When hurricanes hit New Orleans, they hit hard. Having the best hurricane shutters installed on your home is important. Hurricane shutters are the first line of defense for protecting your home during a storm.
Hurricane shutters have become more popular in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. They are a simple one-time installation that will greatly reduce the chance that high winds, heavy rains, and flying debris will shatter your windows and cause further damage to your home’s interior.
If you live in a coastal region, you’re likely to experience a hurricane at some point. Most of the damage results from failed doors and windows. Once the doors and windows go, your house becomes more vulnerable to damage. Besides water damage, breached windows can lead to roof and wall failure.
Why hurricane shutters?
The city gets hit or brushed by a hurricane every 2.3 years, with average winds of 109 mph. The best hurricane shutters are built up to code to withstand these winds. For a shutter to be hurricane rated or fbc rated, it must be built and anchored according to approved drawings, and then be verified through lab testing to the wind level required by the location of the property to be protected.
What are the best hurricane shutters?
When a hurricane strikes, your windows and doors are the most vulnerable areas of your home. Only the best hurricane shutters protect these areas from storm damage, hail, and flying debris during extreme hurricane conditions.
Shutters rated for hurricanes stop debris from hitting windows, of course, but they also stop what could happen after. They protect possessions and people inside the home if a window broke. Most importantly, one broken window during a hurricane can create tremendous pressure inside of a home. A broken window can lead to the roof actually being blown off a home.
The type of hurricane shutters you choose will depend on:
- Cost (i.e. budget)
- How much protection you need
- Local building codes
- The style of your home
- How capable you are of installing shutters before a storm hits
For example, aluminum and polycarbonate storm panels are the cheapest option, but require labor and lifting to setup before a storm hits. Bahama and Colonial style hurricane rated shutters offer the best aesthetic quality, and require minimal setup before a storm hits, but you need to ensure that the brand you choose is truly durable enough to protect your home; and is installed by in-house crews who are well versed in the proper required anchorage for each type of shutter and each type of opening. Rolling shutters offer the most superior security and ease of operation but at a higher cost than other options.
What types of hurricane shutters are available?
Hurricane shutters are practical, necessary items for the home, especially in hurricane-prone areas like New Orleans. But practicality doesn't mean they can't provide style. Multiple types of hurricane shutters exist to match your home's look.
Many types can be installed manually before a storm or automatically by a motorized system. These systems allow you to easily put your shutters up before a storm comes in, while also offering manual overrides if there's no power and quick escape systems for emergency situations.
The most common hurricane shutters are on a panel system. These mount directly to the home or can be installed on tracks. They are typically made of aluminum, steel, or polycarbonate, however new options are coming out that can provide additional benefits. ePanels, for example, provide both hurricane protection and energy saving shading.
All LAS HomeGard shutters are available in storm rated applications. There are three different types of LAS shutters that can withstand the hurricane weather in New Orleans.
Colonial Shutters combine the warm look of wood with the durability and longevity of aluminum. These shutters will dramatically improve the look of your home while providing hurricane protection.
Bahama Shutters bring the look and feel of the islands, providing shading and protection from the elements. Featuring a top-hinged mounting system, LAS Bahama shutters are constructed from extruded aluminum and powder coated per your specifications and are available as storm rated.
Board and Batten are a traditional cottage-style shutters. LAS board and batten Shutters bring a warm, rustic look to your home, but with the durability of high-gauge aluminum. They come available as storm rated.
Other types of hurricane shutters include the following.
Accordion hurricane shutters feature an interlocking folding blade system to protect your home from the damaging effects of hurricanes and intruders. Ideal for covering large openings, these shutters will stack tightly when not in use so your access and view are unobstructed.
Rolling hurricane shutters are mounted and motorized to allow for quick protection from a hurricane. Our RollGard Shutter has set the standard for storm protection and security by combining the highest quality materials and engineering. All components of the shutter, from the slat design to the exceptionally quiet motors (available as an option), are designed and fabricated to provide years of quiet and secure operation.
How much hurricane protection do I need in New Orleans?
Louisiana sees a large share of the hurricane activity on the U.S. mainland. Between 1851 and 2004, 18 major hurricanes with a Saffir-Simpson rating of 3 or above have hit the state. New Orleans itself has been hit by hurricane wind speeds of 210 mph, with Hurricane Camille, or 174 mph reported wind speeds with Hurricane Katrina.
Windows that are highly rated for wind and impacts can help, but for true protection you'll want to add hurricane shutters to your home. For hurricane shutters in New Orleans, look for ones that comply with:
- Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) standards related to hurricane resistance. SBCCI develops the International Building Code (IBC), which the commonly referred to Florida Building Code (FBC) is based on.
- ASTM specifications for exterior windows, curtain walls, doors, and impact protective systems
In a pinch, hurricane shutters can be homemade from pieces of plywood (as the AOML explains), but the best, longest-lasting shutters are sized perfectly for your windows and installed professionally to ensure that the proper components are used as well as the proper anchoring is achieved. This provides the best protection for your home and investments.
Check out how shutters are created and installed on a New Orleans home in the video below.
How much do hurricane shutters cost?
Since there are so many options—from manual Colonial style hurricane shutters to automatic rolling shutters—the final cost depends. Call LAS today to figure out which hurricane shutters work best for your home and lifestyle. Our professionals will work closely with you to create a free estimate for crafting and installing shutters perfectly matched for your home.