The Benefits of Clear Hurricane Shutters and How to Install Them Yourself


While the number of smaller storms is expected to decrease, the number of large Atlantic hurricanes is expected to increase, according to a study published in 2008 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is disturbing news for people living in the coastal states of the United States, which have historically suffered disproportionately from natural disasters.

However, a homeowner unprepared for a natural disaster is helpless in its wake. The best approach to protect your home from hurricanes is to use materials that can withstand even the most severe weather conditions. Metal hurricane shutters made of steel or aluminum have been the norm for many years. Steel is more durable than aluminum, yet aluminum is lighter. The interior of your home will be plunged into almost total darkness, while the exterior will look like a suburban fortress. This is not something that must be sacrificed in exchange for a higher level of safety.

Transparent hurricane shutters are the obvious choice for any astute homeowner.

People using aluminum or steel hurricane panels for protection no longer have to endure the night without a light. Polycarbonate hurricane shutters are transparent to light yet protect from severe weather while allowing in natural light. The benefits of transparent hurricane shutters are numerous:

Windproof transparent shutters are sturdy. Quality-made products, including those for “High Volume Hurricane Zones” where winds can reach 140 mph, meet or exceed the standards of the nation’s strictest building laws. Hurricane panels made of plastic are likewise less likely to dent than their aluminum counterparts.
Light can pass through plastic hurricane panels at a rate of up to 85% transparency. You may now enjoy your home without worrying about letting any sunlight in. Install transparent hurricane shutters made of UV-stabilized polycarbonate to protect your furnishings from sun damage.
Transparent hurricane shutters are easy to install without risk of injury due to their lack of sharp corners and lightweight.

Panels can be nested into one another to save space when not in use.
Transparent hurricane shutters are manufactured in the same standard widths as the industry for use with the same classic industry tracks and hardware used to install aluminum or steel panels. This makes them an excellent option for replacing existing metal panels in your home.
Transparent Hurricane Shutters: How to Order Them

Panel sizes may be quickly and easily calculated. The Florida Building Code requires hurricane panels to “completely cover an opening in all directions.” This is stated in Section 2413.7.

Transparent hurricane shutters are made to fit into the same standard industrial tracks used for metal panels, so you can use them even if you already have metal shutters installed. You can quickly determine the size of your transparent hurricane shutters by measuring their tracks.

If you don’t already have metal shutters installed, it’s easy to get them.

Step one: count the number of panels you’ll need. There are seven various lengths (from 33″ to 240″) available for hurricane panels, but only one width (15.25″). Generally, you should order one panel for every 12 inches of required width, as the panels overlap.

Select a panel length (height) several inches longer than the height of your window.

Third, you’ll have to buy some H-Track and F-Track sections to install the transparent hurricane shutters on your house’s exterior. You can find these tools at many of the same plastics vendors that sell hurricane shutters. The retailer can help you determine the ideal dimensions for both parts.

Once you have determined the required dimensions and quantity, you may make an order with a local plastics distributor.

Installing Hurricane Shutters to Keep Out the Rain

If you already have a metal panel system, installing your new transparent hurricane shutters will be a breeze. The procedure is the same because the translucent panels can be installed in the same standard track as the metal one.

Installing your new transparent hurricane shutters is as easy as installing metal panels if you haven’t already done so.

First, divide by two the number that results when subtracting the window’s height from the panels’ size. Install the H-track the required number of inches above the window opening and the F-track the required number below the H-track. If your panels are 6 inches longer than your windows, the H-track must be mounted 3 inches above the window.

Second, insert the panels into the H-track and secure the bottoms to the F-track with bolts.

It is that simple! Contact a plastics distributor near you right now to ensure your house is prepared for the next major storm.

Written by Adam Thal, E&T Plastics’ Assistant E-Commerce Manager

One of the largest suppliers of plastic sheet, rod, tube, and film in the United States, E&T Plastics also offers complete plastic component manufacturing services. E&T Plastics is a dependable supplier of plastic materials, with eight sites and a multi-million dollar inventory, as well as providing custom cutting services, CNC routing, laser cutting, vacuum shaping, and traditional plastics fabrication.

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