Shutters and window coverings
Shutters require regular maintenance
Do a trial run now to make sure your shutter system is functioning properly.
If you have removable panels, get them out to see if any are missing or bent.
Make sure you have enough mounting fasteners. If not, hardware stores often carry extras. Make sure mounting tracks are clean and debris-free.
Apply some light machine oil to lubricate parts and deter rust.
Permanently applied shutter systems, such as roll-up, Bahama or accordion shutters should be serviced yearly (twice yearly, if you live on the beach) by a professional, especially if the system is motorized. If rollers are accessible, they can be sprayed with aerosol “white grease,” according to Bill Feeley, president of the International
Hurricane Protection Association. All motors should be professionally serviced.
Owners of newly built homes with shutter systems should make sure their builder demonstrates how to use the system and that all parts are provided before moving in. Missing or wrong-sized components are common, according to Feeley. “The homeowner assumes they fit and then when the storm is bearing down, they find out they don’t,” he said.
— Barbara Marshall
International Hurricane Protection Association: (844)516-4472, www.inthpa.com
American Shutter Systems Association: 800-432-2204, www.amshutter.org
Least expensive option: Plywood
Shutter orders and backlogs rise near the height of storm season. So the time to choose your coverings, if you haven’t already, is now. The least expensive option is plywood.
Plywood does not meet Florida Building Code specifications unless it’s installed according to code.
To ensure code compliance, you’ll need a permit from your local building department.
However, if a storm is close and survival is the goal, follow instructions in the accompanying graphic for correct installation.