Critical Factors to Consider When Selecting Exterior Window Shutters

Most homeowners will agree that installing exterior window shutters ranks among the best home improvement ideas. Shutters protect glass windows from stray birds and stones, and they add aesthetics to a home's exterior. The best part is that exterior window shutters are available in various materials from wood and vinyl to medium-density fibre (MDF) boards and faux wood. However, you must consider a few things before selecting exterior shutters.

Exposure Levels to Elements -- Exterior shutters are excellent at protecting window panes from the elements. However, that does not mean that you can utilise any shutter material for your window because security needs are unique. For instance, vinyl window shutters are not appropriate for houses located in storm-prone areas. Flying debris can easily break vinyl shutters, thereby exposing the window panes to damage. Such conditions require metal shutters due to structural strength requirements. The same vinyl window shutters are appropriate in calm and well-protected locations since you don't have to worry about dangerous projectiles and high winds.

Window Location -- Different rooms in the home are exposed to different conditions. For example, the moisture levels in the bathroom, kitchen, and basement are high compared to other rooms. It means that the window shutters installed in these rooms must be moisture-resistant material such as vinyl. If you install wooden or MDF window shutters in your bathroom, chances are high that they will rot and decay within a short period. However, wooden exterior window shutters are perfect for bedroom windows, where moisture is low and privacy is of utmost importance.

Shutter Maintenance -- As the name suggests, exterior window shutters are installed on the outside of a window. The screens are always exposed to dirt and dust, and they must be cleaned regularly to prevent stubborn stains and scratches. For this reason, you must ask yourself how much time you are willing to spend cleaning and maintaining exterior shutters. Some materials, such as vinyl and MDF, attract dirt easily and need dusting to keep the shutters clean. Conversely, steel shutters are less likely to attract dust and dirt; therefore, they are the best for windows that are exposed to dirt. All it takes to clean such shutters is a duster or a damp cloth.

Shutter Finish -- What do you want the finish on an exterior window shutter to accomplish? Are you going for aesthetics, performance, or both? Some exterior shutter finishes are aesthetically appealing but terrible at protecting a window from deterioration. For instance, although wet-painted steel shutters are visually appealing, a slight scratch exposes the steel to corrosion. If you want the best of both worlds -- aesthetics and performance -- go for powder-coated shutters. The same goes for sealing and non-sealing finishes on wood shutters.

To learn more, contact a resource that carries exterior shutters.