Custom Shutters: Commercial Hurricane Shutters Explained

Commercial hurricane shutters are a crucial component of any commercial building located in hurricane-prone areas. They provide an essential layer of protection against the destructive forces of hurricanes, safeguarding the building and its occupants from high-speed winds, heavy rainfall, and flying debris. This article delves into the intricate details of commercial hurricane shutters, exploring their types, functionality, installation process, maintenance, and much more.

Understanding the importance and functionality of commercial hurricane shutters is vital for business owners, property managers, architects, and builders. It enables them to make informed decisions when selecting and installing these protective elements. This comprehensive glossary article will serve as a detailed guide, shedding light on every aspect of commercial hurricane shutters.

Types of Commercial Hurricane Shutters

Commercial hurricane shutters come in various types, each offering a unique set of advantages. The choice of shutter type depends on several factors, including the building’s architectural design, budget, and specific protection needs. The main types of commercial hurricane shutters include accordion shutters, roll-down shutters, Bahama shutters, and colonial shutters.

Accordion shutters are hinged panels that fold or unfold horizontally. They are cost-effective and easy to operate, making them a popular choice for many commercial buildings. Roll-down shutters, on the other hand, are more robust and provide superior protection. They are rolled down from a box installed above the window and can be operated manually or with a motor. Bahama and colonial shutters are hinged at the top and side of the window, respectively. They add a touch of style to the building while providing adequate protection against hurricanes.

Accordion Shutters

Accordion shutters are named for their folding design, which resembles the bellows of an accordion. They are typically made of metal, such as aluminum, and are attached to the building’s exterior on tracks. When a hurricane approaches, the shutters are pulled across the window or door and locked into place, providing a sturdy barrier against the storm.

One of the main advantages of accordion shutters is their ease of operation. They can be closed and locked quickly, making them ideal for buildings that require rapid storm preparation. Additionally, when not in use, accordion shutters fold neatly to the side of the window or door, minimizing visual obstruction.

Roll-Down Shutters

Roll-down shutters, also known as rolling shutters, are among the most robust and effective types of commercial hurricane shutters. They are made from durable materials such as high-quality aluminum or steel, and are designed to roll down from a box installed above the window or door. This design provides a solid, one-piece barrier against the hurricane, offering maximum protection.

Roll-down shutters can be operated manually using a crank or pulley system, or they can be motorized for easier operation. One of the main advantages of roll-down shutters is their versatility. They can be used for other purposes, such as insulation, noise reduction, and security, making them a worthwhile investment for many commercial properties.

Installation of Commercial Hurricane Shutters

The installation of commercial hurricane shutters is a critical process that requires precision and expertise. It involves several steps, including measuring the windows and doors, selecting the appropriate shutter type, attaching the shutters to the building, and testing their operation. The installation process may vary slightly depending on the type of shutter and the specific characteristics of the building.

It’s important to note that the installation of commercial hurricane shutters should be carried out by a professional installer. This ensures that the shutters are installed correctly and securely, providing the highest level of protection. Incorrect installation can compromise the effectiveness of the shutters and may even lead to damage during a hurricane.

Measuring Windows and Doors

The first step in the installation process is measuring the windows and doors that will be protected by the shutters. This involves taking accurate measurements of the height and width of each opening. These measurements are crucial for selecting the appropriate size of shutters and ensuring a secure fit.

When measuring, it’s important to consider any obstructions, such as light fixtures or architectural features, that may interfere with the operation of the shutters. These obstructions may need to be relocated or accounted for in the shutter design.

Selecting the Appropriate Shutter Type

Once the measurements have been taken, the next step is selecting the appropriate type of shutter. This decision should be based on several factors, including the building’s architectural style, the level of protection required, and the budget. Each type of shutter offers different advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider these carefully.

For example, accordion shutters may be a good choice for a building with a large number of windows, as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to operate. On the other hand, roll-down shutters may be more suitable for a high-end commercial building, as they offer superior protection and can be integrated seamlessly into the building’s design.

Maintenance of Commercial Hurricane Shutters

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of commercial hurricane shutters. This involves cleaning the shutters, inspecting them for damage, lubricating moving parts, and testing their operation. Proper maintenance can prevent malfunctions and extend the lifespan of the shutters, providing reliable protection for many years.

It’s recommended to carry out maintenance at least once a year, preferably before the start of the hurricane season. However, in areas with frequent storms or high levels of airborne debris, more frequent maintenance may be necessary. Additionally, any damage or malfunctions should be repaired immediately to prevent further issues.

Cleaning the Shutters

Cleaning is a crucial part of shutter maintenance. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the shutters, potentially interfering with their operation. To clean the shutters, use a soft brush or cloth and a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow the shutters to dry completely before closing them.

When cleaning, be sure to check for signs of corrosion, especially on metal shutters. If any corrosion is found, it should be treated promptly to prevent further damage. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as these can damage the shutter’s surface.

Inspecting and Repairing the Shutters

Regular inspection is key to identifying and addressing any issues with the shutters. Check for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, dents, or loose parts. Pay special attention to the tracks and locking mechanisms, as these are critical for the shutter’s operation.

If any damage or malfunctions are found, it’s important to repair them as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the issue, this may involve tightening loose parts, replacing damaged components, or repainting the shutters. In some cases, professional repair services may be necessary.

Benefits of Commercial Hurricane Shutters

Commercial hurricane shutters offer numerous benefits, making them a worthwhile investment for any commercial building in a hurricane-prone area. They provide robust protection against hurricanes, reducing the risk of damage and injury. Additionally, they can enhance the building’s aesthetics, increase its value, and even lower insurance premiums.

Moreover, commercial hurricane shutters can provide additional benefits beyond storm protection. They can offer increased security, reducing the risk of break-ins and vandalism. They can also improve energy efficiency by reducing heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. Furthermore, they can provide noise reduction, making the building more comfortable for its occupants.

Protection Against Hurricanes

The primary benefit of commercial hurricane shutters is their ability to protect against hurricanes. They form a sturdy barrier against high-speed winds, heavy rainfall, and flying debris, preventing these destructive forces from damaging the windows and doors. This can significantly reduce the risk of structural damage, water damage, and injury from broken glass.

By protecting the building’s openings, hurricane shutters can also help maintain the building’s internal pressure during a hurricane. This can prevent roof lift-off, a common cause of severe structural damage during hurricanes. Therefore, hurricane shutters play a crucial role in the overall hurricane resistance of a building.

Enhancement of Building Aesthetics

Commercial hurricane shutters can also enhance the aesthetics of a building. They come in a variety of styles and colors, allowing them to complement the building’s architectural design. Some types of shutters, such as Bahama and colonial shutters, can add a distinctive touch of style to the building.

Moreover, some types of hurricane shutters can be integrated seamlessly into the building’s design. For example, roll-down shutters can be concealed in a box when not in use, maintaining the building’s clean lines. This can enhance the building’s curb appeal, making it more attractive to customers, tenants, and investors.


Commercial hurricane shutters are an essential protective feature for any commercial building in a hurricane-prone area. They provide robust protection against the destructive forces of hurricanes, safeguarding the building and its occupants. With a variety of types available, commercial hurricane shutters can be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each building.

Proper installation and maintenance are key to ensuring the effectiveness and longevity of commercial hurricane shutters. By understanding the intricacies of these protective elements, business owners, property managers, architects, and builders can make informed decisions, ensuring the highest level of protection for their commercial properties.

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