As your home is very likely your single biggest purchase, if you are in an area where hurricanes are common you should do your best to protect it. One method to accomplish this is with hurricane shutters. They will keep out the rain and wind due to smashed windows. Having window protection of some kind is definitely a requirement in the Miami area, for example. The most common varieties of shutters are listed below.
Varieties of Hurricane Shutters
Accordion Hurricane Shutters
When not deployed, accordion shutters are stored beside the window where they are permanently attached. These shutters pull across the window and unfold in the style of an accordion when deployed. They are easy to pull out and set up by a single person and some can be locked to prevent theft while you are away from the house. Detracting from the beauty of the house is the biggest downside to this type of shutter.
Colonial Hurricane Shutters
These shutters are attached beside the window on either side and then fold together on top of the window when deployed. One benefit of these shutters is that they can often make the house look more beautiful. One negative is that they can’t be used to protect doors so you will need to use at least one other type of protection. This type of shutter is propped open above the window when not in use. The shade they provide can be nice and they can also be great looking. They are easy to drop down by a single person. These can be weaker than other types of shutters, so you should check on the strength of the particular shutters you choose. They also can’t be used to protect doors, similar to the colonisal stye shutters.
This type of hurricane shutter attaches above the window. When not needed, these shutters roll up into the housing. Either an electric motor or a hand crank may be used to lower them. While you’ll require a battery backup in case the power goes out, electric shutters are quite easy for one person to roll up and down. Roll-down shutters are more expensive than some other types of hurricane shutters.
These shutters are generally made of metal and attach with brackets to the walls, covering the windows. When not in use, these shutters are completely removed so they don’t detract from the style of the home. Because of this, though, it can be difficult for a single person to deploy in the event of a hurricane. They are very strong and can protect both windows and doors. You’ll need a place to store the panels when not in use and you should periodically inspect the panels to make sure that they are all present and in good shape.
No matter which variety you select, be sure to get a reputable and professional installer to make sure that your house is properly protected. You can discuss the various kinds of shutters with your installer and he/she can help you select the best hurricane shutters for your particular situation.