Are your accordion shutters not closing? When storm clouds loom over South Florida, hurricane accordion shutters are the first line of defense. But panic can surge when the moment arrives, and your accordion shutters remain defiantly open. Don’t worry; we’re here to help you determine why your stubborn accordion shutters will not close and possibly help you protect your home.
First, we will provide an essential accordion shutter rescue kit list. These are a list of things we recommend every owner of accordion shutters have on hand to handle their hurricane shutter maintenance.
- Lithium-based lubricant spray (Amazon)
- A standard hose or pressure washer (Choose your own)
- A cleaning brush (Amazon)
Let’s troubleshoot and address the most common causes of your accordion shutters remaining stubbornly closed. Then, we will discuss some prevention tips and tricks to keep your hurricane shutters maintained and ready to protect your home at a moment’s notice.
Why your accordion shutters are not closing
There are five main reasons why your hurricane accordion shutters may not close. For usefulness, we will start with some of the most manageable and common problems to solve to the least common and most challenging problems to solve.
You can use this quick and handy jump menu to get to each issue we cover:
- Your track may be dirty
- Low lubrication
- The wheels may have degraded
- Your lock may be dirty or under lubricated
Your accordion shutters may not close if the track is dirty.
Dead leaves, animal droppings, dead bugs, and plenty of other debris tend to get trapped inside the tracks of accordion shutters. As a permanent fixture on the exterior of your home, your hurricane shutters can get pretty gunky and dirty. Without proper, frequent cleaning, they can quickly build up with debris, making it difficult to open or close your accordion shutters over time.
Having a dirty track is the most straightforward and common reason why your accordion shutters do not close Sometimes, this debris can be hard to see, so we recommend cleaning out your shutter if you are having problems closing your accordion shutter, even if there is no visible debris!
How to clean your accordion shutters if your accordion shutters do not close:
- Bring out the hose and blast the tracks with water to loosen some of the hardened gunk trapped in your hurricane shutter tracks; if you have a pressure washer, even better!
- Remove the easy-to-reach debris by hand, and use a soft-bristled brush to remove the stubborn bits.
- Test closing your shutter. If your shutter closes, congratulations! But you’re not done yet!
- Apply a lithium-based lubricant to your hurricane shutters’ top and bottom tracks, and spray a bit into the space between each blade. Cleaning and lubricating your accordion shutters every year will help your shutters last longer and close more easily.
Dealing with a situation like a non-functioning accordion shutter during a stressful time like a storm watch or warning can allow common sense to go out the window. Don’t feel embarrassed if this is your only problem. We get dozens (if not hundreds) of calls when hurricane watches are issued for issues like this; you’re not alone!
Low lubrication on blades or wheels
Over time, due to weathering, evaporation, or all of the above, the lubrication can strip from your accordion shutters. This problem is why we recommend that all accordion shutter owners always keep a clear lithium lubricating spray bottle in their hurricane prep kit. Just spray a liberal amount of lithium lubricant onto the track and blades of your hurricane shutter, which should resolve this issue.
Why can’t I lock my hurricane shutters?
There can be a few reasons you’re having trouble locking your hurricane accordion shutters. The first and most common issue is debris obstruction or lack of lubrication for your lock. The quick and easy fix for this problem is to wash out your lock, then lubricate it with lithium-based lubricant (link above.)
If your lock is still not working, take note of the specific problem you are having. Is your hurricane shutter lock completely seized? Is it not snapping into place? If yes to any of those questions, it may be time to call the professionals.
If you’re one of our customers, you will most likely be covered under our warranty for repair (as long as you bought the shutters within the past 25 years.) If not, we recommend contacting your original manufacturer for warranty service. Suppose you do not know your original manufacturer, your original manufacturer went out of business, or a warranty does not cover you. In that case, contacting an accordion shutter maintenance company is best, as you may require a new lock.
We do not provide hurricane shutter maintenance service to non-customers, as we cannot vouch for the safety of other accordion shutter companies’ products or services.
Suppose you came across this issue during a storm. In that case, it’s most likely that you have not performed your recommended yearly accordion shutter maintenance — nearly every manufacturer of accordion shutters will suggest that you clean out your hurricane shutter tracks and lubricate the wheels and track of your accordion shutters every year.
This hurricane shutter maintenance is always recommended mainly to prevent predicaments like this one, where you cannot close your accordion shutter before a storm.
It’s always best to identify a problem with your accordion shutters before a storm approaches; this way, you can resolve your accordion shutter closure issue with minimal stress or have time to reach out to your manufacturer for backup if the problem is a bit too difficult to handle on your own.
Once a hurricane watch or warning is issued, most, if not all, hurricane shutter manufacturers and installers will be surged with maintenance and installation requests. You may find it challenging to get the support you need if you are a few hours out from a storm. We always recommend that hurricane accordion shutter owners perform yearly maintenance right before the North Atlantic Hurricane season starts.
If your accordion shutters are 10-years old (or older)
After 10-15 years, some customers may experience issues closing their accordion shutters due to normal wear and tear on the top wheels of the track. These are issues that will require parts and labor. If you’re one of our customers still under warranty, please contact us for warranty service.
If you made it to the end of this article and your accordion shutters are not closing, we recommend contacting us if you are one of our customers for additional support. Otherwise, get in touch with a reputable hurricane shutter repair company. You can see more advice on our dedicated hurricane accordion shutter maintenance page.
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This article is not kept up to date with current pricing.
Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.