Used Hurricane Protection – don’t sell those old shutters yet!

16 Jul

Don’t get rid of your old hurricane shutters just because you purchased new “hurricane proof impact windows”.

What your window salesman may have forgotten to tell you before you signed your contract is that your new windows are neither “hurricane proof” nor “impact proof”. In the window industry, “hurricane impact” is just a marketing phrase and shouldn’t be confused with the word “unbreakable” – they are 2 completely different animals. There’s an old adage that goes “if it’s made from glass, it’s gonna’ break.” and it’s as true today as it was when it was first coined.

Go to any video site like Youtube or Vimeo and search for “hurricane impact test” and see what happens to a new impact window when it gets struck. Your new windows may not let the hurricane winds into your building after they are struck by debris, but they most certainly will be broken and will need replacing.


If you aren’t concerned about the price because you have insurance that will cover the cost, please call your insurance agent or check your policy. Many times your deductible is larger than the cost of a new impact window. There are many cases where the replacement cost of a new standard impact window including installation is $1900.00. If you have a $2000.00 deductible on your policy, that means that your window replacement is “out of pocket” and is also your responsibility – not your insurance company’s.

Every week I see dozens of online ads for used hurricane shutters for sale by their owners. I hope that these are for sale because the owners have upgraded to another type of shutter and not because they have purchased impact windows.

If your window damage has occurred during a storm, the odds of getting your broken window replaced in a timely manner are not in your favor – don’t forget that everybody else will be getting theirs replaced, too. The waiting list will be long and the rush of orders to get replacement windows will have manufacturers, dealers and installers backlogged for weeks.

Just remember this……..when (or if) you ditch your hurricane shutters, you are throwing away the only thing standing between you and a very expensive broken window replacement. 

2 Responses to “Used Hurricane Protection – don’t sell those old shutters yet!”

  1. Larry Mc March 5, 2018 at 3:44 pm #

    Your article should be titled, “It’s a waste to buy hurricane windows! Many people buy impact windows to avoid putting up shutters for various reasons. Retirees and widows may no longer have the capability to put up shutters. In addition, trying to find someone to do it for you when a hurricane is coming is an effort in futility. Some people travel for business and some are part-time residents who can’t run down from their northern home to quickly put up and take down shutters.

    The statement about the $2,000 deductible is a bit biased too. If you really get hit with strong hurricane wind, you may have roof damage, gutters, pool cage damage and other things that make a $2,000 window a drop in the bucket as far as total damages.

    Your logic of putting in impact windows and then putting up shutters to protect them makes little sense. It defeats the purpose of putting in impact windows in the first place. What you are really saying is that people should not spend money on impact windows and that shutters are the only way to go. Don’t be surprised if you a lot of people that disagree with your logic, me included.

    • johnsortore March 5, 2018 at 6:45 pm #

      Larry, Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and while you are correct about some of the reasons that people purchase hurricane windows, you have seemingly missed the point of the post.

      The folks that you speak of (retirees, widows, the disabled, etc.) will have to rely on outside sources to deploy and remove storm panels. The cost for this, of course, varies depending upon the number of openings being protected but in the average home runs $200-$300. Although removable storm panels are the most economical way to protect windows, they certainly aren’t for everyone. But, the replacement cost for just one broken impact window will START at $600 so these particular homeowners need to weigh their options. Whether the homeowner is home or away, the costs don’t change and making previous arrangements for shutter deployment is just plain smart planning. The more desirable option for these homeowners would be permanently installed shutters that don’t require storage or manual labor to deploy – there are lots of types available but at higher costs.

      The $2000 deductible that I referred to exists only during non-hurricane periods. If your hurricane windows get broken by a rock from the lawnmower or from some other accident, this is the deductible that applies and this expense is out-of-pocket for the homeowner. Once a tropical storm becomes a named hurricane, the deductible for most insurance policies changes to a percentage of the home’s value (some are typically 10%) so your deductible skyrockets from $2000 to $12,000 (for a home valued at $120,000) as soon as the National Weather Service names the hurricane. If an approved form of hurricane protection is not in place on every opening of the structure (including gable venting), the insurance company is within their rights to deny the entire wind damage claim.

      If you are a homeowner who can afford the cost of replacing broken $600+ hurricane rated windows, have time to be home when the installation crew may or may not show up and are willing to put up with the construction mess, then no, the logic of protecting expensive hurricane windows probably won’t make sense to you. And if your broken window is more than 10 years old or the company that made it is no longer in business, your replacement window won’t look like the rest of the ones on your home.

      Hurricane impact windows work okay as a “stop-gap” measure to reduce hurricane damage but if you want a better way to protect your home, family and property from flying debris and water damage from leaking windows, shutters are your best, most cost-effective first line of defense. Btw, did you know that neither Miami-Dade or Florida Building Commission hurricane testing require impact windows to stop water penetration in order to be approved? If you don’t have a method of protecting your windows from wind-driven rain during a tropical weather event, be prepared to come home to some water damage upon your return. That’s just one more reason to use shutters.

      Maybe I should change the title of this to “It MIGHT be a waste to buy hurricane windows”?

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