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What Type of Storm Shutter is Most Effective

Many homeowners in hurricane zones struggle to find the most effective storm shutter type. Sometimes, there's no time to prepare, and homeowners must deal with what they have on hand with leftover plywood, screws, nails, and a drill and hope for the best.

Before hurricane season catches us unawares this year, let us discuss what type of storm shutter is the most effective to protect your windows, screens, and, ultimately, your home and safety.  

For Those New to Hurricane Zones: What Are Storm Shutters? 

Storm shutters are window coverings built to withstand hurricane winds and prevent home damage. A broken window during a hurricane can become a considerable risk of home devastation. Broken windows during a storm can expose you to shattered glass, expose your home to flooding and projectile objects, and destabilize the home's pressure. When the pressure is destabilized in a home during a hurricane, you risk walls or rooves collapsing.  

Fact From Fiction

There is a long-standing myth that you should use tape on your windows during hurricane preparation and crack your windows. We have to take a moment here at Quality to tell you: do not do either—as we highly value our customers' safety. First, the tape will not prevent shattering. What tape will do, however, is ensure that if the glass breaks, the pieces of the glass will stay together, creating a much larger, much more dangerous shard of glass to blow around inside your home.

Second, leaving your windows cracked can result in the same damage as a broken window that destabilizes the pressure in your home during a storm. Do not use tape, and do not crack your windows open.  

Aesthetics or Function? 

Storm shutter materials are commonly aluminum, steel, or polycarbonate, but they are available in several different styles. All of them protect your windows and home; some of them look better than others. 

  1.  Accordion shutters. Accordion shutters function like roll-up shutters in that they fold into a housing unit when not needed. They use a horizontal track to slide them into place and are made of aluminum. Accordion shutters make ideal patio or porch sliding door covers as it's easier to slide the shutters open rather than trying to pull them down.
  2. Bahama shutters. Bahama-style shutters look like typical hurricane shutters but come with added durability. They come in many different styles and colors that fit on the home's exterior above the windows at 45 degrees and provide an attractive option that also safeguards.
  3. Colonial. Colonial storm shutters are elaborate and aesthetically pleasing, allowing homeowners ease of operation. They are aluminum and are installed over the exterior of the windows using hinges to open and close. They also look like traditional home shutters, making them an excellent option for those looking to add curb appeal and attractiveness to their home.
  4. Panel Shutters. Panel hurricane shutters come in a selection of aluminum, steel, or polycarbonate but are plain and lack any ornamentation. Polycarbonate is an excellent choice if you want a clear view outside the home with protection. Panels are corrugated, usually installed before a storm, and stored when not used. 


The Best Durability

Steel is commonly the top choice if you want the most robust material to defend your home. The most affordable options are galvanized, corrugated steel panels that will get the job done but may not be the most attractive. If you want the best durability and curb appeal, consider rolling, accordion, Bahama, or Colonial. 


Suppose you're not a fan of large metal panels or plain corrugated panels on your home's windows. In that case, you might find the style alternative in aluminum shutters has a better chance of matching your home's exterior design.  

Ease of Use and Storage

Attaching and fixing storm shutters shouldn't be too difficult if you're healthy and relatively young. However, if you are elderly, disabled, or chronically ill, the idea of having to put up a storm shutter and take them down several times a year is not feasible. Consider a storm shutter that can be unrolled when needed and rolled when not by use of a motor for better accessibility. Some models require the help and working of a hand crank, so pay attention to how a shutter will operate if limited mobility and difficulty storing may be an issue for you.  

Code Compliance

Before making a purchase, double-check to see if your municipality has any codes regarding storm shutter installation. 
With all the information above, you're on your way to picking out the ideal storm shutters for you. When you consider material, style, performance, aesthetics, and durability, you'll be armed with the correct information to make an informed purchase that will be the most effective storm shutters.