Caring for Your Exterior Shutters: Tips for Proper Maintenance
Taking care of your exterior shutters is an integral part of maintaining the appearance and longevity of your home. In order to maintain its aesthetic value and protective nature, it is important to take good care of your shutters. With the proper care and maintenance, your shutters will remain beautiful and provide protection for many years. Exterior shutters can enhance a home's aesthetic appeal and functionality, but choosing a suitable material for your shutters can be challenging. Various materials are available for exterior shutters, including PVC, composite, custom, and other materials like wood, metal, and vinyl. Each material has pros and cons, and choosing a specific material should be based on your specific needs and preferences.
PVC exterior shutters are cost-effective, low-maintenance, and durable but are not as aesthetically pleasing as wood or composite shutters. Composite shutters are made of a combination of materials, including PVC and/or wood fibers, which makes them a good option for those who want a more natural look with low maintenance.
Regular cleaning of your exterior shutters is essential to keep them looking their best. Use a mild soap, water solution, and a soft cloth to gently clean the shutters' surface. Avoid using abrasive cleaning products or rough scrubbing, as this can scratch the surface of the shutters. You can use a pressure water to apply soap and water but recommend to keep the pressure low so that you do not strip the paint or stain off the finish.
Painting and Staining
If your shutters are made of wood, it may be necessary to re-paint or re-stain them from time to time to keep them looking their best. Choose a high-quality exterior paint or stain specifically designed for wood surfaces, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results. A deck stain is rated highly for traffic and, although it costs more, will tend to have a longer life span. Also, transparent stains will show more of the natural wood grain and give beauty to the shutter but will require being re-stained every 3-5 years. A semi-transparent or solid stain will generally last 2-3 times longer before needing to be redone but will look more like a paint and show less wood grain. Some
composite exterior shutters are paint grade only meaning they will not accept stain. Cedar exterior shutters will accept paint, however, may need to be painted with an oil based paint instead of a latex paint to avoid bleed through which would cause a nightmare scenario for maintenance.
Protecting your shutters from the elements is important to prevent damage from weather conditions such as rain, wind, and extreme heat or cold. Consider applying a clear protective coating to the shutters to help guard against weather damage.
If your shutters become damaged, it is important to repair them as soon as possible. Minor repairs, such as replacing loose screws or fixing a loose hinge, can often be performed by a homeowner. More serious repairs, such as replacing damaged panels, may require the services of a professional.
Raised panels shutters, especially, need to be assessed each spring. Winter freezes tend to cause water droplets to freeze and expand. When these water droplets get in the cracks of the shutters it can cause them to expand and come apart. Caulking and repainting the cracks is a good way to prevent this from happening.
Regular maintenance is essential to ensure that your shutters continue to function correctly. Check the hinges, screws, and latches periodically to ensure they are secure, and make any necessary repairs.
If you want your exterior shutters to last for a long time and maintain their aesthetic appeal, it is vital to ensure that you take proper care of them. Doing so can prolong their lifespan and ensure they remain in good condition.
Whether you have wood, PVC, or composite shutters, following the manufacturer's recommendations and best practices for care and maintenance is essential to get the most from your investment.
The Cost of Exterior Shutters
Understanding the Price Factors
Exterior shutters can add style and function to your home, but they also come at a cost. The cost of exterior shutters will vary depending on several factors, including the material, size, style, and custom features you choose.
Understanding these price factors will help you make an informed decision when choosing the right exterior shutters for your home.
The material used is a significant component in determining the expense of exterior shutters. PVC and composite shutters are generally more affordable than custom wood shutters but may also be less durable and have a shorter lifespan. Custom wood shutters are often more expensive but can also provide higher quality and durability.
The size of your shutters will also impact the cost. Larger shutters will generally cost more than smaller ones, and custom sizes may be more expensive than standard ones. It's important to accurately measure your windows to ensure that you get the right size shutters for your home.
The style of your shutters can also affect the cost. Simple, flat panel shutters will generally be less expensive than more elaborate styles with curves, louvers, or raised panels. The complexity of the design will impact the cost, so it's essential to choose a style that fits both your budget and your design aesthetic.
If you want to add custom features to your shutters, such as shutters with cutouts or custom paint colors, you can expect to pay more for these services. Custom features can add a unique touch to your shutters but may also add to the overall cost.
Board and batten shutters are generally the most cost-effective type of wood shutter and will have less maintenance due to minimal joints. If the joints are connected with tongue-and-groove construction then the shutter will last even longer.
Finally, the installation cost should also be considered when budgeting for your exterior shutters. Professional installation can add to the overall cost, but it can also ensure that your shutters are properly installed and secure.
The cost of exterior shutters will vary depending on the factors outlined above. By understanding the price factors and budgeting accordingly, you can choose the right exterior shutters for your home and ensure that you get the best value for your investment.
Best Paint for Exterior Shutters
Choosing the Right Option
The selection of paint you make can significantly impact keeping the look of your exterior shutters in top condition. The right paint will protect your shutters from the elements, retain their color, and provide a long-lasting finish.
When selecting the most suitable paint for your exterior shutters, it is vital to consider a few factors, such as the type of material the shutters are made of, the desired shade, and the required level of protection. When choosing the best paint for your exterior shutters, consider the material of your shutters, your desired color, and the level of protection you need. The right paint will provide a long-lasting finish and help to protect your shutters from the elements. Here are some of the most common paint options for exterior shutters and their advantages:
Avoid Painting Shutters Black!
This is a controversial topic as black is historically the most popular color to paint shutters. However....and this is a big however....black shutters are notorious for holding up the least amount. This is because black shutters tend to absorb more sunlight which causes them to contract and expand to a greater degree than any other color. This can cause the joints to swell and contract and allowing the screws to become loose and the seams to open up. Once this happens the life expectancy of the shutter is reduced significantly. On the flip side, choosing a lighter shade for your colors generally extends the life of your shutter. Make sure to pick the best shutter colors for your home.
Semi-Gloss vs Gloss Finish
The finish of the paint is one of the most important considerations and as it often relates back to the cleanability and maintenance of the shutters. High gloss paint tends to repel dirt and water which maintains a fresh, clean look of the shutters. On the other end of the spectrum is a matte finish which will tend to hide more imperfections but will trap and hold a lot of dirt and be much harder to clean. Semi-gloss finish is the most popular as it offers the best in cleanability without being too shiny for the homeowner.
Oil-based paint is a popular choice for wood shutters as it penetrates deeper and it prevents oils in the wood from bleeding through. It provides a durable finish and is ideal for use on wood surfaces. It dries quickly, provides a glossy finish, and is resistant to water and mildew.
Latex paint is a popular choice for PVC and composite shutters. It dries quickly, is easy to clean, and provides a smooth finish. It is also environmentally friendly, as it is made from water-based materials. Some composite shutters will not hold oil based paints.
Epoxy paint is a popular choice for metal shutters. It is incredibly durable, resistant to water and mildew, and ideal for use on metal surfaces. It provides a smooth finish, dries quickly, and is easy to clean.
Frequently Asked Questions About Exterior Shutters: All Your Questions Answered
When it comes to choosing exterior shutters, there are often many questions that come to mind. To help make your decision-making process easier, we have gathered a list of the most frequently asked questions about exterior shutters and answered them for you.
What are the different types of exterior shutters available?
Several types of exterior shutters are available, including PVC, composite, wood, metal, and vinyl.
What are PVC exterior shutters made of?
PVC exterior shutters are made of a plastic material called polyvinyl chloride. They are designed to look like traditional wooden shutters but are more durable and low maintenance.
Are composite shutters better than wood shutters?
Composite shutters are a great alternative to wood shutters as they are more durable, low maintenance, and do not rot as wood shutters can. However, wood shutters can give a traditional and classic look unmatched by composite shutters.
How do I determine the right size of exterior shutters for my home?
Measuring exterior shutters is determined by the size of the window they will cover. It is vital to measure the height and width of the window to ensure that you select the correct size of shutters for your home.
Can I paint my exterior shutters?
Yes, exterior shutters can be painted, but it is important to use high-quality, weather-resistant paint. It is recommended to consult a professional before painting your shutters to ensure that you get the best results.
Can I install exterior shutters myself?
Yes, it is possible to install exterior shutters yourself, but it is essential to follow the instructions carefully and to have all the necessary tools and materials. If you are not confident installing the shutters, it is best to consult a professional.
How do I clean my exterior shutters?
To clean exterior shutters, it is recommended to mix a mild soap with water and use a soft cloth to wipe them down. You can use a pressure washer for tougher stains, but be careful not to damage the shutters.
What is the cost of exterior shutters?
The cost of exterior shutters varies depending on the type of material and the size. PVC and composite shutters are typically more expensive than wood and vinyl shutters but are also more durable and low maintenance. Custom exterior shutters will generally cost much more than standard sizes.
It is essential to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each material when selecting the appropriate external shutter. Factors like maintenance, durability, cost, and appearance should be considered to help you make an informed decision.
Investing in high-quality exterior shutters can be a great way to improve the appearance and performance of your house. There are many options, such as PVC, composite, custom, and more, to choose from.
To ensure your exterior shutters remain in optimal condition for the long term, it is essential to adhere to proper care and maintenance procedures. Doing so will help them maintain their aesthetic beauty for many years.
At Flower Window Boxes, Inc. we are proud to offer a range of composite PVC exterior shutters designed to provide the perfect combination of style, functionality, and durability. So if you're looking to upgrade your home's exterior with beautiful and long-lasting shutters, be sure to visit our website and explore our collection of composite PVC exterior shutters today!
About the Author
Matthew Buquoi is the owner of Flower Window Boxes, Inc., which is one of the largest online window box companies in the United States. In addition to being the owner, he is also an expert author, and regularly writes about industry topics in the window boxes, planters, exterior shutters, and home and garden industry.