As a Davis County homeowner, you are probably aware of the risks in your area and the various methods to prevent damage or disruption to your home or life. Yet, despite this awareness, many people still are not sure what measures they should take.
If you live in an area susceptible to high winds and storms, the chances are that you have seen houses with storm shutters. Perhaps you have even discussed them with your friends and neighbors and wonder whether they are right for your home. Storm shutters can be a big investment for any homeowner, so it is only right for you to wonder whether they are worth it.
Are Utah windstorms bad enough to merit storm shutters?
Utah has had some extremely powerful wind storms in recent years. In September of 2020, a hurricane-force storm knocked out power to 200,000 homes and businesses. It flattened thousands of trees and covered roads and parks with so much debris that they had to be closed down. As recently as this spring, areas in and around the Wasatch Mountain were pummeled by gusts of 70 mph.
So yes, many Utah homes are candidates for storm shutters. If you’re on the fence about whether or not your home would benefit from this extra window protection, we’ve put together some insights to help you make a smart decision.
What Are Storm Shutters?
In a powerful storm, debris such as branches from trees, rocks and stones, and even larger items such as garden furniture can be picked up and thrown about. This debris can be very damaging to the area in which they land, often destroying windows and doors and entering homes, destroying property, and even causing harm to the people inside. Storm shutters exist to prevent this.
Also known as hurricane shutters, storm shutters are removable covers that fit over any exposed entrances to your home, depending upon where you live. Their purpose is to provide a solid barrier that prevents debris from entering your home or harming you and your family.
Storm shutters come in various sizes, designs, and purposes and can be as simple as a wooden board that clips onto a window frame or as complex as a rolling shutter. Each type serves its purpose and has its own cost, so if you’re wondering whether they are worth the investment, then read on. We will explore them.
Benefits of Storm Shutters
The best shutters for your home can provide:
- Security – the right storm shutters will protect your home from damage caused by storms and hurricanes and can also be used to secure your home from burglars and other hazards.
- Protection for your home and family – damage from storms can be costly and extremely dangerous. Broken glass and other materials from damaged windows and doors offer additional threats but are mitigated with shutters.
- Savings for insurance – some insurance companies will offer discounts on payments if your home is appropriately protected.
- Increased house value and curb appeal – additional safety measures will improve the value of your property, as with other security devices like alarms. Certain kinds of shutters also offer an aesthetic that many people find pleasing.
- Light and temperature control – certain shutters will provide additional shade for bright days while keeping out unwanted heat or cold.
- Peace of mind – at the best of times, heavy storms and hurricanes are stressful situations. With storm shutters, you will find yourself worrying less about potential damage or additional costs incurred and the safety of your home and loved ones.
Types of Storm Shutters
There is a type of storm shutter for every type of entrance. From simple and cheap clip-on window covers to mechanized siding rollers, whatever your home needs, there exists a shutter for it.
1. Shaker Shutters
Usually made of wood or plastic and affixed to either side of the window by a hinge, these are the classic shutter style. During storms, they can be unlatched and closed against the outside of the window, protecting them from heavy winds, rain, and light debris.
These shutters are a favorite amongst many looking to create a colonial-inspired aesthetic for their home, as they can be pleasing to the eye. Their simple style keeps their coverage minimal, and their slatted design allows for light to enter without issue.
However, they are not made of sturdy materials, such as metal, making them weaker home protection options. Another drawback is that they can come unlatched during less stormy weather, allowing them to swing freely. This can cause disruption through noisy banging and occasional damage to the windows themselves.
2. Bahama Shutters
Typically found in more tropical locations, Bahama shutters are an affordable option for protecting your home from wind damage. These shutters are fully attached to a window frame and open outwards at a 45-degree angle with a horizontal hinge. They have a simple and sleek design that is not obtrusive to a building’s outer look.
Unfortunately, they do come with a couple of negatives. While they are a cheap option, their permanence can create issues when using the windows. Their small opening width prevents windows from being opened fully, and their design will limit the amount of light that can enter.
3. Accordion Shutters
As the name implies, these shutters are folded up in a concertina fashion. They are secured on either side of the window, similar to shaker shutters. When opened, the shutters ride along a rail to completely cover the window, protecting it from heavy debris and other dangerous objects lobbed at your home.
Accordion shutters don’t provide much else beyond a physical barrier for debris. While they are affordable, they are not an aesthetically pleasing option, nor do they allow any light through when engaged. If your sole focus is to stop damage, however, these are a safe bet.
4. Exterior Rolling Shutters
The most comprehensive option available, these shutters are stored in boxes above the sides of your home and can be unrolled to provide total coverage. Using either motors or hand-powered cranks, sheets of metal links will unroll through rails and provide strong protection against all storm hazards.
These will set you back a good amount of cash to install, but their retractable nature makes them discreet and highly effective at household protection. They are fully customizable to your house’s design and can be altered to match your aesthetic. They can also be used for other purposes besides storm protection, such as temperature control and home security.
To put it simply, investing in storm shutters offers countless benefits. While the amount you invest will vary depending on what you need or want, you can be sure that you will be making a great investment regardless of your choice. Side note: If a storm has already hit your residence, make sure to get in touch with Davis County disaster clean up specialists to restore the damaged sections of your home before you proceed with shutter installation.