Homeowners in the Gulf South are turning to hurricane shutters for vinyl siding in a bid to limit the damage to their properties. With increasingly volatile weather conditions all year round and particularly violent storms defining hurricane season, this is the best option. Whether the concern is flying debris breaking windows or tree limbs crashing through the glass into the interior of the house, there is a lot of damage to windows that can take place during a storm. Hardware stores, building supply merchants, and home insurance companies are all reporting growing homeowner interest in obtaining and installing hurricane shutters for vinyl siding.
Whether you’re looking to update your current window protection system or you’ve historically just nailed up plywood before a storm, read on to learn about how a bespoke or off the rack shutter system can attach to your vinyl-sided house and protect your windows from extreme weather events which the Gulf South is known for.
That said, adding any new feature to your house’s exterior is a complicated process, with repercussions for the aesthetics, as well as creating possible new ongoing maintenance requirements. Prior to rushing into home improvement, it is well worth taking the time to understand in detail the realities of adding hurricane shutters, from a financial standpoint. Keep reading to get an idea of what to expect from your hew hurricane shutters, and weigh up the costs and benefits of this serious decision.
Hurricane Shutters for Vinyl Siding: The Options
When it comes to heavy-duty shutters which will give you the peace of mind that your windows and interiors will be safe from extreme weather events, the pricing and availability are largely going to be determined by the windows on your property. For older properties, the chances are that your windows will be custom-built, meaning that standard shutters won’t fit, and you’ll need to have bespoke shutters designed, manufactured and installed, at a more significant cost. For homeowners whose house or apartment is newer, the windows are probably a standard specification, meaning that generic shutters from a home improvement or hardware store are likely to fit.
This means that you’ll benefit from a wider array of styles, finishes, and designs, and as you aren’t paying for custom work, the cost will be much lower. That said, you’ll still need to pay a contractor to install the shutters themselves, although experienced DIY enthusiasts will probably find that shutter installation is well within their skillset.
Hurricane Shutters for Vinyl Siding: Cleaning and Maintenance
While a robust set of high-quality shutters will no doubt reduce your household maintenance costs in terms of hurricane savings, it is worth bearing in mind the initial capital outlay and continued costs that shutters will incur. Paying for a contractor to fit the shutters themselves is unlikely to be a significant cost, but do keep in mind that with heavier or more sophisticated shutters, the contractor may need to use a scaffold on the higher floors, rather than simply working off a ladder. Once the shutters are installed, standard wear and tear can take a toll on them.
Just as you need to pressure-wash your vinyl siding every so often to keep it looking fresh and clean, you’ll need to wash both sides of the hurricane shutters also, particularly after high winds or storms. If you live in a single-story home, upkeep and cleaning will be much more straightforward, but if your hurricane shutters cover second-story windows, access and maintenance will be more challenging.
Maximizing the Value of Your Hurricane Shutters
Like any home maintenance project, installing protective shutters on your windows represents an initial financial outlay which you hope to recoup over time. That said, with so many choices and decisions, it can be daunting to try and determine whether you’re making the right call. As mentioned above, the initial costs can be high for installation, particularly if you’re using a third-party contractor to install bespoke shutters on a high story.
Once installed, it is worth bearing in mind that hurricane shutters aren’t won’t fully prevent any hurricane damage, they are just an added preventative measure to decrease the chances of serious window damages. There is a lot that can go wrong with hurricane shutters, and it is definitely worth understanding the risks and potential problems.
As part of your standard pre-hurricane checklist, alongside ensuring you’ve powered up your electrical devices and stored water, be sure to check each hurricane shutter is closed properly and fastened tight. If a shutter isn’t securely fastened, it is likely to come loose and flap in the wind. Although this may sound innocuous, the wind will catch the shutter like a sail and can cause serious damage, especially if the shutter is torn out of its brackets and becomes a flying projectile.
Furthermore, it is worth bearing in mind that the shutters are mounted to the trim around the windows or sometimes the siding itself. Whenever you make a hole in trim or siding, you are creating a possible leak risk. Once your shutters are installed, be sure to check them every so often to see that there are no signs of leaking. If water gets into the framing or your house, or even just into the walls, you’ll quickly be looking at a serious and costly project.
Looking for Hurricane Shutters for Vinyl Siding?Contact Us Today
Adding hurricane shutters to a vinyl-sided house here in the South is not a straightforward endeavor, and there are pitfalls and challenges which can cause long-term problems. Rather than rushing into any element of home improvement or maintenance, it is always worth taking the time to undertake comprehensive research before making a decision.
Acadian Windows and Siding has been installing siding, doors, and windows throughout the Gulf South for several generations, and is proud of its status as the region’s premier window and siding company. As a Gulf South company, we’re well acquainted with the damage which storms and hurricanes can wreak on houses if they aren’t properly protected.
Whether you’re looking to replace your siding with something fresher and newer, install a high-end door that will add curb appeal and save on heating and cooling costs, or looking to add a bespoke shutter system, mesh window cover, or door, make contact today and speak to one of our dedicated and experienced experts.