How To Protect Your Home From Hurricanes: A Guide To Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane season can bring whipping winds, torrential downpours, power outages, and flooding.   If you live along the coast in the South, it is important to know how to protect your house from damage before the storm hits.   Hurricane shutters remain the most economical solution to secure your window opening, although hurricane-proof glass has become more popular.  Here is a list of the pros and cons of different types of shutters to defend your house from the next hurricane.

 

Bahamas Hurricane Shutters

These are one-piece louvered shutters that are attached above the windows and prop open to provide shade.  During storms, they can be lowered and secured to the wall.

 

PROS:

Permanent
Easy to use for one person
Provide shade in open-position
More aesthetic

 

CONS:

Traditionally seen as weaker, but newer models protect well
Some people think they block too much light
Can only be used for windows

 

Colonial Hurricane Shutters

 

These two-pieced louvered shutters attach to the wall beside each window.   They come together to protect the window.

 

PROS:

Permanent
Easy to use for one person
Stylish

 

CONS:

Some models require a storm bar or center rod to lock the shutters in place
Can’t be used to protect doors and must be used with other systems to ensure your home is protected.

 

 

Accordion Hurricane Shutters

These are one- or two-piece hurricane shutters that are stored beside the windows and stored when they aren’t be used.  They unfold in an accordion-style to cover openings during a storm.

 

PROS:

Permanent
Easy to use for just one person
Some can be locked to keep out thieves

 

CONS:

Not the most stylish; can look bulky
Slide on wheels and are more likely to break than other systems

 

Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters

Storm Panel shutters are usually made of aluminum or steel and are attached to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks.  The panels are corrugated, and each piece overlaps the next - this is what makes them so secure.  There are three styles to choose from.

 

The first type is characterized by the use of both tracks and bolts.  The top of the panel is fit into a track above the window, whereas the bottom of the panel is attached to bolts that are secured permanently beneath the window.

 

The second style uses C-shaped tracks at the top of and bottom of windows and doors.  Bolts are slipped into the track from either side.  The bolts must be manually aligned with the holes on the panels.

 

The third style uses only bolts that are permanently secured into the wall beside the windows (and doors).  They can be loosened and screwed down when needed.

 

PROS:

Inexpensive
Strong
Removable


CONS:

Must be stored
Difficult to install
Sometimes don’t line up properly
Sharp edges

 

Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

This type of hurricane shutter is attached above the window.   When they aren’t being used, they roll up and are stored in an enclosed box.   Depending on which model you choose, they can be lowered either manually with a  hand crank or automatically by push button and then locked into place for storm protection.

 

PROS:

Permanent
Easy to use for one person
Great protection

 

CONS:

Most expensive of the shutter systems
Push-button models require a battery backup system in case of power outages

 

Hurricane Glass

This glass is strong enough to withstand hurricane winds and eliminates the need for shutters.  It costs more, especially when renovating an older house.  Hurricane glass makes more sense when building a newer building.

 

PROS:

No need for shutters
Makes sense for newer buildings

 

CONS:

Must be installed by a window contractor
The frame must be replaced along with panes to meet code.
More expensive, especially for older buildings

 

Whatever system you decide, don’t wait until after the storm to contact The Plantation Shutter Company for all your hurricane shutter needs.  Call us for a free estimate at 800.922.9572

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