Do I Need Hurricane Shutters If I Have Impact Windows?

When it comes to protecting your home from the destructive forces of a hurricane, the question often arises: “Do I need hurricane shutters if I have impact windows?” This is a valid concern, considering the significant investment involved in installing either of these protective measures. This article aims to provide a comprehensive answer to this question, examining the functionality of both hurricane shutters and impact windows, and their roles in safeguarding your home during a hurricane.

Understanding Impact Windows

Impact windows, also known as hurricane windows, are designed to withstand the high winds and flying debris associated with hurricanes. They are made from a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sandwiched between two layers of glass. This construction ensures that even if the glass breaks, the window remains intact, preventing wind and water from entering your home.

Impact windows offer several benefits. They provide constant protection, require no additional action when a storm is imminent, and can also offer improved energy efficiency and noise reduction. However, they are significantly more expensive than traditional windows and may not be within everyone’s budget.

The Role of Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are another popular form of hurricane protection. These are installed on the exterior of your home and are designed to be closed and secured when a storm is approaching. They come in a variety of styles, including accordion, roll-down, Bahama, and colonial, each offering different levels of protection, aesthetics, and price points.

While hurricane shutters require action to secure them before a storm, they offer a more affordable option than impact windows. They also add an extra layer of security to your home, deterring potential burglars.

Do You Need Both?

The question remains, do you need hurricane shutters if you have impact windows? The answer depends on several factors including your budget, your location, and your personal comfort level with risk.

Impact windows provide excellent protection on their own. However, they are not invincible. In the face of a particularly strong storm, they can still break, although the inner layer will keep the window intact. If you live in an area prone to high category hurricanes and can afford the additional cost, adding hurricane shutters can provide an extra layer of protection.

Consider Your Location

Your geographical location plays a significant role in determining the level of hurricane protection you need. If you live in a high-risk hurricane area, having both impact windows and hurricane shutters can provide the maximum level of protection. However, if you live in a lower risk area, impact windows alone may suffice.

Assess Your Risk Tolerance

Another factor to consider is your personal comfort level with risk. If the thought of a broken window during a storm causes you significant stress, investing in hurricane shutters in addition to impact windows may provide peace of mind.


In conclusion, while impact windows provide substantial protection against hurricanes, adding hurricane shutters can offer an additional layer of security. The decision ultimately depends on your personal circumstances, including your budget, location, and risk tolerance. It’s always best to consult with a professional to assess your specific needs and make an informed decision.

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