The terrible weather has continued throughout the start of this year, with Cornwall and Devon being the latest areas to be smashed by massive waves, huge storm surges and hurricane force gusts of wind. The damage being done is running into the many millions, with rail and road services expected to be out of action or at least temporary closed for at least 6 weeks. The weather looks set to continue with these violent storms which will also continue to keep flooding at these terrible levels, ruining land, homes and businesses alike for many more weeks to come.
As terrible as these scenes are, there is very little that the fenestration industry can practically do to help aid flood prevention in a big way. I’ve written about flood proof windows and doors in a previous post. But in all honesty if a 30ft wave wants to fly up from the sea front and bring with it a ton of shingle and completely tear off the front of your house, new windows aren’t going to stop that. But one suggestion I might have would be to install triple glazing in these areas for future.
One of the biggest points about the triple glazing debate is that there is currently a big lacking of a purpose for triple glazing. Well after seeing so much glass from people’s seafront homes and businesses broken over these past few weeks, perhaps triple glazing has a purpose here.
Hear me out on this one. I’m not saying to install triple glazing because it will help keep the cold sea out. I’m suggesting that triple glazing and it’s inherent extra strength properties and security might be of some use. When you look at most seafront buildings they tend to be very old and still have either their original windows which are probably single glazed, or very early double glazing with the smallest unit spacer. Either way, both options are no good energy wise, noise wise or strength wise. Triple glazing then might have found it’s place. It’s stronger than single plate glass or early thin double glazing. It’s certainly more quiet and yes it will be more energy efficient than the original glazing.
I know there are doubt about it’s efficiency vs certain specs of high end double glazing, but remember that isn’t the comparison we’re doing here. We’re comparing this to old seafront glass that is very old and provides very little protection when things get rough. We also have to face facts when it comes to our UK weather now. We have to admit as a country that our weather is getting a whole lot worse and will continue to do so. We have to admit that our current infrastructure is in now way capable of coping with these extremes. Without significant investment and upgrading, this yearly bashing of storms, snow, hurricane force winds and flooding will continue to do irreparable damage to the UK and cost us far more than bricks and mortar.
I’m not saying triple glazing will solve all our problem, but I am saying it should at the very least be considered as part of an overall solution. I am fairly confident that toughened triple glazing might actually have stood up to some of the fierce weather over the last few days. Even if one pane broke, the extra two provide an important barrier between home and sea. When renovation work starts to happen, I hope that triple glazing is considered when doing that work.
What are your thoughts? Is triple glazing part of an overall working solution? Will the weather continue to defenestrate properties no matter how strong the specification? All comments welcome in the section below!