Frequently Asked Questions
All of our impact rated shutters are tested to the same standards. The most important considerations when deciding which shutter to buy are generally: budget, ease of use, aesthetics, and operation.
The only things that limit selection are that we generally do not recommend using hurricane screen over windows and other openings that sit close to the siding. As a fabric product, screen is wonderful and strong, however it is not rigid. This means when it is impacted by something, it will deflect and if the netting is too close to the window- the window behind it will break. Then you will have hurricane driven rain and air pressure being directed at the fabric protecting a shattered window. Therefore we generally only recommend hurricane screen to be used over porches and lanais.
We also typically install Lexan XL-10 over fixed, non-operable windows rather than a shutter. This clear polycarbonate is guaranteed not to yellow, and allows for year round protection. It also is a far more affordable option for fixed windows that are otherwise inaccessible, considering the option there would be electric rolldowns which are over double the price per square foot.
With regards to operation, most of our shutters can be closed from the inside. This includes accordion, all bahama shutters, rolldowns, and rollscreens.
Colonials may be shut with a non-rated closure from the inside if desired.
Technically aluminum panels are able to be closed from the inside as well, however that is quite difficult to do considering the precision needed to line up the track bolts. In the event they do not line up, you will have to reinstall all the panels on that opening to fix the spacing.
Non-rolling hurricane screens are installed from outside.
Lexan is either affixed permanantly or can be installed removable- which is done from the outside.
Rolldown Shutters (and Hurricane Roll Screen):
- Keep the tracks clean. Wash them regularly. Inspect for buildup of dirt, salt, insect nests, and other particles that may cause problems with the operation of your shutters. Make sure the felt strips (if present) in the tracks are clean and free of debris. Using the shutter frequently will help keep the tracks clean.
- Wash with warm water, soap, and a soft brush. Clean slats using a vertical motion. Avoid a horizontal motion that could misalign the slats and jam the shutter. Cleaning should be done two to three times during the summer months. (Aluminum Rolldown Shutters Only)
- Keep shutter travel area clear of all articles, furniture, etc. If the shutter hits an object, misalignment or damage can occur which may result in costly repairs.
- If you have an electric motor on your shutters, use the motor a minimum of twice a month. This action will create heat in the tube and eliminate moisture.
- If you have an electric motor on your shutters, complete the shutter cycle before reversing the direction. If you close or open the shutter partially then stop, finish closing or opening the shutter before you operate it in the opposite direction.
- In order to keep your Bahama shutters in top condition, we recommend removing the thumbscrews and coating them yearly with a product called “Never-Seize” or an equivalent product. This ensures that the thumbscrews will not seize against the collars, preventing you from changing the angle of your shutters.
- Wash the telescoping arms with soap and water, allow to dry and then lubricate with a 100% silicone lubricant then open and close the shutter a few times to work the product in.
- We also recommend storing the Bahama pins inside the home to prevent corrosion and sticking in their tracks where they are stored.
- While little to no maintenance is required for operable shutters (you should test them frequently), performing the following maintenance every couple of months is best.
- When the accordion shutter is in the closed position, the inside fold’s “hinge” opens so that you can clean and wash it using the hose- or if heavily soiled- wipe it out with a sponge and dish soap. Wipe down all of the exposed inner joints while the shutter is in this closed position.
- Let the wiped joints dry and then use 100% silicone spray, (never WD40 or any oily petroleum base spray), and spray those joints from top to bottom on the inside “hinge” of each fold. Once each of the inner fold joints are sprayed, open and close the shutter to work the silicone in.
- The weight of accordion shutters hangs down from the top wheels so those wheels in the top track need to be kept cleaned and lubricated with your 100% silicone spray also. Clean and wash the top and bottom tracks using the hose- or if heavily soiled- wipe with a sponge and dish soap. Spray the silicone lubricant in the top track where the wheels are then open and close the shutter a few times to work it in.
- We recommend storing your locks inside when not in use, however if you leave them on the shutter, we recommend leaving them in the locked position. When performing this maintenance, spray the silicone lubricant liberally into the lock from the side and from the face, push the lock in a few time to work in the lubricant, then lock again.
Here is a video (not ours) showing what we are talking about.
- If shutter is heavily soiled, use a sponge to wash gently with a diluted mixture of dishwashing liquid.
- Try washing your shutters with water from your garden hose. Pressure washing can damage your shutters and is not recommended.
- Inspect the hinges, locks, and other moving parts to ensure they’re working right and adjust or tighten as needed.
- Lubricate the hinges with a dry silicone spray
- Make sure the shutter louvers are still properly affixed to the frame.
Lexan requires no real maintenance, however cleaning is suggested to maintain the clarity of the product as well as prolong its life.
- Pre rinse Lexan with warm water, use a microfiber cloth or non-abrasive sponge to wash with a diluted mixture of soap or detergent, then rinse thoroughly. To prevent water spots, dry with a soft cloth.
- Suggested cleaners for Lexan XL-10 include: Top Job, Joy, Palmolive, and Ammonia-Free Windex.
- In the event of a serious event of tar, heavy oil, graffiti, paint, ink, or adhesive, we recommend using isopropyl alcohol to remove it.
- Hurricane Film is a coating that you stick to the back of windows, that some unscrupulous vendors will call hurricane proof. However, by representing window film as a total solution, the implication was that adding film could make any window “impact resistant.” What film does is make glass shatter resistant by enveloping broken glass.
- On its own website, 3M clarifies that its line of “Safety and Security window films are not hurricane proof, earthquake proof, bulletproof, bombproof, nor burglarproof. They are designed to make window glass more shatter resistant.”
- They also make it clear that “this product is not approved in the State of Florida for uses a hurricane, windstorm, or impact protection from windborne debris from a hurricane or windstorm” and states that in compliance with Florida Statute 553.842, the product cannot be advertised as “impact resistant.”
- So long story short, no, Hurricane Film is not hurricane protection and the window will still be damaged by a hurricane- allowing for wind, water, and pressure intrusion potentially causing damage.
Most of our competitors sell Bahamas that we in the industry call “Fixed Blade Rated”. These are the typical Bahamas that, when deployed, are essentially impossible to see through. Many of our customers love the look of Bahama shutters, but the complete obscuring of their million-dollar views made Bahamas a poor choice.
In 2017, there was a revolution in Bahama shutter technology. A new system where the blades moved was developed. Now you can choose either 2″ or 4″ blade shutters, where you can reach out and turn a single blade. This one motion turns ALL the blades in the shutter open, leaving a few millimeter line ever 2″ or 4″ (depending on style chosen). This creates a nearly unobscured view through the Bahamas, and our customers can now see their backyards, streets, or waterfront as well as allow more light into the home.
When Considering storm protection, many people debate between hurricane shutters and impact glass windows/doors. While there are certainly places for impact windows, there are many negatives to impact windows that make hurricane shutters a better option for most people.
- Cost: Impact Windows are vastly more expensive
- Replacement: In the event of an impact on the window, if the outer glass is shattered (not even the entire window) the whole opening must be replaced, leading to another costly install.
- Water Penetration: Impact windows, at their core, are still windows. When Florence drove hurricane force rain into the seams of windows across Southeastern NC, many windows- impact and regular- leaked heavily damaging the interiors of these homes. While hurricane shutters are not rated to stop water penetration, they do block the force of driving rain from directly impacting the window seams and this usually results in a lower chance of leaks.
Prior to and during hurricane season, it is a good idea to perform maintenance on your shutters and operate them- so they will be ready in the event of a storm. Prior to the storm, you should deploy all your hurricane shutters. In the case of panels, this would be a few days prior considering they take 1 or more days to put up on most houses. In the case of our other options, most take under one hour to deploy on a typical home, so you can budget your time accordingly
A good starting point for general preparedness in addition to using your hurricane shutters is to review the Red Cross website for hurricane preparedness which is located at https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane.html
Many customers have older hurricane shutters and need them to be replaced due to wear and tear of a marine environment, neglect, or simply wanting better looking and advanced shutter systems. It is good news then, that we offer many state-of-the-art hurricane shutters which can protect and update your home.
Articulating Blade Bahamas are a new style of Bahama shutter which allow the blades to move- resulting in a near unobstructed view outside. This is great for people who want to see what is outside their window and to allow more light in.
Single Wall Slat Rolldowns are a new type of rolldown shutter that is constructed to meet the same impact codes as the previous models- but with a much smaller hood.
Remote Operation Electric Motors allow you to operate your electric rolldowns or electric rollscreens remotely using your cellphone. This is a great option for customers who do not live at the residence where they are getting the shutters installed. Rather than having to drive down during a hurricane or begging a neighbor, you can simply press a button and they come down.
Clear Panels allow for more light to enter your home when panels are installed. However they do come with the significant drawback that, to be installed to code and meet impact ratings, they must be wingnutted on top and bottom- which is twice the work of typical aluminum panels. In the event this is something you are considering, call and we can discuss the options to make these as simple to use as possible.
Hurricane Screens are a great option to protect porches and lanais- allowing the openings on the interior to not have to need hurricane protection. Furthermore, it allows you to leave out your furniture and not have to move it inside during a storm. We also offer remote operation on these shutters as well. We do not recommend they be installed over windows, due to the flexibility of the product potentially breaking the window.
Yes. We will help you get a rebate from your insurance company and applicable state-level rebates as well. The insurance rebate generally comes to approximately 7% of your yearly premium- but may vary depending on the company. South Carolina also offers incentives for hurricane protection. We provide all information necessary and will fill our the forms necessary to be completed by the installation company verifying your protection.