14 December 2012

Exterior shutters

 Here are some more examples of exterior wooden window shutters.  As you can see from the photographs below, they are an effective way of maintaining one's privacy and they also have the added benefit of keeping out the strong rays of the sun.  It may be said that the use of window shutters in Tunisia is a remnant of the French colonial past.   

Exterior shutters
Exterior shutters were originally constructed for light control, privacy, and protection from the elements. Functional shutters hinge to either side of a window or at the top and swing closed when necessary and can also be mounted on tracks applied to the face of the building. Fixed and operable louvres shed rain, allow air transfer, filter direct sunlight, protect from small flying debris, and provide privacy. Operable louvred shutter allow for greater control in light and ventilation. Solid panels and board-and-batten shutters are generally used for protection during severe weather. Non-functional shutters are specifically used to enhance the features of a building. Functional shutters have traditionally been constructed from solid woods that have proven to endure outside elements but have also been mass produced in woods less suitable to the outdoors like pine. Finishing wood shutters is recommended for extended life. Composite shutters offer advantages over wood shutters such as resistance to twisting, splitting, and rotting. However all composites aren't created equal and, PVC shutters are often hinged with three or more hinges and painted with vinyl safe paint to keep from bowing in the sun and can require additional hardware.

Certain hardwoods that are currently used for exterior shutters, specifically Spanish Cedar, Honduran Mahogany and Teak, have grain that actually breathes out moisture making them resistant to rot and decay, and far more durable than a softer wood like pine. Because of the tannin in these woods they are also not prone to problems from insects. Non-functional exterior shutters can be constructed from vinyl, wood, or other synthetic materials. Non-functional shutters simply screw or bolt directly to the building. A recent material to be used for the making of composite functional shutters is fiberglass because it is not prone to rotting or twisting, and because it is dimensionally stable and has low expansion and contraction. Fiberglass is a reinforced plastic unlike vinyl or PVC shutters so it does not warp or sag much like its unreinforced counterparts. Its strength is comparable to aluminum however it does not suffer from corrosion and electrolysis.

An exterior hurricane shutter or storm shutter is used to protect windows and doors in a building against the effects of high winds, rain, and flying objects during a hurricane, or as security gates over the opening. They can be made of a variety of materials such as fiberglass, aluminium, iron, or wood and can be installed in tracks to be quickly opened and closed with motorized controls. There are also high impact resistant plastics that can be applied to new or existing wood shutters that provide hurricane protection. Florida has recently modified its requirements for hurricane shutters, so before purchasing any hurricane shutter you must check your local building codes to see what is required and/or acceptable.

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