Exterior shutters are a great addition to any home. They have a rich heritage going back to America’s colonial architecture. Today, this window treatment blends functionality and aesthetics. You can install shutters for storm protection, enhanced privacy, natural air, and light control. These fitting also add a dash of style to their exterior décor. They improve your home’s curb appeal and make it more elegant.

Due to exposure to the elements, exterior shutters require special care to avoid fading and deterioration of the material. Whether you have installed functional or decorative shutters on your windows, it is important to maintain them in the tiptop condition.

This guide explores steps you can take to maintain your outdoor shutters in perfect shape by preventing color fading.

1. Consider the Shutter Materials

When caring for outdoor shutters, you have to consider the material first. Different materials react differently to the elements. Common shutter materials are wood, vinyl, aluminum, composite etc.

When installing or restoring your shutters, check the manufacturer’s care guidelines and find the best cleaning materials and other care instructions. Some materials, such as wood require special care to prevent loss of color due to exposure.

Manufacturers recommend wood treatment before installation to improve the durability of raised panel exterior shutters. Vinyl and composite shutters are more resistant to the elements but they also deteriorate with time.

2. Regular Inspection

One of the greatest challenges with outdoor shutters' care is that they are not always on your face. This means any damage to the fittings can worsen before you notice. As a homeowner, you need to take proactive care of your home through regular inspection.

You can also call in a qualified contractor to inspect shutters that you might not reach. It is the only way to detect problems such as mold growth on wood shutters. Vinyl shutters also lose their original color due to exposure but you cannot notice this until you examine them carefully. If you want to maintain window shutters in perfect shape, you have to take an interest in the fittings through regular inspection.

3. Clean the Shutters Regularly

Many homeowners love the impact of shutters on their home’s aesthetics. However, they don’t appreciate that constant dirt and grime buildup on the shutters affects their appearance. If you want to maintain your outdoor shutters looking good, you have to clean them regularly.

Most shutter materials such as aluminum and vinyl are easy to clean with regular detergent, a soft cloth (a Lambs’ wool or Ostrich feather duster), and water. You can power or pressure wash these sturdy materials after cleaning the surfaces.

For wood shutters, however, you need to carefully check the surfaces to detect any mold and mildew infestation. This affects the shine and glamor of the shutters and you might require a bleaching material such as tri-sodium phosphate and water to remove this destructive growth. Make sure to rinse the panels with water.

Now that there’s a wide variety of shutter materials on the market, it is advisable to use the recommended cleaner for effective maintenance. Some detergents on the market might end up ruining the color of your shutters. If you are in doubt about the best cleaner to use, talk to your shutters’ supplier for a recommendation.

4. Repainting

With age and exposure, all types of shutters lose their shine and as a homeowner, you have to do something about this. Repainting is one of the most effective restorative techniques in home maintenance, and it works on any part of the structure.

If you notice your home’s shutters have started deteriorating, it is time to consider a repainting job. If you had selected the best shutter color, the repainting job is easy. Buy the same paint color and bring your shutters back to life. However, you can also change the shutter color to suit your décor needs.

To restore the shutters through repainting, you should remove the unit and repaint it on a flat surface. Different shutters have unique installation systems and you should confirm this before removing the unit.

Repainting the shutters on the ground is safer and helps you reach every nook and crook. You will do a better job of restoring the panels and the attachment hardware. Another option is to hire an expert to handle the painting job. This guarantees the maintenance job looks better and lasts longer.

5. Care for Both Sides of the Shutters

If you want to restore your window shutters to their former glory, you have to care for both sides. Some homeowners only focus on the out-facing side when cleaning, painting or finishing these fittings.

However, this doesn’t work because you will have to open the shutters at one time. To maintain the color of your shutters, clean and restore the entire unit for the best effect.

6. Finishing And Treatment

Due to their exposure to extreme weather, outdoor shutters deteriorate fast and they require constant care to keep them in the best shape. One way of maintaining that beautiful color on your window shutters is by regularly treating them using recommended products.

Homeowners go to great lengths to polish and treat their floors and furniture but forget all about these important fittings. If you want to keep your exterior shutters in perfect shape, remember to polish and treat them using the best finishing products on the market.

This applies to wood, aluminum, composite, vinyl and any other shutters on the market. Every construction material has its own finishing materials and you can confirm with your shutters’ supplier about this.

Final Thoughts

Installing exterior shutters is one of the smartest home improvement ideas. They offer protection, privacy, and natural ventilation and air conditioning. At the same time, window shutters also improve your home’s curb appeal. If you want to maintain your window shutters in mint condition, make sure you inspect and clean them regularly. You should also finish them to restore them to their glory. Maintaining the window shutter colors adds a dash of style and flair to your home.