Do a trial run now to make sure your shutter system is functioning properly.
If you have removable panels, get them out to see if any are missing or bent.
Make sure you have enough mounting fasteners. If not, hardware stores often carry extras. Make sure mounting tracks are clean and debris-free.
Apply some light machine oil to lubricate parts and deter rust.
Permanently applied shutter systems, such as roll-up, Bahama or accordion shutters should be serviced yearly (twice yearly, if you live on the beach) by a professional, especially if the system is motorized. If rollers are accessible, they can be sprayed with aerosol “white grease,” according to Bill Feeley, president of the International Hurricane Protection Association. All motors should be professionally serviced.
Owners of newly built homes with shutter systems should make sure their builder demonstrates how to use the system and that all parts are provided before moving in. Missing or wrong-sized components are common, according to Feeley. “The homeowner assumes they fit and then when the storm is bearing down, they find out they don’t,” he said.
— Barbara Marshall
International Hurricane Protection Association: (844)516-4472, www.inthpa.com