The hurricane shutters you use can mean the difference between minimal damage, total destruction of your home and even life and death to you and your family
Hurricane force winds, 74 mph or higher are strong enough to destroy buildings, trailers, trucks, cars and mobile homes. It can rip off roofs, sidings, gutters and lift unsecured garbage cans, chairs, tables and other items that will become projectiles smashing onto your walls, windows and doors.
One small opening will let enough wind in that could eventually rip open a larger hole causing life threatening exposure you and your family.
Here I will discuss some of the different kinds of shutters available, how to choose and care them and also what to expect from each.
This kind of shutter is permanently anchored to the sides of the windows and doors. When not extended to cover the opening it is folded like an accordion and secured on the sides of the window or doors.
The accordion shutter affords the convenience of pulling it across the opening as it unfolds to lock in place on the opposite side.
Made of metal and fitted to run on tracks placed on the top and bottom of the openings, these tracks over time might accumulate debris obstructing the pathway of the shutter. Be sure to inspected and clean them occasionally. During a storm large and small objects bang on your shutter so it’s a good idea to open and inspect your shutter before the next storm to be sure it is still functional.
The Bahama Shutter
Anchored at the top of your window as an awning when not being used as best hurricane shutters this kind of shutters lowers to cover the entire window and is locked in place at the bottom and sides.
The Bahama shutter affords convenience and ease of use since it does not require that you remove and replace it at any time. Because it sits above the window, light is restricted from entering the opening it protects and should be a consideration in your choice of this kind of shutter.
As this shutter is never removed it is exposed to everyday elements like rain and wind and should be occasionally inspected for rusts, lose screws and damage that might have been caused from the last storm. Lower your shutter and lock it in place as a test to make sure it works so you will be prepared whenever you need to use it.
The Roll Hurricane Shutter
This kind of shutter rolls up into its container that is installed above the window. It is lowered either manually with a crank like that used on louver type windows or is lowered electronically. The Roll affords superb protection for your windows as it rolls down in tracks on both sides of the opening and is locked in place at the bottom also in its track.
Though the Roll is made of metal and is designed for windows some shutter manufacturers offer custom designs for door openings. The casing in which it rolls up into protects it from the elements when not in use but should still be examined for damages after a hurricane. You should also lower and retract it before the next storm to be sure that all the parts work especially if it is electronically controlled.
Panels made of steel or aluminum are stored and placed over the openings whenever it’s needed. Metal strips containing the required amount of bolts are anchored to the sides of the openings. The panels are fitted onto these bolts and secured in place with a nut. When not in use the panels are removed and stored along with its hardware in a safe place where it is easily accessible when it’s needed.
This kind of shutter provides superb protection but has to be removed, reinstalled, stored and care must be taken so as not to lose the nuts needed for its installation. The sharp edges can also cause injury to your hands and feet and should be handled with care.
Store these panels in an area not frequently used so as to avoid getting scratched or cuts, wear work glove to protect your hands whenever you have to move them, you should also secure the parts and tool need to install these shutters so they don’t get lost.
The right protection for your home is the one that gets you through the storm safely and with little or no damage to your home and property
Miami Dade areas of Florida have seen their share of devastating hurricanes and will continue to be threatened and be hit by major and minor storms. As a result the shutters designed for this area must be the best.
Whenever a Hurricane shutter meets their standard it is stamped “Miami Dade approved” and is accepted by insurance companies as being able to provide adequate protection against large and small projectiles carried by hurricane force winds. Look for this stamp of approval when you shop for your hurricane shutters.
Disaster preparedness should be among your priorities and therefore shouldn’t be taken lightly. Knowing how to prepare could not only save you life but could also save you from financial hardships caused by damage or loss of property. I have seen people who lost their homes and everything in it but could have been avoided by just taking simple steps that would have protected their property.
No one wants to think it could happen to them but if it does, wouldn’t you want to feel secure that you made some preparation?