Find information about different types of hurricane shutters.
Homeowners can choose from several different types of hurricane shutters that offer varying degrees of protection and style:
When it comes to hurricane shutters, there are no set rules or guidelines that apply to every house. Buying hurricane shutters ultimately comes down to personal preference, price, ease of installation and use, and level of protection. Storm panels, Bahama shutters or colonial shutters are strongest and are considered to provide the best protection. For consumers on a budget, storm panels are the least expensive per square foot. Accordion hurricane shutters are easy to operate.
Consumers should make sure the hurricane shutters they select meet the building codes for their particular area. Different styles of hurricane shutters can be used on the same house to accommodate sizes and locations of particular windows, and also take into account accessibility to these windows as well as overall costs and personal needs.
Some people may place protection before appearance, and others may look for hurricane shutters that do not detract from the look of their homes. All hurricane shutters protect against breaking glass and flying debris. Roll shutters, colonial hurricane shutters and Bahama shutters generally have the least impact on a home's appearance. Accordion hurricane shutters have a dramatic effect on architectural integrity. Storm panels are effective barriers of protection and, since they can be removed and stored away, place no architectural compromises on a home unless permanent sills and headers are used. A special screw anchor with bolts can be used to attach storm panels to windows when needed. Between uses, the bolts can be removed and the screw anchors alone reduce any effect on a home's façade.
Hurricane shutters are installed on the outside of the window and should be secured to the structural framing of the house and not to the window frame itself. Hurricane shutters are attached with bolts or tracks, depending on the type of hurricane shutter. For instance, colonial shutters are bolted on either side of a window, while accordion hurricane shutters are attached by a track above and below the window. Roll shutters are bolted only above the window.
Though do-it-yourselfers may choose to install hurricane shutters themselves, it is recommended to have shutters professionally installed to ensure proper fastening. Screws, bolts, anchors or any other exposed metal used to attach hurricane shutters should be weather resistant.
The manufacturers and vendors of most types of hurricane shutters, such as Bahama shutters and storm panels, are advertised as being virtually maintenance-free. However, accordion shutters should have periodic light maintenance, including lubricating tracks and rollers and spraying joints and locking mechanisms with silicone or aluminum spray. On an annual basis, hurricane shutters should be operated to make sure they are working properly. Tracks, slats, and locks should be cleaned with a liquid wax and any debris cleaned from tracks and rollers.