Hurricane shutters are included with most new homes built in our county. Hurricanes are just a reality of life here in Charlotte County. We all do our best to protect our home from potential damage caused by the storms. Protecting our windows is just one of the steps we have to take. With a variety of options available it can be hard to decide what will work best for you and your home. Take a look at this list to read about the most common options and their benefits.
Types of Hurricane Shutters
The most common method for protecting windows from hurricanes is to install shutters. These come in a variety of styles to fit any budget, style, and personal preferences you may have.
Accordion Hurricane Shutters
Accordion hurricane shutters unfold along the window like an accordion. These are typically made of metal or polycarbonate and are permanently attached to the home. When not in use they fold up into place to be as small as possible.
Automatic Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters
Automatic roll-down hurricane shutters are a convenient option for many houses. They are typically more expensive to purchase and install than accordion hurricane shutters but are easier to use and blend into the home better. However, these require battery backup to operate in case of a power outage.
Bahama Hurricane Shutter
The Bahama hurricane shutter is louvered and attached above the window. During a storm these shutters are closed down against the window to protect from flying debris. These are typically made with aluminum but can also be found in wood and fiberglass options.
Storm Panel Hurricane Shutter
The storm panel hurricane shutter is the only one on our list that can be fully removed. While this may be more aesthetically pleasing when it’s not hurricane season it does require extra set up, takedown, and storage. These come in a variety of styles, but they are typically made of steel or aluminum.
Colonial Hurricane Shutter
When most people think of shutters, they picture colonial hurricane shutters. Typically made of wood, metal, or fiberglass they attach on either side of the window to create a frame. When hurricane season rolls around you simply close the two sides together in front of your window. This option can be more expensive but is aesthetically pleasing on most homes.
Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows
Another option when looking for hurricane protection, are impact resistant hurricane windows. These windows are specifically designed to handle high wind and debris. There are several things that set these windows apart from traditional windows.
Impact resistant hurricane windows are made with tempered glass. Tempered glass is made by heat treating it prior to cooling. As it cools the glass compresses and makes it 5 to 10 times stronger than traditional glass. If it does break, tempered glass shatters into small pieces that don’t have sharp edges.
Most impact resistant hurricane windows are also laminated. This means that a layer is installed between the two glass panes to hold the pieces of glass together if the window does break.
- Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB)
PVB it’s a common choice when looking at laminated windows. It ensures that even if the glass breaks no water or wind is able to enter your home.
- Sentry Glass Plus (SGP)
The other choice for laminated windows is SGB. The overall goal of this material is the same, but it is stronger and clearer than PVB. This makes them a better long-term choice to maintain not only the strength of your windows but the beauty of your home.
Strong Window Frame
Lastly, an impact resistant hurricane window is only as strong as its framing. If your window isn’t held in place during a storm it doesn’t matter how strong the glass is. These frames are made with thicker stronger materials and are attached better to the glass itself.
New Home Considerations
If you’re looking at a building a new home, it’s important to protect your investment. We would love to help you decide what type of hurricane shutter is best for your home. Or perhaps impact resistant hurricane windows are a better choice for you. Either way we can help guide you to the right choice to keep your family and your new home safe during hurricane season.