Trusted Hands Services is all about keeping your home safe during storm season. Here we are in July and the first month of hurricane season is now behind us. In only a few months we will be in the height of the Atlantic hurricane season. September and October are the most active months for storms developing in the Atlantic Ocean and moving westward toward the Gulf of Mexico and the United States east coast. While that’s only a couple months away, there is still time to safeguard your home. Hurricane shutters are an effective way to protect your property from storms and Trusted Hands Services can help to select and install the right shutters for you.
There are several types of shutters available. It’s important to consider how the shutters will look once installed, the ease of operation and the cost before making a selection. Here are some of the options available. . .
These are permanently installed to the exterior of a home, made of stainless steel, PVC, or metal and usually the most expensive option. They roll down from a box above the window, along a set of tracks and lock at the bottom of the window. Once these shutters are lowered, daylight is blocked and the inside of your house is dark. They are convenient, functional, and easy to raise and lower either manually by a hand-crank or automatically by a push button. The manual crank is the best option because they can be operated even if the power goes out. After a storm like Irma, parts of the Bay Area were without power for days. Everyone who lost power and had automatic rolldown shutters had to live in a hot, dark house until the power was restored!
These hurricane shutters are also permanently installed to the exterior of a home. They are made of metal or polycarbonate interlocking vertical blades that resemble an accordion. Unlike rolldown shutters, these are installed on both sides of windows. They are opened by rolling them across horizontal tracks mounted above and below the window, locking together at the middle. These are manually opened and closed and come in both solid and clear surface options. That means during the storm, clear accordion shutters will let the sunlight in.
Like rolldown and accordion shutters, Bahama and Bermuda hurricane shutters are permanently installed to the exterior of a home. But unlike rolldown and accordion shutters, these are always visible. They are also used to provide shade and can provide design character to the home. Their design will block the view, especially of the sky. They are usually made from fiberglass or metal and mounted on a hinge just above the window. They prop open to provide shade and deployed for storm protection by removing the supports and locking them to the bottom of the window.
These are two-piece louvered shutters that attach to the wall beside each window. They are made from many materials including wood, plastics, and metal and offer varying degrees of protection depending on the material used. They can be moved into place before or during a storm by one person and are sometimes secured with a bar that lowers over the closed shutters.
Storm Panel Shutters are large panels of steel or aluminum that are cut to any size window. They slide into place before a storm on rails mounted above and below the window. Storm panel shutters can also be used to cover doors making this a single solution to protect all openings to the home. These are usually the least expensive option and since they are not permanently attached, they don’t change the look of the house. The downside is that they must be stored somewhere when not in use. Installation can be labor intensive and require more than one person. So it is important to put them up before high winds begin. I also recommend clearly labeling each shutter so you can easily match panels to the correct window.
Plywood panels do not meet building codes so I do not recommend them. Another thing I would recommend against is the practice of use tape on windows. Tape will not strengthen the glass and may actually be dangerous when a window breaks. Tape can hold shards together in large, sharp fragments that can easily cut someone. I do not recommend tape for this reason. Smaller shards are easier to clean up and less likely to cut you.
There are many hurricane shutter options on the market to protect your home. And while they are all worth the investment, they have different strengths and come at different price points. When you are ready to buy and install shutters or assistance with putting up when a storm is coming, contact Trusted Hands Services or call us at 813-520-0000.