Hurricane shutters are a specialized type of exterior window shutter.
The primary purpose of hurricane shutters is to protect your windows from high winds that can break your windows or send an object flying through your window. Strong winds coming through a broken window can actually tear your roof off. Additionally, a window that’s broken can let in rain and debris that can ruin whatever is inside your house. Obviously, the time these problems are most likely to happen is during a hurricane.
Different types of hurricane shutters are available.
The roll down shutter is like a curtain that rolls down to cover your windows. Stored in a box above when the window when not in use, the shutter rolls up and down in guide rails built into either side of the window. Roll down shutters can be operated electrically or manually by a crank.
These shutters provide protection against the weather as well as some visual privacy and security protection. This type shutter is especially handy for second story windows that would require a ladder to reach. These are typically the most expensive type of hurricane shutter.
Bahama shutters are mounted with a hinge above a window. When open, this creates shade for the window it’s mounted above. However, some people complain that it blocks out too much light. For weather protection, you swing the shutter down to cover the window. One Bahama screen can cover an entire window which is good for weather protection.
When mounted on the side of the window these are called Colonial shutters. For storms, these can be swung over to cover the window. Both Bahama and Colonial shutters are often made of aluminum that comes in different colors. In addition to providing shade and privacy, these shutters can also offer some security protection and contribute to an exterior window treatment.
Accordion shutters consist of interlocking vertical blades, usually made of aluminum. The folded blades are stacked together on the left or right side of a window or balcony. When they’re needed, you pull them out along a track. This unfolds or separates the blades like an accordion until they cover the entire window or balcony. Some models can be locked, which then adds security protection.
Accordion shutters come in colors and can be easily opened by one person. Although they are less expensive than other options, this type of shutter is not considered very attractive.
If you live in an area that has a hurricane season, you should consider hurricane shutters as an important safety precaution. Also be aware that some insurance companies may require shutters before they cover storm damages to your home.
Click here for information about other types of exterior shutters.