Exterior shutters are an ideal way of protecting your windows from the extremes of weather, but they will need a small amount of maintenance if they are to carry out their function correctly. Here are some tips to keep your exterior shutters in top condition.
Inspect the shutters
Make sure you check the condition of your shutters after any bad storm. Although they will be made to withstand heavy weather conditions, it is always possible that they will suffer damage, and minor problems should be repaired immediately as they are likely to get worse otherwise. You should check that the hinges are in good working order, and examine the surfaces and edges of the shutter themselves.
Trim plant growth
Any plants growing near the shutters should be controlled so they are not causing any problems. Branches and leaves can scratch the shutters, especially in windy weather. Some plants can also stick to the surface, which can cause damage and dampness as they leave excess moisture behind.
Clean the shutters
Dirt and grime can also build up on the shutters, which will affect the appearance of your home as well as weaken the outer coating which helps to protect your home against the weather. To prevent this, you will need to clean your exterior shutters every three months or so (more frequently if you notice an excessive build-up). Warm soapy water should be all that is needed for this - just add a small amount of mild detergent to a bucket of warm water, and wipe clean with a cloth or a smooth-bristled brush. You should avoid using harsh chemicals or a pressure washer, either of which could damage the finish.
Touch up the paintwork
Any paint that has come off because of storm debris should be repaired as soon as possible. Fortunately, this can be done just by spot-painting the damaged area. Clean the shutter thoroughly before painting, and if it is made of wood, check for any decay. Then you can simply paint over the blemish with a paintbrush. If there is extensive damage you can strip off the old paint and apply a new coat. The paint is a waterproof layer that helps to protect your home, so you should ensure that the paintwork stays in good repair.
A small amount of care and maintenance will save a lot of expense in the future, and ensure that your exterior shutters protect your home for many years to come.