Shutter Material: Accordion Shutters Explained

Accordion shutters, as a type of protective window covering, have been widely used in both residential and commercial settings. They are named for their unique design, which resembles the bellows of an accordion. This article will delve into the intricacies of accordion shutters, focusing on their material composition, benefits, installation process, and maintenance requirements.

The choice of shutter material can greatly influence the durability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal of the shutters. As such, understanding the different materials used in the construction of accordion shutters is crucial for anyone considering this type of window protection. This comprehensive guide will provide a detailed explanation of the various materials used in accordion shutters, their properties, and their impact on the overall performance of the shutters.

Materials Used in Accordion Shutters

Accordion shutters are typically made from either metal or plastic, with each material offering its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The choice of material will depend on a variety of factors, including the desired level of protection, budget, and aesthetic preferences.

Regardless of the material used, all accordion shutters should be durable and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. They should also be easy to operate and maintain. The following sections will provide a detailed analysis of the two main materials used in accordion shutters: metal and plastic.

Metal Accordion Shutters

Metal is a popular choice for accordion shutters due to its strength and durability. The most commonly used metals in the construction of these shutters are aluminum and steel. Both of these metals are known for their resistance to corrosion, making them ideal for use in areas with high humidity or salty air, such as coastal regions.

Aluminum is lighter than steel, making it easier to handle and install. It is also less expensive, making it a more affordable option for many homeowners. However, steel is stronger and more resistant to impact, making it a better choice for areas prone to severe weather conditions, such as hurricanes or tornadoes.

Plastic Accordion Shutters

Plastic, specifically high-quality PVC, is another common material used in the construction of accordion shutters. PVC shutters are lightweight, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive compared to their metal counterparts. They are also resistant to corrosion, making them a good choice for coastal areas.

However, plastic shutters are not as strong as metal shutters and may not provide the same level of protection against severe weather. They are also more susceptible to damage from UV rays and may become brittle and crack over time. Despite these drawbacks, plastic shutters can still provide adequate protection for homes in areas with milder weather conditions.

Benefits of Accordion Shutters

Accordion shutters offer several benefits, regardless of the material used. These include protection against severe weather, increased security, and improved energy efficiency. The following sections will delve into these benefits in more detail.

It’s important to note that while accordion shutters can provide significant benefits, they may not be the best choice for every situation. Factors such as the local climate, the architecture of the building, and personal preferences should all be considered when choosing the type of shutters to install.

Protection Against Severe Weather

One of the primary reasons homeowners choose to install accordion shutters is to protect their homes from severe weather. These shutters are designed to withstand high winds, heavy rain, and flying debris, making them an excellent choice for homes in hurricane-prone areas.

When closed, accordion shutters form a solid barrier that can prevent wind and water from entering the home. This can help prevent damage to the home’s interior and keep the occupants safe during a storm. In addition, the shutters can be quickly and easily closed in the event of a storm, providing immediate protection.

Increased Security

Accordion shutters can also provide an added layer of security for your home. When closed, they form a solid barrier that can deter potential intruders. The shutters can be locked from the inside, making it difficult for anyone to gain unauthorized access to the home.

In addition to deterring intruders, accordion shutters can also provide privacy. When closed, they block the view into the home, providing privacy for the occupants. This can be particularly beneficial in urban areas or other locations where homes are close together.

Installation of Accordion Shutters

The installation process for accordion shutters will vary depending on the material used and the specific design of the shutters. However, the basic steps involved in the installation process are generally the same. These include measuring the windows, preparing the shutter tracks, attaching the shutters to the tracks, and testing the shutters to ensure they operate correctly.

While it is possible to install accordion shutters yourself, it is generally recommended to hire a professional to do the job. This will ensure that the shutters are installed correctly and operate as intended. A professional will also be able to provide advice on the best type of shutters for your home and help you choose the right material.

Measuring the Windows

The first step in the installation process is to measure the windows. This is crucial to ensure that the shutters fit properly and provide the necessary level of protection. The measurements should include the width and height of the window, as well as the depth of the window frame.

When measuring the windows, it’s important to be as accurate as possible. Even a small error in the measurements can result in shutters that don’t fit properly or don’t provide the necessary level of protection. If you’re unsure about how to measure the windows, it may be best to hire a professional to do the job.

Preparing the Shutter Tracks

Once the windows have been measured, the next step is to prepare the shutter tracks. These are the tracks that the shutters will slide along when they are opened and closed. The tracks should be securely attached to the window frame to ensure that the shutters stay in place during a storm.

The process of preparing the shutter tracks will vary depending on the type of shutters and the specific design of the window frame. However, the basic steps generally involve drilling holes in the window frame, inserting the tracks, and securing them with screws. Again, if you’re unsure about how to do this, it may be best to hire a professional.

Maintenance of Accordion Shutters

Like any other home improvement product, accordion shutters require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to function properly and provide the necessary level of protection. This maintenance generally involves cleaning the shutters, checking for any signs of damage, and making any necessary repairs.

The specific maintenance requirements will depend on the material used in the shutters. For example, metal shutters may need to be repainted periodically to prevent rust, while plastic shutters may need to be replaced if they become brittle and crack. Regardless of the material, all accordion shutters should be inspected regularly to ensure they are in good working order.

Cleaning the Shutters

Cleaning is an important part of maintaining accordion shutters. Dirt and debris can accumulate in the shutter tracks, making it difficult to open and close the shutters. Regular cleaning can prevent this buildup and ensure the shutters operate smoothly.

The cleaning process generally involves using a mild detergent and water to clean the shutters and tracks. A soft brush can be used to remove any stubborn dirt or debris. After cleaning, the shutters should be rinsed with clean water and allowed to dry completely before being closed.

Inspecting and Repairing the Shutters

Regular inspections are crucial to ensure that the shutters are in good working order. This involves checking for any signs of damage, such as cracks, rust, or loose screws. Any damaged parts should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure the shutters continue to provide the necessary level of protection.

While minor repairs can often be done by the homeowner, more serious repairs may require the services of a professional. If you’re unsure about how to repair the shutters, it’s best to consult a professional to avoid causing further damage.


Accordion shutters are a popular choice for homeowners due to their durability, ease of use, and ability to provide protection against severe weather. The choice of material can greatly influence the performance and longevity of the shutters, with metal and plastic being the most common options.

While accordion shutters can provide significant benefits, they do require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to function properly. This includes regular cleaning, inspections, and repairs. By understanding the materials used in accordion shutters and how to properly maintain them, homeowners can ensure their shutters continue to provide protection and security for many years to come.

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