How to Repair Accordion Shutters
Commonly recommended for windows in households exposed to strong wind and storms, accordion shutters are generally regarded as very durable. They are able to withstand hurricanes and need minimal maintenance. However, constant exposure to the outdoor elements and sustained usage means that such sturdy shutters can develop some snags. It is vital that such malfunctioning shutters are repaired immediately since they can get clogged.
Many times, jammed accordion shutters need a complete removal which is an expensive process since accordion shutters are installed in a one-time, permanent installation format. Window shutters are prone to surface damage wherein their outer surface suffers due to constant exposure to sunlight and moisture. To avoid the freezing of shutters and to ensure that they continue to function properly, use the following information.
Step 1 - Getting Started: Disengaging & Cleaning Accordion Shutters
Get started by properly cleaning the shutters. For this, you need to disengage the accordion shutter. Disengaging the accordion shutter system is rather easy since it consists of panels secured with screws. These panels are also called stacks and usually there are four of them, each with dedicated screws. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the panels. Ensure to take extra precaution when sweeping-out the stacks from the roll-on tracks to prevent any bending of the panels. Use a moist cloth to wipe the stacks.
Step 2 - Remove Internal Debris
Check the locking system of the accordion shutters. If you are cleaning the shutters after a long time, you might find grime impacted upon the locking system. You might even find dead insects and leaves stuck within the shutter tracks. Such debris is the usual cause for jammed accordion shutters. Use any scraping device that can edge-out the debris without harming the surface of the shutters. A screwdriver can do this with remarkable ease.
Step 3 - Lubricate Jammed Parts
Use a dry cloth to clean the slat pegs and wheels. Now, spray the wheels and pegs with a silicone spray. This helps to prevent the jamming of the shutter system and protects it against weather-induced hazards. Open and close the shutters repeatedly. This ensures that the silicone spray is uniformly layered upon all the moving parts of the shutter system. To ensure that the locking system is free from jamming, lubricate it with a few drops of motoring lubricant.
Step 4 - Replace Loosened Fasteners
Loose mounting fasteners are the most common cause for unstable shutters. Such shutters often move in an exaggerated manner and might scrape the underlying surface. Inspect the mounting fasteners. If they seem even slightly movable or loosened, replace them. Mounting fasteners are available in standard sizes and are easily replaceable using a hammer.
Step 5 - Surface Repairs
If you feel that the shutter is looking aged or if the surface seems weathered, you can repair its appearance by painting the shutter panels. For this, you need intensive cleaning. Use a sponge dipped in a solution prepared from water and dishwashing detergent. Start by sanding the flaking paint. You can use a liquid sander for this. The other option is to chemically strip the surface. You can use a water-based primer but this isn't necessary for basic painting/staining. Re-coat the surface of the shutter panels using an acrylic paint of your choice. Apply multiple coats of the paint, according to the package instructions.