Welcome to our FAQ guide on hurricane shutters. We answer some basic, and some detailed frequently asked questions about hurricane shutters. The page has been organized into a question (Q) and answer (A) format. And we have grouped the FAQs into topics to make it easier to find the answer to your question.
FAQs by Topic:
Hurricane Shutter FAQ
Basic Hurricane Shutters FAQ
Q: What are hurricane shutters?
A: In general, hurricane shutters are a class of functional, impact resistant shutters that protect your home during a hurricane. They can withstand the intense winds, positive and negative pressure, and flying debris that are common during a hurricane. Learn more in our guide on What Are Hurricane Shutters.
Q: What do hurricane shutters do?
A: They protect your home during a hurricane by protecting areas that are vulnerable to breakage and/or damage during a hurricane. They protect openings such as glass windows, doors, and screened in areas as well as patios, lanais, etc. Storm shutters act as an impact resistant layer. They prevent your home from becoming pressurized, which can lead to more severe damage. In addition, they keep water intrusion out of your home because your glass is fully in tact.
Q: How do hurricane shutters work?
A: Hurricane shutters are impact resistant. They are installed over the exterior of your home’s windows and doors. In turn, the shutters act as an impact resistant shield over your home’s vulnerable openings. They block the impact of intense wind and flying debris so your glass openings do not break.
Q: Do hurricane shutters work?
A: Yes. Hurricane shutters are specifically engineered, manufactured, and tested to be able to withstand intense winds and flying objects.
Q: Why are hurricane shutters important?
A: Storm shutters prevent your home’s glass from being broken. This is important because if your home has an exposed opening it can become pressurized, which can lead to more severe damage. They also keep water intrusion out of your home because your glass is fully in tact. In turn, they help to reduce damage to your home, protect your family, and provide peace of mind during a hurricane. Learn more about the importance of hurricane shutters for Florida homes.
Q: What are the benefits of installing impact shutters in Florida?
A: There are many benefits of adding storm shutters to your home in Florida. They protect your home, family, and property and reduce the risk of injury. They also provide financial benefits, including increasing the value of your home and receiving discounts on your homeowners insurance. In addition, certain types may provide security protection, provide shade and UV control, and boost your home’s curb appeal. Learn about all the benefits of installing storm shutters.
Q: What Happens if You Don’t Have Hurricane Shutters?
A: Hurricanes have the potential to crack or break regular glass windows and doors. The wind can also pick items up, such as debris and other objects, and throw them at your home. This, of course, also has the ability to break your windows, doors, and other vulnerable openings, such as screened in lanais. In both cases, broken windows and doors can lead to more serious damage and issues, such as your home becoming pressurized and water intrusion. Learn more about what happens if you don’t have hurricane shutters.
Q: Do I Need Hurricane Shutters on All Windows?
A: Yes. Standard glass windows/doors and hurricanes don’t go together well. Hurricane force wind gusts and flying objects have the potential to break your windows, causing more significant damage, such as your home becoming pressurized, and increasing the risk of injury. If you have one exposed window this can lead to severe damage. In turn, you need shutters on all windows in order to be protected. Learn more about why you need hurricane shutters on all windows.
Q: What materials are hurricane shutters made of?
A: Different hurricane shutters are constructed out of different materials. In general, they are made from three main materials: aluminum, galvanized steel, and clear polycarbonate plastic. There are also reinforced fabric panels. Learn more about what hurricane shutters are made of.
Q: Do hurricane shutters keep water out?
A: Hurricane shutters can help keep rain water and run off water out of your home during a hurricane. They keep your glass and other vulnerable areas from breaking, which prevents rain and run off from getting into your home. But they may not keep all water out of your home, such as storm surge and flooding, unless the shutters are rated for this purpose.
Q: Should I bother with storm shutters if I live in an evacuation zone?
A: Yes. If your home is in an evacuation zone you should install hurricane shutters or another form of hurricane protection. Properties in an evacuation zone are typically are greatest risk of damage. This means you home would benefit from protection, such as storm shutters.
Q: Do I need hurricane shutters if I have impact windows?
A: Having either hurricane shutter or impact windows is sufficient to protect your home. Some homeowners do install both. This is mainly to prevent impact windows from damage and reduce the need to repair them.
Q: Can I have different types of hurricane shutters on my house?
A: Yes. You can mix and match different shutter types around your home. This includes having different styles in different locations as well as having both automatic and manual shutters.
Q: Can you use hurricane shutters for french doors and/or sliding glass doors?
A: Yes. Multiple types of hurricane shutters can be used on exterior patio doors, including french and sliding glass doors. Learn more about how to use hurricane shutters for sliding glass doors and french doors.
Q: What hurricane shutters can I used for my lanai?
A: You need shutters that are suitable for wide openings. Popular choices for lanai shutters include accordion shutters, roll down shutters, and hurricane screens.
Q: Do roll shutters deter burglars?
A: Yes. hurricane rated roll shutters can deter burglars and protect your property. They are commonly used for security purposes over the windows and doors of business and commercial buildings. When closed and secured they will both deter and keep burglars out of your property when necessary. Learn more about how roller shutters deter burglars.
Q: What are the negatives of hurricane shutters?
A: Different types of shutters have different pros and cons. Common negatives of hurricane shutters include their cost, maintenance, and appearance on your home. These are things that you should take into consideration when picking your ideal hurricane protection.
Q: Where Can I Buy Hurricane Shutters In Florida?
A: If you are looking to buy new hurricane shutters in Florida then there are 3 main options, which include: 1. online distributors, 2. big box hardware stores, and 3. local shutters companies near you. Learn more: Where can I buy hurricane shutters in Florida.
Installing Hurricane Shutters FAQ
Q: What wind speed should I put up my hurricane shutters?
A: We recommend you install your hurricane shutters even for a tropical storm. According to the National Weather Service a tropical storm is a storm in which the maximum sustained surface winds range from 39 – 73 MPH. At these speeds wind can start to cause problems. Learn more in our guide on what category needs hurricane shutters.
Q: When should you put up hurricane shutters?
A: You should put up your hurricane shutters when a hurricane watch is put in effect for your area. Or in other words, you should put your hurricane shutters up 48 hours before the storm starts. Learn more about when to put up hurricane shutters.
Q: How do you install hurricane panels?
A: Installing storm panels is a process that takes some time. Plan to start early or have someone ready to install them for you. If you want to install your panels yourself you can see our instructions on how to install hurricane panels.
Q: How long does it take to install hurricane shutters?
A: The time it takes to prepare your home for a hurricane will vary depending on the type of shutters you have. Storm panels can take as long as 2-3 days or as little as 2-3 hours depending on how many helpers you have and if they are well organized. Installing permanent hurricane shutters is much faster as they are already installed on your home. That means all you have to do is “deploy” them, or in other words, close and secure them.
Q: Do you need a permit to install permanent hurricane shutters?
A: In most counties/municipalities in Florida you need to obtain a permit to install hurricane shutters. You can learn more about whether you need permits to install shutters in Fort Myers and Cape Coral as two examples.
Types of Hurricane Shutters, Alternatives, and Comparing Different Options
Q: What types of hurricane shutters are there?
A: There are many types of hurricane shutters available. These include: roll down shutters, accordion shutters, Bahama shutters, Colonial shutters, corrugated storm panels, and fabric storm panels.
Q: What are the most popular hurricane shutter styles?
A: Accordion shutters, roll down shutters, Bahama shutters are three of the most popular hurricane shutter styles in Southwest Florida. See all the popular hurricane shutter styles.
Q: What are alternatives to hurricane shutters?
A: There are alternatives to hurricane shutters if shutters are not your thing. The two most common alternatives are impact windows and hurricane screens. Learn more about hurricane shutters alternatives.
Q: What Are Permanent Hurricane Shutters?
A: Permanent hurricane shutters are those that are permanently attached/installed on the exterior of your property. When a storm approaches the only thing you have do is to deploy them, which is a fancy way of saying close them up! Learn all about permanent hurricane shutters.
Q: What are decorative hurricane shutters?
A: Decorative hurricane shutters are a type of shutters that are designed to protect your home while making it look more attractive (boost its curb appeal). They include Bahama shutters and Colonial shutters.
Q: What are aluminum hurricane shutters?
A: Aluminum storm shutters are a popular choice for hurricane shutters. Aluminum is an impact resistant material that is widely used to construct hurricane-rated shutters. Aluminum shutters are strong and impact resistant, lighter than metal, and naturally rust resistant. Learn more about aluminum shutters.
Q: What are the easiest hurricane shutters to use?
A: In general, permanently installed hurricane shutters are much easier and faster to prepare your home vs temporary shutters (ie. storm panels). Roll shutters, especially automatic versions, and Accordion shutters are generally considered the easiest shutters to use. See the easiest hurricane shutters to use.
Q: Hurricane shutters vs impact windows. Which is better?
A: Impact windows are best if you have a higher budget and want easy, 24/7 protection without changing the look of your home. Hurricane shutters are the better option if you want a lower price, want some added functionality, are looking for a specific style, or don’t mind the look of them. See a comprehensive comparison: Hurricane Shutters vs Impact Windows.
Q: Hurricane shutters vs hurricane screens? Which is better?
A: Hurricane screens and hurricane shutters are two popular options for storm protection in Florida. Both offer great storm protection, but shutters can be used in more areas of your home. Both screens and most types of shutters look great and also offer additional benefits and functionality above just protection. The price of hurricane screens vs hurricane shutters will vary greatly from one shutter type to another. In the end, the best hurricane protection for you will depend on your needs, preferences and budget. Read our full guide to determine which is best for you: Hurricane Screens vs Hurricane Shutters.
Q: Motorized vs non-motorized hurricane shutters. Which is better?
A: Manual roll downs offer the same protection as motorized shutters at a lower cost, but they do require you to operate them manually. Electric storm shutters offer the highest level of convenience and functionality. But they come at a premium cost and may require more service over time. The right option for you will depend on your preferences and your budget. See a full comparison of motorized vs non-motorized hurricane shutters.
Q: What are the best kind of shutters?
A: Some say the best hurricane shutters are accordion shutters due to their value and ease of use. Others say automatic roll shutters are the best because of their extreme convenience and ease of use. But we think the best shutters for you are the ones that best match your budget and needs. See our guide on choosing the best hurricane shutters for you.
Q: Are all Bahama Shutters Hurricane Proof?
A: No. Not all Bahama shutters are hurricane proof. There are Bahama hurricane shutters, and then there are decorative Bahama shutters. You should choose a hurricane-rated product that has a Florida Product Approval and meets the Florida Building Code.
Q: Are accordion shutters hurricane proof?
A: Accordion hurricane shutters are made to be hurricane proof. However, this may not be true for every accordion shutter. For instance, there are vinyl, interior accordion shutters that are not. You should verify that the accordion shutters you buy have Florida Product Approval and are hurricane-rated. Learn more: Are accordion shutters hurricane proof?
Q: What’s the Maximum Span for Accordion Shutters?
A: The maximum span for accordion shutters may vary from one manufacturer to another. So make sure to check with the specific installer you choose. For our Eurex Shutters PTX™ Accordion Hurricane system, the maximum span we recommend is between 30 to 40 feet.
Q: Do Accordion Shutters Need To Be Locked?
A: You do not need to lock accordion shutters for them to be used as storm protection. The locking feature is useful for security protection purposes. Learn more in our article: Do Accordion Shutters Need To Be Locked?
Hurricane Shutters Cost and Value FAQ
Q: How much do hurricane shutters cost?
A: Hurricane shutters for a standard house can range anywhere from $10 per square foot for storm panels to $50 per square foot for premium, decorative shutters. For an entire project it could range from a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The cost of your project will depend on 1. the specific shutter you select, and 2. the total square feet of your project. Reference our guide on hurricane shutters cost for pricing on specific types of shutters.
Q: What are the least expensive hurricane shutters?
A: In general, temporary shutters cost less vs permanent shutters. Storm panels are usually the lowest cost type of shutter you can buy. Learn about the least expensive hurricane shutters.
Q: Do hurricane shutters increase home value in Florida?
A: Yes. In addition to protecting you and your property hurricane shutters add value to your home. This is because installing storm shutters for windows and doors is a great selling feature for many reasons. Prospective buyers will find your home more valuable because they will not have to install themselves. This helps your home stand out vs competing homes and increases it’s market value. Learn more about why hurricane shutters increase home value.
Q: Are hurricane shutters worth it?
A: The answer may be different depending on who you ask. Hurricane shutters have a cost, but there are many reasons why hurricane shutters are worth the cost. Storm shutters will protect your home and family against the toughest storms. Many insurance companies require storm shutters here in the state of Florida and some even provide discounts if you have shutters installed. Last, hurricane protection, such as storm shutters can also increase the value of your home in Florida.
Q: How Often Should Hurricane Shutters Be Serviced?
A: We recommend that you have your hurricane shutters serviced at least 1x per year. This will ensure that everything is working properly and is ready to go if and when you need it. You don’t want to find out there is a problem when you go to deploy your storm shutters. A regular service schedule will ensure everything is in order. And remember the more parts a hurricane shutter system has, the more important it is to be serviced regularly. Learn more about how often should hurricane shutters be serviced.
Q: What do I do with old hurricane shutters?
A: You can donate them, recycle them, sell them for scrap metal, or trade them in for new ones. Learn more about what to do with old hurricane shutters.