Storm Panels

What are storm panels made of?

Hurricane panels can be made of galvanized metal, aluminum, or a clear, polycarbonate material. All materials are strong and durable and have their own pros and cons.

Lightweight hurricane panels made of aluminum are very strong despite being so lightweight. Aluminum is the metal of choice for products like:

  • Aerospace vehicles
  • Armor plating
  • Automobiles
  • Shark cages
  • Skyscrapers

Clear hurricane coverings made of polycarbonate are also available to protect your home. This type of hurricane shutter will not rust, crack, or peel. Clear panels allow the light in but offer great protection from wind, rain, and large missile impacts. Polycarbonate panels have four times the impact resistance of plywood and are 30%-50% lighter than metal panels.

Metal hurricane panels are generally made of galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is protected by a layer of zinc coating to prevent corrosion and rust. It is also a lightweight hurricane panel, perfect for protecting your home or business from hurricane damage from wind, rain, or debris.

How do storm panels work?

Storm panels come in a few different styles:

  • Track and Bolts System: This panel system has a track above the window and bolts beneath the window. 
  • Track System: Tracks are mounted above and below the windows and doors to be enclosed. Panels slide into the tracks and must be aligned to the holes in the tracks to be secured.
  • Bolts System: Bolts are permanently driven into the wall beside windows and doors. Panels are then hung horizontally on the bolts and secured.

These shutters can come in individual panels which are easy to handle and install, but take quite a bit of time – about 15 minutes per window – to put up. Each individual panel overlays the first to increase the strength of the hurricane covering.

Panels might also come in large sizes manufactured to fit entirely over each opening. The increased size makes these panels difficult for one person to handle and increases the likelihood that the panel could get bent out of shape. Handle large metal panels with care as the edges will be very sharp. (Mounting large galvanized steel panels is definitely not a one-person job.)

Panels can be mounted vertically or horizontally. Each type requires different mounting hardware and has certain advantages and disadvantages when it comes to installation.

Hurricane panels are the most versatile hurricane protection option available.

What do hurricane panels look like?

heavy duty aluminum storm shutter panels on a yellow Florida home

Are hurricane panels effective?

Storm panels are an effective hurricane-proofing system to protect your home from tropical storms. Hurricane panels are corrugated and can be used to protect all the openings in your home – windows, doors, archways, etc. – from high winds, rain, and flying debris. 

Combine aluminum or metal panels with polycarbonate to protect each opening, but let in a bit of natural light from the outside. Many homeowners choose to combine panels to avoid the “in a cave” feeling most hurricane shutters create.

Aluminum panels, clear panels, and galvanized metal panels can be mounted in many different ways to meet the unique architecture of your home:

  • Horizontally
  • Vertically
  • With tracks
  • With bolts
  • Combining tracks and bolts
  • Over large or small openings
  • Over archways and odd-shaped openings

What are the pros and cons of installing hurricane panels?

Pros of Hurricane Panels

  • Fits over any size window or door
  • Least expensive hurricane covering
  • Lightweight
  • Removable – doesn’t alter curb appeal
  • Strong and durable

Cons of Hurricane Panels

  • May have sharp edges
  • More than one person needed to install
  • Panels may not line up properly
  • Requires labelling and proper organization
  • Requires storage space
  • Takes more than an hour to install

Compare & Choose Hurricane Shutters

If you’re not sure which hurricane shutters are best for your home, give us a call. We’re available for a free in-home consultation and would be happy to help you choose hurricane shutters that:

  • Look beautiful
  • Protect your home and family
  • Fit into your budget
  • Meet all your needs

How much does it cost to install storm panels?

Storm panels are the least expensive option for hurricane-proofing your home or business. At an average of $7-$15 per square foot. Some panels are slightly more expensive than plywood but much stronger.

The price depends on size and material and will vary a bit between aluminum panels, clear hurricane panels, or galvanized metal panels.

How to install storm panels

As previously mentioned, there are different methods for installing storm panels. 

  • Track and Bolts System
  • Track System
  • Bolts System

In addition, panels can be attached horizontally or vertically.

Because this hurricane-proofing method is so versatile, it’s hard to share a good how-to guide. If you have questions about which hurricane shutters are best for your home, give us a call! We’ll answer all your questions and help you find the right solution.

2020 is going to be a BIG year for hurricanes. Take action NOW to protect your home from the next major storm.

How long does it take to install storm panels?

After the tracks and bolts have been installed, hurricane-proofing your home may take a few hours. Depending on the style and number of openings to cover, installing storm panels may take about 15 minutes per window and a bit longer for doors.

Installing storm panels takes much more time and effort than Accordion Shutters, Bahama Shutters, Colonial Shutters, or Roll Down Shutters.

How to maintain storm panels

When to use hurricane shutters

The National Hurricane Center recommends putting up your hurricane shutters when a hurricane watch is issued for your area. 

  • A hurricane watch is issued whenever tropical storm conditions are expected to begin within 48 hours. 
  • Hurricane warnings are issued when tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.

When do I need to remove my storm panels?

In Volusia county, hurricane shutters need to be removed from the home no later than November 30th each year. The end of November marks the end of peak hurricane season.

Every city has its own codes and ordinances regarding hurricane shutters. Some require hurricane coverings to be removed within 72 hours of a “storm event”. Homeowners associations may also impose their own regulations regarding hurricane shutters. Follow the rules of the most specific governing sources. For example, a homeowners association’s rules supersede the rules of your city. If you do not have a HOA, then follow the rules of your city. If the city in which you live does not have regulations regarding the removal of hurricane shutters, then follow county codes.

However, the best advice for removing storm shutters comes from the fire department. Fire safety officials recommend removing hurricane coverings from your home as soon as the weather is clear and tropical storm conditions have passed. Blocked off windows and doors limit escape routes from the home in case of fire or emergency.

Keep your family safe and remove hurricane coverings as soon as possible.

Where to store storm panels

Because storm panels are not permanently affixed to the home or building, they need to be stored elsewhere when not in use. You may want to consider a shed or other dedicated storage space to prevent damage to the panels. 

Here are guidelines for storing your hurricane panels:

How to Store Aluminum Hurricane Panels

How to Store Clear Hurricane Panels

How to Store Galvanized Metal Panels

Which hurricane shutters are best?

The best hurricane shutters:

  • Protect your home from hurricane damage
  • Fit into your budget
  • Maintain your home’s curb appeal
  • Are convenient to deploy
  • Give you peace of mind

In other words, the best hurricane shutters depend upon factors unique to you and your needs. We’d love the opportunity to create the right storm protection solution for your home or business. So call today!