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Shutters or Screens?

As the 2022 hurricane season quickly approaches, it is imperative to understand the difference between hurricane shutters and screens. Living in a prominent hurricane area, it is essential to make sure you and your family know the differences prior to deciding on the best storm protection for your home. Storm protection is highly important where we reside, so making an educated purchase will not only protect your home but save your pocketbook in the long run.

What is a Hurricane Shutter?

A hurricane shutter is a term that can be used to refer to any type of shutter or panel system that you put in place over your windows before a hurricane or tropical storm.

Hurricane shutters can be categorized as:


Storm panels are often corrugated metal or plastic panels that are custom measured and cut to fit over your windows and or doorways. Often times referred to shutters, however they are most similar to plywood because they are single cut pieces of material that you cover and secure your windows or doors with before a storm.

Accordion shutters are a more permanent solution to storm protection. They are the hurricane shutters that roll horizontally over your window’s glass in order to protect it. They can be one or two pieces that are permanently mounted beside your window and glide sideways on wheels to protect your windows.

Roll down style hurricane shutters are mounted directly above windows and roll down vertically in order to cover the glass. They are often assisted by a button or a crank system. This style of hurricane shutter is popular because of the endurance and easy use.

Colonial shutters are a system of two pieces on a louvered storm system. The Colonial shutters are mounted on both sides of the window, and you simply flip them over the glass pane of the window to prevent and protect from storm damage.

Bahama shutters are similar to the Colonial style in their operation system. They too operate on a louvered system. However, they are just one piece that is mounted above the window and props open when not in use. When a storm is on the way you simply lower and lock the shutter over the window to protect the glass.


What is a Storm Screen?

A storm screen is a term used to refer to a couple different types of screen systems that are used to mitigate storm damage.

Hurricane Screens are as follows:

Hurricane fabric is a high-tech fabric that has the strength to protect glass against wind and rain as well as bounce away storm debris. Some styles of hurricane fabric stretch over your windows, like the fabric of a trampoline, and are mounted in place before a storm with a system of grommets or buckles and straps. While other types of hurricane fabric are permanently mounted to the side of a building and roll down or slide into place over the windows.

Security screens, on the other hand, are similar to your standard windows screens that you use to keep bugs out while your windows and doors are open. However, the mesh of these screens is metal, making it highly resistant to impacts and tearing. These screens are a popular and effective way to secure windows and doors against forced entry attempts, but their strength means they can also be used to help protect glass against flying storm debris and wind damage. If you compare security screens vs hurricane shutters, they’re similar in that they both create a physical barrier over your doors and windows that can protect against storm damage.

Which is better?

When it comes to hurricane screens or hurricane shutters, shutters win in a battle of strength and durability, but fabric has the advantage that it still lets some natural light in, not completely blocking your visibility. Both of these products are easy to use and can effectively protect your glass. However, hurricane shutters are specifically designed for use during storms, whereas security screens are meant to protect against a variety of threats and provide additional benefits.

When it boils down to it the winner is whichever you feel will protect your home the best and fits your lifestyle. Storm Smart experts have served since 1996 and have gained the experience to understand and provide tropical storm and hurricane damage prevention services to homeowners across the country!

"Storm Smart offers the most customer-friendly service, knowledgeable technicians plus quality products. Not to mention that this company is very community minded, and gives back whenever the need arises. We have used this company twice and both times with excellent results. And their prices are very competitive, too."
-Jane R.