Security, storm or hurricane shutters serve many purposes. Yes, you can protect your home from damaging winds that carry all sorts of debris. Look at the pictures of what Charley has done. Look at the piles of debris everywhere, some small and some large pieces. Several people lost their lives hit by killing missiles pushed by winds in excess of 100 m.p.h.
So the job of any shutter is to protect your glass areas from breakage when hit by flying debris. Why? The simple reason is a broken window or door will allow the wind to build huge pressures inside of your home. This pressure is looking for a quick way to relieve itself. Now while the pressure is looking for a way out the winds are shrieking across your roof trying with all of its might to pull your roof off. So, you have pressure inside pushing your roof up from inside and the wind outside trying to suck your roof off. Sounds like a double whammy doesn't it? Well that is when the roof is pushed and sucked off of your home and blows away becoming another pile of debris. Very Sad.
There are many styles and types of hurricane shutters that will serve to protect your home or office. Lets start with the most expensive.
Roll Shutters are by far the most convenient and easiest storm shutter product available. The roll up shutter can be designed to fit virtually any opening and it can be operated manually with crank handles from inside or outside of the building. You can motorize the shutters with manual overrides and totally automate the operation with timed opening and closing or with wind sensors that close the shutters when a wind exceeds a certain preset value. They are, due to the ease of operation, used for all sorts of occasions like security, light and sound control and insulation. Properly installed roll-up shutters have a minimum impact on the architectural integrity of your property. Pricing
Colonial and Bahama Shutters are an excellent choice for a positive architectural look and easy use in the event of a hurricane. They provide security and control of light and sound with a minimum of maintenance. The closing of the shutters are accomplished in most cases from the outside. The second floor openings only available by ladder in some cases can be secured from inside. However, windows that open outward prevent closure from inside and a ladder will be required to secure Bahama and Colonial shutters on second floor or higher situations. Colonial Pricing | Bahama Pricing
Accordion Shutters provide excellent storm protection, security, sound and light control. They are most often secured from outside but can be secured from the inside easily when the opening is a sliding window or door or a door that swings in when opened. This limitation could affect second floor closing with windows or doors that swing outward. Accordion shutters can have a significant impact on the architecture of a building. Careful installation design is recommended to minimize that affect. They are permanently stacked at the sides of each opening and can be secured quickly. Pricing
Storm Panels are simple and effective hurricane shutters. They are most often secured outside but can be designed for inside closure for sliding glass doors and windows in some situations. They can be installed vertically or horizontally as works best for each opening. They can be installed using permanently installed headers and sills or can be installed using. The Tampin(R) Brand Machine Screw Anchor is a simple fastener that installs a threaded attach point for a sidewalk bolt to hold the panels in place. Also the use of Tampins(R) reduces the architectural impact on the property as there is no hardware showing except the head of the sidewalk bolt. Panels must be safely and securely stored when not in use. Kids love to make forts from the panels. The threat of a storm will require you to install the panels for each opening in advance. Trust me, it is no fun to install the panels when the wind is blowing and you are climbing up a ladder. The installation of the panels will make your house very dark inside. I suggest you consider you replace one metal panel for a Lexan panel to allow some natural light into each room. Not to mention everyone inside is curious about what is going on during the storm. DO NOT GO OUT SIDE DURING THE STORM! Flying debris can kill! Pricing
PLYWOOD can protect your property IF properly anchored and the proper thickness. I recommend 5/8” and anchors every 6”-12” all the way around. Plywood makes holes in the house which will need some attention when the plywood is removed. Don't wait until the last minute!
FILM can provide a reasonable level of protection. I have seen tests of the higher quality products and it is impressive. However, I have not seen any of the films that meet any code or passed any such test. The premise is newer windows are subject to hurricane wind load tests and if we can protect the glass from breakage thus protecting the envelope of your home all will be well. This becomes a question of how much protection you want at what price. Buy Panels at least!
IMPACT GLASS is a viable solution for protection. It has been tested and meets the codes. If you are building a new home or doing a major remodel consider this solution and purchase high quality windows and thermal-rated impact glass. You win from a couple of ways such as no installation cost, better window seals, no concern about maintenance of shutters, no negative architectural impact, 24/7 protection. The downside is the glass can be broken and is pricey to replace. We have customers that still install panels over impact glass. Go figure!
There are a couple of new products on the horizon that I will report on once they are out there for sale.
In closing, I strongly recommend you protect your home or office if you are in Florida. I have a dear friend that owned a resort in the Florida Keys for 11 years. He never was damaged by a hurricane. He moved to Lancaster, South Carolina and nearly lost everything in Hugo. 150 miles from the coast and got whacked big time.
No one in Florida is immune from hurricane damage. No zone will protect you. Andrew, Charley, Francis, Jeanne and Wilma proved that. Arcadia is 40 miles from the coast; Polk County is smack in the middle of the state. Ask them about damage from hurricanes. Charley traveled across Florida and folks in the Daytona area suffered severe damage. BE PREPARED by protecting your home with hurricane shutters before a storm rears its ugly head and leave before the storm hits. It is not fun to live without electricity, telephones, grocery stores and simple drinking water. Not to mention the tragedy all around. If your home is protected it will be waiting for you when the power is restored. A home protected by storm shutters is less likely to be looted by opportunists that think they can steal something and get away quickly.
Florida is a great place to live; we just need to understand the weather threats and be prepared.