40% of hurricanes in the United States occur in Florida. People love Florida for the sunshine, but when the hurricane winds come at your home at 75 mph you need protection. Hurricane damage to your home can be dangerous, especially when the windows break and send glass flying. That is why every home built after 2001 must have a “qualifying form of storm protection” on the windows. Hurricane shutters offer a great solution.
Hurricane shutters (also known as hurricane windows, storm shutters, and storm windows) are coverings over your windows designed to stop the wind from breaking the windows. While functional, many hurricane shutters add to the home’s aesthetic, too.
If you have decided to install hurricane shutters, you want to make the most of your investment. Here are some tips for installing hurricane shutters in Florida.
Do Pick A Permanent Solution
Some people opt to use a plywood solution or apply shutters with tape, screws, or nails. Unfortunately, these options do not hold up very well. You will need to install new shutters every time you have a storm, requiring a lot of time and effort. They also will not provide the same level of protection as a permanent solution. Invest in something that will work storm after storm, so you don’t need to nail wooden board to your windows last minute.
Do Learn Different Types of Hurricane Shutters
The first thing you need to do is pick the hurricane shutters you want to use. You have a lot of different options. 4 different types of permanent hurricane shutters include:
Automatic Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters
Automatic roll-down shutters are made from metal or polycarbonate. They look great and add an additional support against theft. They are also easy to use; you just press a button to activate them. However, this option can get expensive at $20 – $30 per square foot. You will also need a backup battery to use them if the power goes out.
Accordion Hurricane Shutters
Accordion shutters get their name due to the way they unfurl when you need them. They are made from metal or polycarbonate, and they are easy to install. They are moderately priced at $15 – $25 per square foot. However, accordion shutters do not work on all windows. They can also break a little more easily than the other options.
Bahama Hurricane Shutters
These shutters, usually made from aluminum, are installed at the top of the window. You can activate them simply by pulling them down. They are also moderately priced at $15 – $25 per square foot. However, these shutters do not offer the highest level of protection.
Colonial Hurricane Shutters
These extremely attractive shutters made from wood, metal, or fiberglass, add a sense of style to your windows as well as protection. The shutters are installed on the sides of the windows and fold in when needed. However, colonial shutters are more difficult to install. You also must pay for the style at $200 – $500 per window.
Do Learn the Installation Process
It is best to understand the basics of the installation process. However, you need to keep in mind that installation may vary based on the shutters you choose. Here are the basics of shutter installation:
Step One: Clear Obstructions
Examine the area around the window and remove any obstructions. Obstructions can be overheads or windowsills.
Step Two: Attach Panels/Tracks to Home
You need to secure the shutters to your home. You will do this with panels or tracks. Install the panel or tracks around the window at the desired spacing. To do this, you will drill holes into your house and secure the panels with screws.
Step Three: Attach Shutters to Panels/Tracks
Now, attach the shutters to the panels or tracks. Once again, you will do this with screws. Everything should look complete at this point.
Step Four: Test Shutters
Finally, you need to test the shutters to ensure that they work properly. You can’t test how well they will stand up to wind, but you can test that they open and close properly.
Do Not Forget Maintenance
Hurricane shutters are low maintenance. However, you still need to show them some attention from time to time. Clean them regularly. You also want to open and close them about every 6 months to ensure they still work.
Do Not Assume Hurricane Shutters Will Offer Complete Protection
Hurricanes are a force of nature, and they can create serious damage. A look at the monumental damage after Hurricane Michael in 2018 shows just how devastating a hurricane can get. It is unrealistic to think that hurricane shutters can protect a home from such a powerful force of nature. At a certain point, you need to know when to evacuate.
With, hurricane shutters do keep windows from breaking quite effectively. Ask your contractor what wind speeds your shutters can withstand. When the winds start to get higher, it is time to look into evacuation. If you want more protection, ask about impact windows. Call Massey Roofing Group for a free consultation: 844.784.7663.