Batten Down the Hatches

Shutters are a Bermudian institution and are such for a number of reasons. They are usually used for light control, privacy and protection from the elements and much more. For us they are the cornerstone of our T-Made Custom Carpentry division.

Shutters have a much greater importance in Bermuda than most places. Besides a design choice our shutters, come summer, play an important role in protection during hurricanes.

The obviousness of why you would use shutters during a hurricane is clear: to protect your windows and home from the weather, debris, and damage. However there are some things you can do to make your hurricane shutters better prepared to take on the onslaught…..

1. Pick your Louvres:
Whether you have shutters that hinge from the side or from the top it is necessary to choose either fixed or operable louvres (or slats). Operable slats allow for greater control of light and ventilation however fixed slats are tougher and provide better protection.

2. Oil dem things!
Depending on the application and the construction of the window frame all shutters are attached in some way to allow them to open and close. Make sure to check often and replace the hardware, be it hinges or tracks, and WD40 them to ensure smooth transitions. Nothing is worse than trying to close a jammed shutter when a hurricane is raging outside.

3. Get Hardwood:
Certain hardwoods that are currently used for exterior shutters, specifically Spanish Cedar, Honduran Mahogany and Teak, have grain that actually breathes out moisture making them resistant to rot and decay, and far more durable than a softer wood like pine. Because of the tannin in these woods they are also not prone to problems from insects.

4. Go the distance:
Ensure your shutters last by using a protective coating. Treat your wood with a water repellant or sealant to help it last for years rather than resembling a 50-year-old fishing pier. Cleaning and sealing any outdoor wood is paramount for it’s durability and lifespan.

5. Step away from traditional:
Shutters have traditionally been constructed from solid woods that have proven to endure outside elements however composite wood, like Accoya, offer advantages such as resistance to twisting, splitting and rotting.

It only takes one hurricane to destroy your property. Protect the openings in your home and prepare your shutters for the onslaught. Are you ready?

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