Plantation shutters are a quintessential part of southern living. These shutters create a rich sense of southern hospitality in a room and serve as a decorative, yet functional element, so you've made an excellent choice if you have decided to install this addition to your home.
Plantation shutters are beautiful, but it's up to you to maintain that beauty. Learn some of the steps you can take to keep your unit looking gorgeous.
Clean Regularly and Correctly
Ground zero of plantation shutter care is regular cleaning and, most importantly, cleaning the correct way. It's best to clean your shutters at least once per week. But if you have several pets in your home or live in a high-dust area, you may need to clean the shutters more frequently.
For the actual cleaning process, set aside any harsh cleaning solutions you typically use for household cleaning, as these substances can cause permanent damage to your wood shutters. You only need to use a dusting brush or cloth to gently wipe down the unit.
For stains, dampen a clean, microfiber cloth and use it to gently wipe away the stain or use a shutterapproved cleaning agent.
Manipulate Louvers Properly
Keep in mind that there is a wrong and right way to rotate the shutter louvers, mainly if you have a model installed with hidden control arms. Louvers, the versatile horizontal slats that make up the shutters, should always be rotated from their center when opening or closing the unit. When you turn a slate on its end, you are generating extra and unnecessary tension.
Over time, this repetitive practice can cause the louver to snap and break. Rotating the louver in the middle eliminates this tension by adequately distributing the pressure throughout the length of the slate. If your unit has an exposed control arm, always use this feature to open and close the shutters, and never use the louvers directly.
Remember to Close the Shutters
During the day, it's refreshing to open the shutters and allow the natural light in from the outside, but make sure you also remember to close the unit when you're not trying to allow in the light. When you leave shutters open for an extended period, you increase wear, as there are a set of hinges that keep the unit in this open state.
The longer the shutters stay open, the more pressure is placed on the hinges. If the hinges fail, they could break and also damage the framework or prevent the shutters from opening or closing. Although there is no timeframe to follow, get in the habit of closing the unit when you're not actively in the room.
Touch Up Paint Damage
In high-traffic spaces, such as a breakfast nook, it's not uncommon for the shutter to suffer nicks or chips in the paint. If this happens in your home, it's important that you address the matter right away by touching up the damaged area with a paint reapplication. When even a small area of paint is damaged, it's only a matter of time before the area of damage expands.
In addition to more paint chipping away, the unprotected wood surface will also be exposed to the elements in the air, such as humidity, which can cause warping and other damage. If you purchased your shutters prepainted, the company that installed the unit for you would be able to tell you what type of paint you need to perform this step.
Keep proper shutter care at the top of your list of priorities. At American Classic Shutters, we're happy to assist you with all your installation needs and any questions you have about proper care.