With a beautiful and spacious modern residence in Puerto Rico, homeowner Paula Corapi loves her light-filled home, thanks to good design. Located in Guaynabo, she bought the older property several years ago and needed to make some necessary updates in order to live there with her family and entertain friends. An architect helped her modernize the home and recommended Air Master Windows and Doors for their high quality and unrivaled performance.
Paula decided to install Air Master Windows and Doors throughout her entire home, choosing to use the impact-resistant series. This line of doors and windows is designed to resist impact and hurricane-force winds of up to 170 mph and are certified to comply with Florida State Building Codes (the most rigorous in the US).
Eight years after installation, Hurricane Maria swept over the island of Puerto Rico. Paula and her family prepared as most island-dwellers do, and stocked up with water, food and flashlights. She was confident that the impact-resistant windows were going to perform as expected and did not board up the exterior of the home.
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“During the hurricane, we felt safe and calm. We watched the hurricane when we felt brave enough to look out,” said Paula.
Impact Resistant Series
For more than 40 years, Air Master Windows and Doors has been the leader and largest windows and doors manufacturer in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, with more than 250,000 square feet of facilities and 600+ employees.
Air Master Windows and Doors has the unique characteristic of being the only windows and doors manufacturer in the Caribbean with a series of certified products that withstands impacts and hurricane-force winds. This impact-resistant series is tested at an independent laboratory and certified to comply with Florida State Building Code Regulations. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Florida changed and implemented new construction codes to minimize property damage due to hurricanes and atmospheric events.
Testing and Certification
As a window and door manufacturer, they must send the product to an independent laboratory and hand in the construction specifications and material details in order to certify the products. At the lab, the personnel will put the product to the test, putting it thru positive and negative wind pressures of up to 170 mph, throwing projectiles at different points at about 34 mph. The units are cycled at pressures that start at 115 mph until achieved pressures over 180 mph. After that, the laboratory sends the results to Air Master Engineer Consultants and they address all the necessary information to the Florida Building Commission for final evaluation and validation.
According to experts, the glass used in this series with the impact resistant certification is a laminated glass that forms a “sandwich” of two glass sheets, available in different thickness grades; very similar to the material of the windshield of the cars or the windows of the airplanes. The glass in these products does not allow projectiles, water or wind to pass through it even under the pressure of a severe impact. In the case that the glass does receive a severe impact, it could splinter, but does not break.
It’s not only the glass component that makes a window or door resistant to impact and hurricanes, but the entire system. This includes the aluminum gauge, glass, structural silicone, and a professional installation following all the product specifications, taking into account the types of screws, number of screws, installation surface and experience of the personnel.
After Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the majority of the damages on Puerto Rico were due to poorly installed windows and doors. In order for these products to withstand water and wind, they must be properly installed according to the technical data sheet of each of the products.
Windows and doors fulfill essential functional and aesthetic roles. Before choosing these products for your property, it is very important to take into account the needs and the location.
“Homeowners must ensure compliance with the housing complex’s codes, take into account the space distribution according to the property design, preferences and tastes – from aluminum and glass colors to the product operations – ceiling heights, structural limitations, installation requirements, and what kind of safety the homeowner expects the chosen products to provide,” said Heidy Velazquez, a sales representative and engineer at Air Master Windows and Doors.
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Paula Corapi appreciated the easy and enjoyable planning and design experience when it came time to update her home.
“Picking the colors, and getting all the windows fitted in was also spectacular; an easy and satisfying experience. Between the purchase decision time, the planning time, and the time we really needed the windows do their best against the hurricane, everything with Air Master Windows and Doors has been first class,” said Paula.
Air Master Windows and Doors distributes its products to The Home Depot and has a sales force dedicated to the Virgin Islands. For more information about Air Master Windows and Doors, access the website: airmasterpr.com, call 787.999.0717 or send an email to [email protected].
Miguel Mitchel / 787-607-0159