Metal hurricane shutters appeal to many homeowners looking to enhance hurricane protection for their homes. While metal shutters are usually regarded as the most effective protection, along with storm doors and impact windows, they may not be as effective as many believe.
There is no doubt that hurricane shutters are an attractive option for homeowners looking to protect their property from powerful storms. However, just because they are popular, does that mean they are the most effective solution? Consider these five significant drawbacks and disadvantages of metal hurricane shutters before making a purchase decision.
Drawback 1: Metal Hurricane Shutters Are Noisy
Unlike other options, such as impact windows, hurricane metal shutters can be very noisy when installed in your home. This is because they tend to rattle and bang against the window frame when it gets windy or rainy outside. The rattling noise can get annoying for some people, such as neighbors or young children trying to sleep, especially if you live in an area where it often rains during the year.
Drawback 2: They Create a Darker Environment
The second drawback of hurricane shutters is that they can create a darker indoor environment when in use. Completely blocking out sunlight creates more darkness and makes it more uncomfortable to stay in your home for those who are sheltering in place.
Having to run interior lights constantly can put a drain on any battery-powered light source, like flashlights. It also means that it will be impossible to see outside, which could affect your ability to monitor flooding or other hazards.
Impact windows, on the other hand, provide the same protection without compromising natural sunlight.
Drawback 3: Metal Hurricane Shutters Before A Storm
Unlike impact windows, which are permanently fixed to your home, hurricane shutters must be closed up and locked down before a hurricane arrives. Many homeowner associations do not allow you to close them unless a storm is imminent. This means, if you go out of town and then see on the news that a storm is approaching. You may have the odd experience of traveling towards the hurricane, to try and get home and close up your panels before it arrives.
Drawback 4: They Take Away from Your Home’s Beauty
The fourth drawback of hurricane shutters is that they can take away from the beauty of your home. Hurricane shutters are flat, metallic installations that can distract from your home’s original aesthetics. The ugly metal shutters are permanently installed and visible year-round.
If your home is painted in bright tones, metal hurricane shutters’ cold industrial appearance may clash with your home’s exterior. Depending on where you live, primarily if governed by an HOA, you may not be allowed to install shutters over your windows.
Unlike their counterparts, hurricane impact windows blend in with the aesthetic of your home – you don’t have to worry about homeowner association violations or taking away from your property value.
Drawback 5: Metal Hurricane Shutters Require Maintenance
Another drawbacks of hurricane shutters is that they require regular maintenance. Accordion shutters must have tracks cleaned and hinges checked. Also, although aluminum does not rust, it will pit and corrode. Also check the exposed screws used to install them.
Other Ineffective or Problematic Options:
As a quick and cheap solution, many homeowners apply tape to their windows in an attempt to prevent them from shattering during a hurricane. However, this is not an effective method of protection. Tape does not provide any structural support to the window, and it can actually make the window more dangerous by creating larger and sharper pieces of glass when it breaks.
Nailing Plywood to Windows
Plywood is another popular option for window protection during a hurricane. Many find that home improvement stores and lumberyards are sold out of plywood at the first warning of a hurricane.
Installation of plywood is cumbersome and requires saws and other tools. This makes it a time-consuming and inconvenient option. Often homes are damaged by the screws or nails used.
Florida impact testing has shown that plywood cannot stop wind-born debris. Also, it is not very effective in high-wind scenarios. Even a Category-1 hurricane can blow plywood off a home during a hurricane, which is also very dangerous for anyone outside.
Installing Metal Hurricane Storm Panels
Storm panels are most commonly made from heavy corrugated steel and are designed to cover windows during a hurricane. Unlike tape or plywood, storm panels are an approved form of hurricane protection. However, they do require installation and removal before and after each storm. They are bulky and must be stored year-round when not in use.
The panel sections used to cover large windows and doors can be very heavy. Leather gloves are required, as the panels often have razor sharp edges. Many are physically unable to install the heavy metal panels. Even the strongest person may not be able to lift larger panels up a ladder to second floor windows. Especially in windy conditions.
Using Window Film
Window film is a thin layer of plastic that can be applied to the interior or exterior of a window. While it can help keep broken glass together better than tape, it does not provide any real protection against a hurricane. This is partly because it ads no structural support to the window. It is also ineffective against flying debris.
Metal Hurricane Shutters vs. Hurricane Impact Windows
Hurricane impact windows are designed to withstand the force of a Category 5 hurricane and are tested to meet or exceed the most stringent building codes. They are made of specially constructed glass that is designed to stay intact even if it shatters, providing a high level of protection.
Metal hurricane shutters, on the other hand, can provide varying levels of protection depending on their construction and installation. This can lead to inconsistent protection and the shutter build quality can vary.
Hurricane impact windows are a permanent addition to your home. They are custom made to fit your existing window openings. They come in a variety of styles and can enhance the overall look of your home.
In contrast, hurricane shutters are a temporary solution that must be installed and removed before and after each storm. They can detract from the appearance of your home and may not be as aesthetically pleasing.
Hurricane impact windows require little maintenance beyond occasional cleaning. To clean them, a simple window cleaning solution and a soft cloth will suffice in most cases.
Unlike impact windows, shutters require regular maintenance to ensure that they function properly and are in proper condition to withstand the next storm. Part replacements can take time and add up over time if they need frequent upkeep.
Hurricane impact windows are generally require a larger initial investment than metal hurricane shutters do. Yet, that is only if your existing windows are newer and do not need to be replaced anytime soon. Otherwise, the combined cost of non-impact windows and shutters is generally more expensive than hurricane windows are.
Also, unlike shutters, hurricane impact windows can provide long-term savings in energy costs and can increase the value of your home.
Get Complete Protection for Your Home with Hurricane Impact Windows
When a hurricane hits, you’ll want to be sure your home is protected. But there are so many options for protecting your home that it’s hard to know what’s best. Paradise Exteriors is the place to go if you’re searching for quality hurricane windows and doors in Florida.
We are the exclusive installer of award-winning EnergyStar rated Paradise Platinum Series windows, the only windows of their kind recognized by the National Crime Prevention Council. Our windows have 24/7 protection, UV light filtering, and outdoor noise-reducing features that make them ideal for any home.
Not only do they offer superior sealing technology for greater thermal control and wind/water resistance, but they also require no maintenance at all. If you want a window that will last for as long as you own your home, without requiring any upkeep or repair, these are it!
We offer 100% financing and our windows are backed by an industry leading double-life warranty. Contact us to schedule a free quote today for more information on how we can help you protect your home and family during a hurricane.