Shutters are an excellent way to reinforce your structure before an impending storm. However, some shutter assemblies can actually be a hazard.
- “Sun Screens” can appear to protect a window opening but actually provide little to no impact protection.
- Poorly secured shutters and/or shutters that do not lock closed can become flying debris when put to the test of hurricane force winds.
- Fasteners and sealants deteriorate over time in the harsh Florida environment. Chalking, staining and corrosion of these portions of the shutter assembly are a sign that attention is needed.
What can a property owner do?
- Exercise shutters at least twice per year to verify functionality. Take this time to look closely at the moving parts. Did the roller wheel fall off?
- Request the permit history of your property to verify the age of the shutter system and that it met the minimum standards when installed. Wind design loads change with each new building code revision. American Society of Civil Engineers provides updated wind load requirements to implement for new code revisions that are adopted by jurisdictions.
- Hire a licensed shutter contractor to maintain/re-condition/lubricate your impact protection. Don’t wait until a storm is approaching.
If you have any doubt about the efficacy of your shutters – replace them.