With a major hurricane warning, it’s important that people in the coastal areas get geared up to face it. There’s a lot to do, and you must act quick. One of the primary reasons why properties get damaged due to hurricanes is missing hurricane shutters. In fact, Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc in 1992 because the doors and windows failed the property owners.
If you don’t have such shutters installed already, you must call up a service that can do it immediately for you. You might not get the chance to impose this safety measure if you delay it anymore.
Installation of hurricane shutters is a bit complicated than that. You’ll need to decide what kind of shutters you want. Here’s an account of types of Hurricane shutters and their advantages disadvantages.
Types of Hurricane Shutters
1. Colonial shutters
Colonial hurricane shutters are two-piece shutters that have louvers for adequate ventilation. Each piece is placed beside a side of the window and provides protection to the windows during the hurricanes by folding up to cover the whole thing. The average cost of these shutters lies between $18-$35 per square foot. And it takes about 45 minutes to prepare your house for the storm with such kinds of shutters.
These types of shutters get permanently fixed near your windows and hence, there’s no hassle of placing them at the windows just before the hurricane or storing them when not in use. These are decorative shutters and hence, enhance your house’s exterior while providing it necessary protection.
The installation time may increase a lot for some colonial shutters. It mostly depends on the design. You must have thought about why I only mentioned Windows. Here’s the drawback of colonial shutters – they’re only for windows. So, you have to combine these with some other kind of shutters for the doors.
2. The Bahamas hurricane shutters
Bahamas shutters are one-piece, and unlike the colonial shutters, they are installed above the windows. They stay open and provide shade to the windows. During the storm, they have to be closed and affixed to the wall. It takes about 15 minutes to do that for a whole house. These are also louvered like colonial shutters. The average cost of installation of Bahamas hurricane shutters is just the same as that of colonial shutters.
Like colonial shutters, these are affixed beside the window and hence, you don’t need any extra storage space for these. When they’re open, they provide shade. Only one person can get all of them storm-ready in about 15 minutes.
Again like colonial shutters, they can’t be used for doors due to their design limitations. They’ve attained a lot of bad reputation over the years. People consider them frail and not good enough to provide protection against major hurricanes. But newer designs offer more protection. While the open-design benefits are enjoyed by people, few complain that they block too much of the light.
3. Rolling hurricane shutters
The most famous of the lot, these shutters are affixed above the windows and are stored in an enclosed box placed there only. They can be rolled down either manually or automatically. As it’s pretty easy to put them in place just before the storm, they have minimum preparation time. The cost of installation is slightly higher than the Bahamas and Colonial shutters – about $30-$60 per square foot.
These are easy to install and easy to prepare before the storm. They also offer extra protection against theft.
These can get expensive to install, and then you require a battery backup to operate the automatic push-up & down buttons in case of a blackout.
4. Storm panels
These are heavy aluminum shutters that cover the doors and windows and are affixed to them either through bolts or tracks. There are different types of storm panels, and you can make a choice depending on your convenience and budget. The average cost of installation lies $7-$9 per square foot. They’re not easy to install as they’re often heavy.
These are inexpensive and very strong. They work for both doors and windows and as the panels are layered over one another, they’re stronger than usual shutters. They can be easily removed and stored when not required.
They’re really heavy, and it’s tough for a single person to handle these and get them storm-ready. Storage may also be an issue for some people, and then they have sharp edges. You have to be careful around them.
5. Accordion hurricane panels
These are either one-piece or two-piece panels that can be installed beside doors as well as windows. They can be quickly prepared for the storm and cost around $16-$21 per square foot.
As they’re permanently fixed, they don’t need to be removed and stored when not in use. Some variants have lock and key fittings and act as theft protectors.
These are bulky and not go along with the exterior of all kinds of houses. It’s often considered that they can easily break off as there are wheels to help it glide over the surface which aren't quite strong.
These are the five top types of hurricane shutters. There’s also hurricane glass which is a perfect option for under-construction houses. If you use that glass for your house, you won’t need any hurricane shutters.
You’re lucky to have at least one of these in place to save you from the possible recent hurricane. If you don't have any of these and it’s extremely tough to get them installed immediately, you can opt for plywood as a cover. It will also need to be installed and mostly, doesn’t go by the building codes. But consider doing whatever possible to have that extra layer of protection for the doors and windows in your house. It’s crucial to save you from heavy damage due to the Hurricane. Stay safe!