Since most hurricane shutters are accordion-style or roll-down style, you need to open them, and clean and lubricate them a few times each year to keep them operational.
The cleaning process is similar for all hurricane shutters; if you have shutters that include a track, you will want to add lubrication once everything is clean.
In this post, I’ll cover everything you need to maintain your hurricane shutters—starting with the cleaning process.
Step 1: Remove debris and clean your hurricane shutter panels
Start by cleaning any leaves or loose debris from the tracks of your hurricane shutters; from there, use a mild detergent like Dawn.
You can use any soap you’d like, I just prefer dish liquid because as a detergent these products are designed to cut through dirt AND grease.
Always let your shutters dry prior to storing them (if temporary) or adding lubrication.
If your metal shutters have mildew or discoloration, use a soft-bristled brush with soap to start; from there, you can apply an aluminum cleaner and polish to get them looking like new.
Step 2: Lubricate your hurricane shutter tracks
Once your hurricane shutters are open, apply a thin stream of silicone lubricant to the track; only apply lubricant once you clean your shutters and let them dry.
Instead of using WD-40, I recommend you use a marine lubricant by CRC you can pick up here on Amazon.
You may need to use a ladder for higher windows to ensure you can reach the top of your shutters.
Once lubricated, open and close your shutters a few times; to finish, you can also add silicone lubricant in between each panel if desired. If you have locking hurricane shutters, make sure you lubricate and test each locking mechanism.
Tip: It’s best to leave your hurricane unlocked in case you lose the keys but still need to close them in the event of a storm.
Step 3: Check your hurricane shutter motor(s) if applicable
If you have a motorized rolling shutter system, you should test these motors prior to hurricane season, especially if you haven’t used the opening mechanism in a while.
In general, you should activate each shutter motor (with your smartphone or remote) about once a month—especially during hurricane season.
Store temporary hurricane shutters in a dry place
If you remove temporary hurricane shutters after each season, clean them with soap and water and let them dry before you store them.
Lowes.com even recommends getting them off the ground by storing them on 2 x 4’ pieces of wood, or attaching them to a wall using ratchet straps as you can see in the video below:
Just keep your shutter panels together (and clean) and you’re good to go. The last thing you need is to lose a few panels you need to protect your home if a storm is approaching.
How to hurricane shutters from rusting
To prevent hurricane shutters from rusting, apply a protective metal coating like Everbrite. These products help to seal anything made of metal from salt air and corrosion at the coast.
If you store your shutters in between seasons, just make sure you keep them in a dry location to avoid corrosion.
Even though these hurricane shutter maintenance tips are designed for DIY projects, you can find companies that will clean and service your hurricane shutters if you prefer.
Contact your local window or shutter installation company and schedule a maintenance service if this route seems the most practical.
Have any other tips to share? Leave a comment below.