Roller shutters: which material to choose for our home
Shutters are an important part of our home and furnishings. We usually choose them for beauty, safety, comfort. But what to choose among the different materials available on the market?
Once upon a time, wooden shutters were the norm: warm and often very pleasing to the eye, those are fixtures still able to give prominence and satisfaction to old houses or mountain homes, but in recent decades they are increasingly falling into disuse due to some objective disadvantages. These include the need for continuous maintenance, easy deterioration due to atmospheric agents and their not very long life – especially when compared to more modern materials.
Another demerit of wooden shutters is its poor recyclability: while plastics and metals can be recycled without complex processes, wood must first be chopped and then chemicals must inevitably intervene in order to make a further semi-finished product.
The new standard in Italy is now represented by aluminium roller shutters: a resistant, light and durable material. Even better if they are treated to obtain an almost optimal insulating capacity.
While wooden shutters have their aesthetic value as their strong point – so much so that they are considered part of the home furnishings for their beauty-, aluminium shutters rely on their resistance above all. High resistant to atmospheric weather and scratches, sunlight does not discolour or deform them and they resist well even the most violent phenomena such as hail. Furthermore, the maintenance they require is almost non-existent. And they also have a last big advantage: they are relatively light and do not need any particular help to be lifted.
The other material widely used in recent years is PVC. The reason is simple: roller shutters made of this vinyl polymer are cheap, have a good degree of thermal insulation, are very comfortable to assemble and clean, and can last for many years.
But after all these merits, it must also be said that PVC shutters do not lack some disadvantages: they are certainly less resistant than aluminium or steel, there are several types of poor quality mainly among lower price models – so let’s pay attention to what we are going to buy -, but above all they suffer the heat – so much so that with the passage of time, if they are exposed to direct sunlight, they risk deformation. Thus, these shutters are often recommended for their good quality-price ratio and particularly suitable for installation in houses or apartments subjected to mild temperatures.
Steel roller shutters, on the other hand, are primarily chosen for their safety, so much so that they are the de facto “golden standard” of anti-intrusion fixtures: for those who live on the ground level, for those who do not feel safe, for offices, shops or companies at risk of intrusion at night.
Even when the thickness of the steel is minimal, these shutters are in fact always extremely difficult to break or scratch: if we combine them with an alarm system, they will make our home a small fortress. However, the advantages are not only on the safety side: steel has a good level of insulation and can also be very versatile – it is no coincidence that we can easily repaint it giving it any colour and effect – perhaps a pleasant country wood effect.
For all these advantages, however, we also have a counterbalance in terms of ease of use: in fact, the weight of these shutters is such that to roll them up it is always necessary to install an electric engine. Finally, the difficulty in installation and the value and weight of the material make steel shutters a more important investment than aluminium, PVC or wooden ones.
Target Point, Italian Ideas