Hurricane shutters are one of the most effective ways to protect your windows during severe storms. But which type is right for your home?
Plywood panels are cheap and easy to put up. However, they can be challenging and offer little protection against debris. There are several other alternatives to consider, including impact-resistant windows.
A hurricane is frightening for any homeowner, but you can protect your home with planning and a good plan. Fortunately, there are a variety of practical hurricane shutters and panels designed to withstand the destructive force of high winds and flying debris.
Unlike plywood panels that must be cut to fit each window and secured with nails or screws, fabric shutters can be easily opened and closed without special tools. They are also more attractive and can be matched to the exterior of your home.
They are less expensive than steel options, but like the other types of shutters, they still require storage space and may obstruct your view when not in use. One option is to install hurricane-rated glass at the time of your home’s construction, which provides the best level of protection and eliminates the need for shutters or other window coverings. It can also cost more to replace existing windows with specialised glass.
Hurricane windows shutters offer an affordable solution for homeowners to protect their windows and doors during a storm. They cost less than impact windows and are constantly protecting the window, whereas the homeowner must install or close them.
They are available in different styles to suit any home, budget, or aesthetic. Each type of shutter has pros and cons, but all can provide an effective barrier against flying debris during a storm.
Panel hurricane shutters are usually plywood, aluminium, or polycarbonate plastic. They’re screwed to the structure in a direct mount or on tracks and can be manually operated or powered by an electric motor. They’re typically stored away when not in use. The best-known type of shutter is a roll-down hurricane shutter, permanently mounted above each window and door. The shutters resemble an accordion and can be operated manually or with a motor. They also come in other types, such as the Bahama shutter, which resembles a louvred shade, and colonial hurricane shutters, which look like traditional decorative window shutters.
The most common type of hurricane shutters is plywood, which is cheap and can be purchased at many home improvement stores. However, using plywood as your primary protection in a hurricane is not recommended as it is not tested to withstand winds and flying debris.
Generally, the best plywood for hurricane shutters is 5/8 inch exterior grade. Measure the windows and doors you need to protect, mark them for which window they are made, and cut the plywood to that size before installing. Make sure to drill lag or barrel bolts every 18 inches into your home’s concrete, and store the bolts and plywood in a dry location where they will not be damaged by heat or moisture.
Testing your hurricane shutters at the start of each storm season is a good idea. This will ensure they work correctly and give you time to fix problems before a storm hits.
Accordion shutters are inexpensive and offer protection from high winds and flying debris. These shutters are permanent and fold up like an accordion when not in use. They are an excellent choice for homeowners who want to avoid the hassle of putting up and taking down their hurricane panels during every storm warning.
These shutters can be installed over any window or door and are available in various colours to complement your home. They are code-approved and offer easy “fingertip” operation to open and close. In the closed position, they provide privacy and energy efficiency.
Impact windows and doors are more expensive but offer superior protection during severe weather conditions. They also have a sleek, modern design that enhances your home’s curb appeal. Additionally, impact products reduce outside noise pollution and improve your home’s energy efficiency. These benefits are well worth the higher initial investment.