Plywood hurricane shutters are the most commonly used storm shutters for steel buildings because of their price. They are considered to be temporary protection and their use is recommended only as a last resort, mainly due to the fact that these shutters do not meet most building codes.
There are two main methods for installing plywood shutters for steel buildings, the barrel bolt plywood shutters and the overlapping plywood shutters. For windows and doors of steel buildings that have an inset of two or more inches from the exterior wall, using barrel bolt plywood shutters is recommended.
These are the basic installation directions:
· Using a 5/8 inch thick plywood (3/4 inch is recommended), cut the plywood to fit snugly the window’s indentation.
· For larger framed openings such as doors, connect multiple plywood panels with 2 x 4s or sturdy hinges.
· Using one bolt for every 12 inches of vertical plywood, screw barrel bolts to each plywood shutter.
· Don’t forget to mark the bolt holes in the wall.
· As usual, label each panel with “Top” and “Bottom” and the number of the window it fits (refer to drawing discussed in yesterday’s post).
· Drill the holes.
It is recommended that plywood shutters be made waterproof by applying sealant or paint. Store plywood shutters properly in a cool, dry place to prevent wood damage and warping. Never store wet plywood shutters.
In addition, choose a storage location that keeps the shutters off the ground to prevent termite damage. This will not be a problem for owners of steel buildings because these metal structures are resistant to termites.