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All Your Questions About Hurricane Shutter Installation Answered

Written By: Brad CampbellOctober 2, 2021

If you have a business in the southeastern United States, especially Florida, hurricane shutters for your commercial property are a must. 

question mark written on steam wall

Installing hurricane shutters can make all the difference between some relatively minor cleanup and repairs (that insurance helps cover) after a storm and devastating to catastrophic losses that are very hard to recover from.

If you’re in the market for hurricane shutters for your business, you might have some of the questions below.

Hurricane Shutter Installation: FAQs (And Answers)

How much does hurricane shutter installation cost?

The exact cost of hurricane shutter installation can vary depending on your location, the specific type of hurricane shutters/materials you choose to go with, and the size of your property.

According to online stats and estimates, it can cost you anywhere from about $2,000 to almost $6,000 to install hurricane shutters for an average-sized property. The national average cost is around $3,800.

Note that for large commercial properties the cost to install hurricane shutters can be much higher. 

fan of a few dozen hundred dollar bills held in hands

To get an idea of what it might cost you, consider that the cost per square foot for hurricane shutters can range from as low as $10 up to $60 or so. Again, this is very dependent on the type of hurricane shutters installed.

Does hurricane shutter installation lower insurance rates?

Yes. In fact, if you want a commercial insurance policy that covers hurricane and storm damage, you may not even be able to get one if you don’t install hurricane shutters first.

In general terms, the more measures an insurance provider sees you are taking to mitigate storm damage, the lower your insurance premiums are likely to be.

What types of hurricane shutters can I install?

The most common types of hurricane shutters are:

  • Roll-down hurricane shutters
  • Accordion shutters
  • Bahama shutters
  • Colonial-style hurricane shutters
  • Storm panels

Roll-down hurricane shutters are a type of permanent metal shutter that gets mounted above your business’s windows. To put them in place before a storm you either roll them down manually with a hand crank mechanism or put them down automatically with an electronic remote.

aluminum shutters

Accordion shutters are similar to roll-down shutters, but they roll into place from side to side. Like roll-down shutters, accordion shutters are made of metal, such as heavy-grade aluminum, and are permanently mounted on either side of a window or door you want to protect.

Bahama shutters are a more aesthetically pleasing variety of hurricane shutters than the options mentioned above. Bahama shutters, also known as Bermuda shutters, are typically made out of sturdy aluminum, but can also be made of wood. They are hinged at the top and provide shade from the sun when open. When put into place, the louvers, or slats, cover the window glass to protect it from storm damage.

Colonial-style hurricane shutters are similar to Bahama shutters, in that they are a more stylish alternative to roll-down or accordion shutters when you want permanent hurricane shutters. The difference is that Colonial-style shutters are hinged on either side of a window and flip into place over the glass when you need to protect it.

accordions shutters against storm

Storm panels are not permanent hurricane shutters, but they are a commercial alternative to plywood board ups. These panels are made from durable aluminum or plastic and get mounted over windows and doors by bolting them into the siding before a storm. The main downside of storm panels is that, like plywood boards, they require storage space when not in use, and time and labor to install when you need them.

Do you have to install hurricane shutters before every storm?

The National Hurricane Center recommends that you install hurricane shutters as soon as a hurricane watch is issued for your area. Even if the chances of the hurricane hitting your business or commercial property are relatively low, hurricane shutters give you the peace of mind of knowing your property is protected.

green shutters over windows on outside to protect from hurricane

And, in the event that a hurricane does make landfall near your building, hurricane shutters provide invaluable protection during the storm by doing the following:

  • Protect window and door glass against flying storm debris and breakage
  • Stop winds from funneling through your property and causing internal/structural damage
  • Block out heavy rains and prevent flood damage
  • Prevent injury to anyone inside (from flying shards of glass, storm debris, etc.)

If you opt for permanent hurricane shutters, such as roll-down or Bahama shutters, putting them into place before a hurricane is relatively easy and fast. However, there’s always the risk that their mechanisms break and you’re unable to secure them properly, especially if you don’t keep up with your hurricane shutter maintenance.

This is why you may want to consider an even more cost-effective alternative to hurricane shutter installation that can protect your business and property against storm damage and other security threats.

What alternatives to hurricane shutter installation are there?

The best alternative to hurricane shutters when you want a permanent, cost-effective solution is to retrofit your commercial building with impact windows, such as the Riot Glass® RG series or ArmorPlast® AP line of impact-resistant security windows and security framing systems.

Why are impact windows such a cost-effective alternative to storm shutter installation? The answer is all in the retrofit: these impact windows are mounted into or onto your existing framing systems, using what’s already there and reinforcing it.

worker on ladder leaned against glass windows of house

This means that there are no major renovations or repairs required to the wood, the stucco, or any of the other materials used in your building’s construction after reinforcing your windows and doors with impact windows for storm damage protection.

Like permanently mounted hurricane shutters, impact windows only require a one-time installation. But, they are a far superior solution in that they don’t require any significant maintenance, since they don’t have mechanisms that you use to put them back and forth into place. 

This means that, once the impact windows are installed, you never have to worry about securing a window or door before a storm. Impact windows provide two huge security benefits:

  1. Permanent, 24/7 protection against flying storm debris, wind, and rain
  2. Virtually unbreakable security against vandalism, forced entry, burglary, smash-and-grab theft, rioting, looting, and other man-made threats

In Conclusion

Every year, the hurricane season is responsible for billions of dollars in economic damages caused by storm debris, winds, rains, and floodwaters.

Installing some form of storm damage mitigation barriers on your business can go a long way towards protecting your property during hurricanes and strong windstorms, hopefully preventing you from paying huge sums out of your pocket to repair your building and replace destroyed merchandise and equipment.

Contact Riot Glass today for more information on how we can help you and your facility stay safe during the next big storm with our RG and AP impact-resistant windows and framing systems. Or, feel free to have your local glass contractor get in touch with us and we will handle the rest!

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Looking for residential protection? At Riot Glass, we specialize in protecting your property with our patented bullet-resistant system, designed specifically for aluminium framed windows. Not sure if Riot Glass is right for your home? Explore our FAQs.
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