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When you’re working on your home’s hurricane preparedness, there are a lot of things to consider. You’ll want to get rid of any trees or branches that could fall on your house, bring in lawn furniture and anything else that could become a projectile in a storm, and make sure there are no weak points where water can enter your home. Before that, though, you’ll want to protect your glass windows and doors with something permanent. Will you choose hurricane shutters or hurricane screens for windows and doors around your home? We’ve got some advice, and factors to consider when you’re making this big decision.

Installing Hurricane ShuttersLet’s start by talking about hurricane shutters. There are many different variations of hurricane window shutters, ranging from basic to elaborate.

  • Storm panels are considered hurricane shutters, but they’re really closer in function to plywood. Corrugated metal or plastic panels, they’re measured to fit your windows and doorways and must be put into place with each storm. They’re inexpensive compared to other types of shutters because they’re wholly utilitarian, not made for aesthetic appeal.
  • Accordion hurricane shutters offer more permanent protection. Installed on one or both sides of a window or door, they’re designed to open to the center, covering the area horizontally by gliding across on tracks. They’re more expensive than storm panels, because they’re permanent, but they’re still moderately priced.
  • Roll down hurricane shutters are popular and easy to use. Like accordion shutters, they are permanently installed but not always prominently displayed. Mounted above the window or door, these shutters roll down vertically when needed, operated by a motor or a crank. They’re sturdy and easy to use, and fall in the moderate price range, though they tend to be slightly more expensive than accordion shutters.
  • Colonial and Bahama hurricane shutters are the most expensive and most attractive types of shutters. They’re permanent and designed to enhance the look of the house, and they operate with a louvered system that simply closes over the window in a storm. The difference between these two styles is that Colonial shutters are mounted on either side of the window and flip inward, while Bahama shutters are installed above the window and propped open when not in use. In the even of a storm, the Bahama shutter is simply lowered and locked.

There are not as many types of hurricane window screens as there are shutters. Essentially, there are security screens, and there is hurricane fabric. Hurricane fabric can be mounted on a frame to place over the window when a storm is approaching. It can also be used to enclose a pool, patio, or lanai. Permanently installing it over windows is possible, but it’s typically not the best solution. Hurricane screens over an outdoor entertaining area are similar to other screens in look and function, allowing sun and air to flow through while keeping out bugs, but the difference is that hurricane fabric screens can withstand category 5 winds. Security screens are like standard window screens except that they’re made of metal, so they’re resistant to impacts and tearing. They’re good for securing windows and keeping out intruders, and they can also prevent storm damage.

Hurricane shutters and screens act as a physical barrier to protect your home against a hurricane, but which is a better option? It really depends on your particular home and your unique needs. Hurricane screens are typically better suited for large, open spaces, while shutters are better for windows and doors. There are a wide variety of options, aesthetically speaking, so it’s best to schedule a consultation with an experienced technician who understands the ins and outs of hurricane preparation and protection and can help you determine which is the right choice for you.

Whether you prefer hurricane screens or shutters, when you need to protect your home or business from Florida’s storms, trust Storm Smart, the recognized leader in hurricane protection. First established in 1994, we’ve been serving the East Coast of Florida since 2016, providing the very best in storm protection, along with unmatched customer service. We’re the largest manufacturer and installer of code-approved hurricane protection products, and we offer a full line of technologically advanced systems, backed by the care and service of highly-trained technicians. To find the right products to keep your property and family safe during hurricane season and all year long, contact our experienced team by calling 561-220-7222, or schedule a consultation and free estimate through our website.