting for more feed back before I fully explain why

They probably do that to make our jobs harder…Lol, half the time I have to turn off my flash and it produces a dark picture.

Doesn’t matter, Mike, on new construction.

B/C all of the worthless GCs don’t take a moment to protect those stickers b4 the door gets painted.

The utter lack of talent I see supervising new construction is beyond a pitiful joke:twisted:

Actually I believe it is a requirement of most, if not all, door manufacturers require that all four sides of the door be painted after installation.

when I’m doing the wind mitigation or home inspection I will always ask for documentation on those windows such as NOA’s. If the client can’t provide I still will photograph the sticker and select appears to be A or B but is not verified. I didn’t explain I can’t choose this if there is not proper documentation. Sorry I didn’t explain in my OP.

I don’t half a s s the form I won’t put impact on the form if I can’t verify the windows.

Docs are great if they are available, but the sticker should tell most of the story. If the FL# or NOA# is not on the sticker, the testing standard should be. Everyone should know those. And, watch out for the “blanket” stickers that are used for more than one window or door series (one impact, the other one not).

There should be an 8 hour course just for opening protection…it gets involved.:twisted:

How many other inspectors are checking the NOA against the etching on the glass. I am bringing this up because I am finishing a report on a 6600 square foot 3.4 million dollar home. I am not doing the wind mitigation, but they did have one that gave them credits. All of the doors and windows in this home have glass that does not match the NOA. The selling agent provided me with all the paperwork on arrival for the inspection. Every window in that house was supposed to have impact glass. Not only doe the windows not match the NOA, but they are not impact rated. We are talking over $200,000.00 worth of doors and windows that need to be replaced.

Like I said in my first post, how many inspectors are checking these things, or are they just doing a ‘performance inspection’ and walking away. I don’t think that would fly if this was missed. But then again, most inspectors are not charging what they are worth. So far I have spent two days on site (with a helper), one full day writing the report, and one full day just doing research

It does not matter if the sticker is on the window or not. The glass must have etching with the proper markings. The NOA will call for a certain manufacturer to be used (most times there will be alternates). If the proper glass is not used it voids the NOA, just as does not having an etching on the glass. Now the sticker on a door might be a different story, but if the door is glazed, there has to be an etching in the glass

I agree with you, Opening protection was the one section I had to read over and over on the NACHI Wind Mitigation course. Most of the stickers I see will say this is a Miami Dade county control approved TAS 201/202/203 Or I look for ASTM E1886 Or E1996. The NOA’s are really tricky. I have done wind mits where the clients have no documentation on the windows and doors and they tell me…oh I bought it at Home Depot, here is my order form. No information. I tried to go onto the NOA site and trying to search is a task and a half. I went into Home Depot the other day with the clients door information, they make a call to the door or window company and provide me with a NOA number. The guy was even nice to print the paperwork out. Long story short, I don’t guess on the form.

One very important rule to remember about using approvals (FL or NOA), you can’t just use the approval someone hands you. If you can’t tie it to the window or door with a pd invoice, permit, or sticker, then it won’t fly. Anybody can print out an approval doc for any product. Permits with a good description of the scope (and usually approval #'s) are the best verification. Stickers are next, and pd invoices / contracts are last. As a reinspector, I was not allowed to bless an impact window by the glass etching alone. And, some of those are very confusing to decipher, and may only be a tempered glass etching…it’s complicated and requires much practice to get it right all of the time.