Hurricanes can be a frightening reality for those living in coastal areas. Not only do they pose a significant threat to personal safety, but they can also cause severe damage to homes. Fortunately, one effective way to protect your home from hurricane damage is to install hurricane shutters. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know to install hurricane shutters on your home.
Why Install Hurricane Shutters?
Before we delve into the installation process, let’s first consider why it’s important to install hurricane shutters in the first place. Hurricane shutters are designed to protect your home from flying debris that can cause significant damage during a storm. They are also effective at preventing windows and doors from shattering during high winds, which can help protect you and your family from injury.
In addition to protecting your home and family during a hurricane, installing hurricane shutters can also provide peace of mind. Knowing that your home is equipped with the necessary protection can alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes with living in a hurricane-prone area. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts for homes that have hurricane shutters installed, which can save you money in the long run.
Types of Hurricane Shutters Available
There are several types of hurricane shutters available on the market today. Some of the most common types include:
- Accordion shutters
- Bahama shutters
- Colonial shutters
- Rolling shutters
Each type of shutter has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to research each option before making a decision.
Accordion shutters are a popular choice for homeowners because they are easy to operate and can be quickly deployed in the event of a storm. They are also relatively affordable and can be customized to fit any window or door size.
Bahama shutters, on the other hand, are a more decorative option that can add a tropical feel to your home. They are typically made of aluminum and can be painted to match your home’s exterior. However, they are not as strong as some of the other types of shutters and may not provide as much protection during a hurricane.
Selecting the Right Hurricane Shutters for Your Home
When selecting hurricane shutters for your home, it’s important to consider a few key factors. One crucial factor is your home’s location. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, you’ll need shutters that can withstand high winds and flying debris. In addition to location, you should also consider your budget and aesthetic preferences.
Another important factor to consider when selecting hurricane shutters is the type of material they are made of. Some common materials include aluminum, steel, and impact-resistant polycarbonate. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Preparing for Hurricane Season with Shutters
The best time to install hurricane shutters is before hurricane season begins. That way, you’ll be fully prepared in the event of a storm. It’s recommended that you install shutters at least a month before the start of hurricane season to ensure that they are properly installed and working effectively.
There are several types of hurricane shutters available, including accordion, roll-down, and storm panel shutters. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to research and choose the best option for your home and budget. Accordion shutters are easy to operate and can be left in place year-round, while roll-down shutters provide additional security and can be operated with a remote control. Storm panel shutters are the most affordable option, but require more time and effort to install.
In addition to installing shutters, it’s important to have a plan in place for securing your home and protecting your belongings in the event of a hurricane. This may include trimming trees and securing loose outdoor items, as well as having a supply of non-perishable food, water, and other essentials on hand. It’s also a good idea to have a designated safe room or area in your home where you can take shelter during the storm.
Measuring Your Windows and Doors for Hurricane Shutters
Before you can install your hurricane shutters, you’ll need to measure your windows and doors to ensure that you purchase the correct size. Using a measuring tape, measure the length and width of each window and door that you want to protect. It’s important to be as accurate as possible to ensure a perfect fit.
Additionally, it’s important to consider the type of material your windows and doors are made of when measuring for hurricane shutters. If you have impact-resistant glass or reinforced doors, you may not need shutters at all. However, if your windows and doors are not hurricane-resistant, it’s crucial to install shutters to protect your home from potential damage during a storm.
Materials Needed for Installing Hurricane Shutters
Once you have the correct measurements, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials for installation. This may include screws, anchors, and other hardware, depending on which type of hurricane shutters you choose.
It’s important to note that some hurricane shutters may also require additional tools such as a drill, saw, or level for proper installation. It’s recommended to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials before beginning the installation process.
Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Hurricane Shutters
Now that you have your materials, it’s time to install your hurricane shutters. The installation process will vary depending on the type of shutters you choose, but here are some general steps to follow:
- Mark the location where the shutters will be installed.
- Install the anchors into the wall or window frame.
- Attach the shutters to the anchors using screws or other hardware.
- Test the shutters to ensure that they are properly installed and working effectively.
It’s important to note that if you are not comfortable installing hurricane shutters yourself, it’s best to hire a professional. Improper installation can lead to the shutters not functioning properly during a storm, which can put your home and family at risk. Additionally, some insurance companies may require professional installation in order to provide coverage for hurricane damage. Be sure to check with your insurance provider before installing the shutters yourself.
Tips for Maintaining Your Hurricane Shutters
Proper maintenance is crucial to ensure that your hurricane shutters continue to protect your home effectively. Here are a few maintenance tips to keep in mind:
- Regularly inspect your shutters for any damage or wear.
- Clean your shutters regularly to prevent dirt and debris from building up.
- Perform any necessary repairs or replacements as soon as possible to maintain the effectiveness of your shutters.
In addition to these basic maintenance tips, there are a few other things you can do to ensure that your hurricane shutters are in top condition. Firstly, make sure that you lubricate any moving parts on your shutters, such as hinges or tracks, to prevent them from becoming stiff or rusted. Secondly, consider applying a protective coating to your shutters to help prevent corrosion and damage from the elements.
It’s also important to remember that hurricane shutters are not a one-time investment. As your home and the surrounding environment change over time, you may need to update or replace your shutters to ensure that they continue to provide adequate protection. Keep an eye on any changes in your local building codes or regulations, and consult with a professional if you have any concerns about the effectiveness of your shutters.
Benefits of Installing Hurricane Shutters on Your Home
Overall, there are many benefits to installing hurricane shutters on your home. Not only can they protect your home from damage during a storm, but they can also increase your home’s value and provide peace of mind in the event of a hurricane.
So if you live in a hurricane-prone area, it’s highly recommended that you consider installing hurricane shutters on your home. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure a safe and effective installation process that will protect you and your family for years to come.
In addition to protecting your home from damage during a storm, hurricane shutters can also provide energy savings. By blocking out the sun’s rays, they can help keep your home cooler in the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning. This can lead to lower energy bills and a more comfortable living environment.