Max Mayfield: Have you checked your hurricane shutters lately?

Check that shutters work properly ahead of historical peak of hurricane season

By Max Mayfield - Hurricane Specialist

MIAMI - Have you checked your hurricane shutters lately?

No matter what kind of hurricane shutters you have, it's a good idea to make sure that you know where all the parts are and that the shutters are functioning properly as we head into what is historically the peak of the hurricane season.

I spent a few hours recently making sure my accordion shutters are ready to go. The first thing I did was to use an air blower to remove any leaves and debris from the tracks. Next, I made sure that the thumbscrews, which hold the metal locking rods, worked properly by dipping them into a little white lithium grease. I'm told that petroleum jelly works just as well. Failure to lubricate the thumbscrews can result in the thumbscrews seizing against the locking rods and preventing you from closing your accordion shutters.

I lubricated the rollers at the top of my shutters as needed and checked to make sure that all of the shutters closed properly.

There is some debate over the best lubricant to use. Some say that spraying white lithium grease is the way to go. My shutter company has been using this for more than 15 years and never had a problem. Others say that lithium grease tends to attract dirt and gum up, and recommend using silicone spray. 

Do not use WD-40 or any oily lubricant that could allow a faster buildup of dirt or salt. I suggest contacting your shutter company and follow their lead. If you have any warranty on your shutters, you will want to do whatever the manufacturer recommends.

I also lubricated all the locks on my shutters and tested them.

I hope that I don't have to use these shutters this hurricane season, but at least I know they are operational if they do need to be closed. If you haven't checked your shutters yet this season, I highly recommend doing so, given that there is currently a lull in tropical activity and we still have the most active part of the hurricane season yet to come.

You don't want to find out that your shutters are not working properly when the next hurricane is bearing down on us. It makes sense to protect your investment in shutters and give yourself some peace of mind by knowing they will work when needed.

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