Common Fixes for Rolling Shutters

a rolling metal shutter
What You'll Need

Rolling shutters roll down to cover a window or door, and then roll up into a box above the window, keeping it out of site when not in use. This type of shutter is primarily used for hurricane protection and security, but they are also great for insulating the home and they work well as a noise barrier. The basic design of a rolling shutter is a curtain of aluminum or steel sections called a lath, which is wound around a barrel. The barrel can be electrically or manually operated to lower or raise the lath. One of the most popular forms of rolling shutters are those silver metal shades that cover storefronts when the store is not open, especially stores located in high crime areas of larger towns and cities.

Since there are many mechanical and moving parts involved with rolling shutters, there are many opportunities for the shutters not to work correctly. Rolling shutters are a major investment but, if the shutters are maintained and repaired as needed, they will last many years. There are a few common fixes for rolling shutter problems that can be done by a homeowner, without the need for seeking professional help.


One of the most common fixes for rolling shutters is to simply spray some WD-40 into the mechanism to make sure all moving parts are properly lubricated. Lubricating the workings of the rolling shutter, including the chain, will reduce any noise emitted when rolling the shutter up or down. It will make the shutters roll up and down much easier and extend the life of the metal, and the mechanical workings of the shutter.

Check Batteries

Some rolling shutters have a remote control device for raising and lowering the shutters. Some have a wall-mounted, push-button device that uses a battery, while other models only resort to battery power if the electricity goes out in the home. If a shutter suddenly stops working, the first thing you should do is check the batteries in the remote control. The simplest of fixes can sometimes be the one thing that is not checked when the rolling shutters are not working properly.

Seek Further Help

Sometimes, the lever on a manually rolled shutter will break. In this instance, contact the manufacturer for a replacement. If that is not an option, visit the local home improvement store. Take the broken handle and the make and model of the rolling shutters with you to the store. Find a new lever that will fit properly. Ask for help if needed.

Inspect Chain

If the shade is not rolling up and down as it should you will need to inspect the chain. An old or rusted chain will need to be replaced, especially on shutter models that are more than 10 years old. To replace the chain, open the shutter housing and remove the old chain. If necessary, take the old chain with you to the local home improvement store to find a suitable replacement for it. Or you can call the manufacturer who made the shutters. After a new chain has been purchased, make sure to lubricate it with WD-40 prior to installing it. Then, test it to make sure that it works. Make any necessary adjustments as needed.