Clear Hurricane Shutters: Advantages & DIY Installation Guide




Clearguard Hurricane ShuttersIn 2008, a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization (NOAA) provided a troubling prediction about the frequency of hurricanes in the coming years: while the number of mid-size storms will likely decrease, the number of major Atlantic hurricanes will rise. For Americans living in those coastal states that have always received more then their fair share of storm damage, this is troubling news.

Yet even in the face of Mother Nature’s fury, the prepared homeowner is not defenseless. Protecting your home from hurricanes the right way requires materials that can stand up to the most ferocious storm. For years, steel and aluminum hurricane shutters have been the standard solution. Each has its own advantages: aluminum is lighter in weight while steel is stronger. Yet both share common weaknesses: they tend to make the outside of your home look like a suburban fortress while casting your home’s interior into near total darkness. This does not have to be the price paid for superior protection.Clear Hurricane Shutters

Clear Hurricane Shutters: The Smart Homeowner’s Choice.

Those who rely on aluminum or steel hurricane panels need not live in the darkness any longer. Clear hurricane shutters made of UV-stabilized polycarbonate offer protection from the toughest storms while still letting light into your home. Clear hurricane shutters have several advantages:

  • Clear hurricane shutters are tough. Those manufactured by a quality producer meet or exceed the requirements mandated by the strictest building codes in the country, even in those areas known as “High Volume Hurricane Zones” which can experience wind speeds in excess of 140 mph. Plastic hurricane panels are also more dent-resistant than aluminum panels.
  • Plastic hurricane panels are completely transparent with light transmission rates of up to 85%. This means you no longer have to bar all traces of natural light from your home. Additionally, clear hurricane shutters made of UV-stabilized polycarbonate block UV rays to keep your drapes, furniture and carpets from fading.
  • Due to their low weight and rounded edges, clear hurricane shutters can be installed without fear of cutting yourself or throwing out your back.
  • Multiple panels nest together for easy, compact storage.
  • Clear hurricane shutters are available in standard industry widths and are designed to work with the same standard industry tracks and hardware that aluminum or steel panels are installed on. This means that they provide a perfect way to upgrade the metal panels you may already have.

How to Order Clear Hurricane Shutters

It is easy to figure out the right size panels to order. The hurricane panels should, according to Section 2413.7 of the Florida Building Code, “compClear Hurricane Shuttersletely cover an opening in all directions.”

If you already had metal shutters installed, clear hurricane shutters are designed toClear Hurricane Shutters fit into the same standard industry tracks used for metal panels. Simply measure your tracks to find the precise dimensions required for your clear hurricane shutters.

If you don’t have existing metal shutters, simply follow the steps below.

  1. Determine how many panels you need. Hurricane panels are commonly available in seven different lengths (ranging from 33” to 240”), but in only one standard industry width, 15.25”. The panels overlap, so a safe rule of thumb is to order one panel for every 12” of width needed, or refer to the chart on the right.
  2. Choose a panel length (height) that is several inches larger than your window height.
  3. You will also need to order the H-Track and F-Track pieces that are used to attach the clear hurricane shutters to your home. Many plastics distributors that stock hurricane shutters will also carry this equipment. The salesperson will be able to provide you with the correct length for both components.

Once you have the proper dimensions and quantities figured out, contact your local plastics distributor to place your order.

Clear Hurricane Shutters: Installation

If you have an existing metal panel system in place, thenyou already know how to install your new clear hurricane shutters. The process is the same because the clear panels fit into the same standard track as the metal version.

If you have not already installed metal panels, Clear Hurricane Shutters Installedfollow these simple steps to install your new clear hurricane shutters.

  1. Take the difference between the window height and the panel height and divide that number by 2. Attach the H-track that many inches higher than the window opening and the F-track the exact panel length below the H-track. For example, if your panels are 6 inches longer than your windows, you’ll install the H-track 3 inches above the window.
  2. Slide the panels into the H-track and use bolts to attach the bottom section of the panels to the F-track.

It’s as easy as that! Call a local plastics distributor such as E&T Plastics today to ensure that your home is ready in time for the next big storm.

Have a question? Need help? Leave us a comment below!


8 Responses to “Clear Hurricane Shutters: Advantages & DIY Installation Guide”

  • ken granik says:

    September 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    What type of storage devices are available during the non-hurrican season? Would prefer off floor storage.

  • Pam Aungst Teubner says:

    September 12, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Hi Ken!

    Thanks for your inquiry. Storage arrangements are entirely up to you. You can store them however works best for you, so long as they’re out of the sun.

    Please let us know if we can assist you further.

    C.W. says:

    August 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Can these be added into existing aluminum panels, to give saomr light, without replacing all the aluminum panels?

      Pam Aungst says:

      August 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Hi C.W.,

      In most cases you can mix our shutters with existing aluminum shutters. Please let us know if you have further questions.


    Valerie Hinnegan says:

    August 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Can the clear plastic hurricane shutters be cut? If so, what kind of saw and what type of blade. We need to cover a small window and all the shutters are way to long and we need to shorten. Thanks for your help!

      Pam Aungst says:

      August 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Valerie,

      You’ll be receiving an email from our Florida branch, but the short answer is that the hurricane panels can easily be cut with a saber saw, circular saw, jig saw or hand saw.

      Let us know if we can assist further.

    Jim T says:

    August 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    My wife and I live in St Petersburg Florida in a waterfront home. We have complete coverage of all windows and patio with aluminum panels from several sources. Some were professionally installed (40′ wide x 84″ high x 12′ deep on three sides of the patio, and a 10′ x 57″ window) as well as several windows and doors that were DIY with panels and hardware from Home Depot. Recently Home Depot, stopped carrying storm panels and hardware. We wanted to add more lucite panels for more light and found that those sold at Loews are about 1/4″ inch too deep front to back to fit the receiver h panels at the top! Is there supposed to be a standard depth for the panels and h frame? It seems those we have vary;some are 2 1/4″ and others are 2 1/2″.
    There is no way I want to replace the receiver h hardware, but I’d like to get more lucite and more light.

      Pam Aungst says:

      September 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm


      Our panels are 2” deep and therefore need a track that’s 2” wide. Depending on the manufacturer you do have panels that vary in depth.

      Please let us know if we can assist you further.

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