Published Dec 17, 2020 4:41:12 PM

How Do I Identify Impact Glass? (and What Sets it Apart)

Impact glass, also known as hurricane-resistant or severe weather glass, is an essential component of any home in an area affected by extreme weather. But, it can be tough to know if your home offers you the protection you need, especially if you didn’t install some of the features yourself. However, there are steps you can take to protect your home and your family in the event of extreme weather by making sure your home is equipped with weather-resistant impact glass.

In this blog, the glass professionals at ODL review what makes impact glass essential to home projects in severe weather zones, how to tell if your front door is made with impact glass, and the value it brings to your project.


What Makes Impact Glass Different?

Impact glass is designed to protect a home during a severe weather event, like a hurricane. Standard glass windows are made of a single layer of glass, called float glass, that breaks into large shards when something hits it. Not only are these shards extremely sharp and dangerous, the open window now leaves the home interior vulnerable to wind, rain, and debris from the raging storm — not what anyone wants or needs during a hurricane.  

Door glass, however, is different than window glass. Doors are made with tempered glass, which is designed to break into small, relatively harmless pieces. Tempered glass is heated and quickly cooled to create tension and strength in the glass and forces the glass to break into small pieces upon impact. However, tempered glass will shatter, so it’s not a perfect solution for homes affected by hurricanes and severe weather.  

The solution is impact glass. Impact glass is made by sealing two pieces of glass to an interior resin layer that’s incredibly strong. Instead of shattering upon impact, the glass pieces stay adhered to the resin, leaving the window broken but intact and the home’s interior protected. Impact glass is the ideal building material for homes in areas impacted by hurricanes and can be used to build extreme weather resistant windows and doors.

Related: Learn all about Severe Weather Impact Glass here!


Live in a Hurricane Zone? Your Front Door Should Be Impact Glass

Compared to the rest of the glass windows in your home, you might not think that your front door would pose a risk in the event of a hurricane or other extreme weather. But, the truth is that damage to entryways and windows causes more destruction to the home than most other factors due to the relative pressures differences inside the home compared to outside during a storm.  

Impact glass from ODL is a superior safety product and has undergone rigorous testing, including missile impact, water infiltration, structural loading, and forced air infiltration tests. We design our severe weather door glass products for wind-borne debris regions and high-velocity hurricane zones, and they are certified to meet Florida building codes and Texas insurance approval.  

This can make building and remodeling easier in hurricane zones. For example, our impact glass is approved by the Florida Building Commision for substitution in any glazed door or sidelight. That means that homeowners and remodelers won’t need to perform any additional testing to meet the building codes. Instead, they’ll simply have to provide the building inspector with documentation of our product’s approvals. 

However, our severe weather products are also beautiful. ODL offers a wide array of decorative door glass options that include impact glass. Whether a project needs a pop of modern privacy glass, traditional caming, in-door blinds, or classic clear glass, ODL’s Severe Weather line has you covered.  

It’s critical that your doors are equipped with the impact glass you need to stay safe. Not sure if your home is covered? Keep reading to learn more about identifying impact glass. 


How to Tell if a Door Has Impact Glass

Because severe weather glass is created by laminating several layers of materials together, certain “tells” set it apart from standard or tempered glass.  

  • There May Be a Permanent Etched Mark: Impact glass requires more time and resources to manufacture. Many companies will include an etched mark in their glass, so homeowners have no doubts about the quality of the materials installed in their home.  
  • There May Be a Temporary Label: A temporary sticker or label is another way manufacturers set their impact glass apart. If your door is new, you’ll likely be able to find a sticker to let you know it’s impact-resistant. 
  • You See Multiple Reflections: Because of impact glass’s multiple layers, you can see multiple reflections in the glass. Checking for two or more reflections in the glass is a way to tell that it’s impact-resistant, even if there are no stickers or etched labels present.  
  • Ask an Expert: If you’re unsure about the caliber of the product in your home, don’t hesitate to call in a glass expert who can verify the type of glass.  
  • Work With the Professionals at ODL: At ODL, we rigorously test, design, and certify our impact glass offering for the most extreme weather conditions. When you choose ODL products, you can be sure you’re getting the highest level of value in a weather-resistant glass.  

RELATED: 4 Fresh Ways to Boost Curb Appeal with Decorative Door Glass 


ODL: Severe Weather Glass That's Beautiful and Functional

At ODL, we believe beauty and safety can—and should—go hand in hand. We manufacture impact glass that’s rated to the highest impact standards. And not only does ODL glass protect what you value most, it’s beautiful, too.  

Browse our Severe Weather Catalog+ to see our doorglass options that keep you safe.


Schwartz, T. (2016, March 28). What Do Structural, or Design Pressure, Ratings Mean? SoftLite Windows & Doors. Retrieved from  



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