Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Storm Shutters Protection for Windows

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on December 23, 2011

Storm Shutters Protection for WindowsHigh winds and windborne debris can easily break unprotected windows and cause doors to fail. Once wind enters a structure, the likelihood of severe structural damage increases, and the contents of the building will be exposed to the elements. The most reliable method of protecting windows and doors is installing permanent storm shutters. Alternatives include using temporary plywood covers, mesh or screen systems, and replacing existing windows and doors with impact-resistant windows and doors.

Permanent storm shutters are usually made of aluminum or steel and are attached to a building in such a way that they can be closed quickly before a storm arrives. One type is the “rolldown” shutter (see figure on this page), which is contained in a housing mounted above the window and lowered when necessary. Manually operated and motor-driven models are available.

While permanent storm shutters can usually be closed quickly and easily, temporary covers can be an economical alternative and can be installed fairly quickly if the necessary preparations are made. Plywood covers can also be used to protect sliding glass doors and French doors.


Helps to prevent damage to a structure and its contents


Keep these points in mind when you install shutters or use temporary plywood, fiberglass, metal panel, or mesh covers to protect your windows and doors:

  • Always consider using permanent storm shutters if you live in an area where you know you will need to act quickly to protect your windows. If your property is in an area where you will have little warning of high winds, permanent shutters that can be closed quickly, such as the rolldown shutter, are better than temporary plywood covers, which must be retrieved from storage and mounted with bolts or screws. Rolled Down Shutter
  • If you decide to buy permanent shutters, look for models that meet the wind load and impact standards established for your area. These standards can be obtained from your local building official. If you have any questions about the strength of a specific model, check with the manufacturer. Permanent shutters are available in a wide range of sizes, so you can use them to protect many types of windows and doors, as well as large areas of glass.
  • If you decide to use temporary plywood covers, you may want to hire a contractor or handyman to make them for you. If you do the work yourself, you will need to cut the plywood and drill holes for screws or lag bolts in each cover and in the wall around each window. You should follow a prescriptive deign appropriate for the windspeed of the are. DO NOT use oriented strand board (OSB). The screws or lag bolts should be placed along the top, bottom, and sides of each cover, and they should be long enough to penetrate the wall studs around the window, and not just the siding or wall covering.
  • Don’t wait until a hurricane or high wind warning is issued to make temporary covers; you probably won’t have time. Make them during the “off season” so that you’ll be ready to install them at any time. Store the mounting screws or lag bolts with the covers, in a place where they are readily accessible – don’t stack heavy boxes or other hard-to-move materials on top of or around the covers. Use a numbering or lettering system that shows which cover goes with which window.
  • If you buy motor-driven shutters, make sure they also can be operated manually if the power fails.
  • If you are constructing a new building in an area subject to high winds, avoid designs that include large areas of glass, windows with multiple panels, and double entry doors. The widths of individual doors and windows should not exceed 3 feet.
  • Check the local building code for windborne debris protection requirements in your area.

Distributed by Viestly


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