The First Line in Protecting Your Property
A Complete Guide to Roller Shutters
This page contains everything you'll need to know before buying a roller shutter.
This page is the only resource you’ll ever need to find out the basics about roller shutters.
It covers everything from how shutters work, what you can expect to pay, as well as the different types of shutters that you might encounter when searching the market for your ideal door.
If you have a question and you don’t see the answer below, you can send us an email, give us a call, or contact us on our Live Chat box on the bottom of the page.
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What Are Roller Shutters?
A Roller Shutter is a type of door that rolls upwards into an overhead coil or onto a set of tracks. They are also known as roller doors, but should not be confused with sectional overhead doors, which use a different mechanism to achieve similar results.
Roller shutters are usually made up of multiple pieces of steel or aluminium lath, the profile of which can be customised to achieve different properties and finishes. For example, some doors can be insulated to provide a better thermal barrier against the weather.
Some doors do away with separate pieces of lath in favour of PVC curtains, this gives them a lighter weight curtain that can be opened and closed rapidly. This type of shutter is known as a Fast Action Shutter or a PVC Shutter, and is usually seen in warehouse and commercial environments.
Generally speaking, there is very little a roller shutter can’t do if you are looking to add another element of security to your home or business. They can provide protection from fire, noise, light, and unwanted visitors (of many different kinds!).
Why Roller Shutters?
A roller shutter is a smart choice if you are looking to add security, fire protection, or a thermal barrier to almost any opening. They are particularly effective in areas where space around the opening is limited, where a traditional door may not be appropriate. They can also be concealed in walls and ceilings, so are an excellent choice where discretion is key.
You may need to use a roller shutter or fire shutter to meet certain regulations and standards, or you may find that installing a Secured By Design shutter helps reduce your home insurance premium.
The consensus is that if you want to improve and enhance important safety aspects of your building - be it a home or business - choosing a roller shutter door is a wise move.
We Install, Maintain and Repair Roller Shutter Systems Nationwide
How To Clean and Maintain Roller Shutters
Keeping a roller shutter clean is a simple process, they are sturdy machines but because of their environment they can get dirty and dusty quite easily. You can dust and clean the doors as you would any other metal surface. If your shutter is powder coated then it is a good idea to take a close look at any cleaning products you use to make sure they don't react with Polyester.
Maintaining a roller shutter should only be carried out by a certified roller shutter engineer. This is particularly true in cases where the shutter is used for a specific purpose such as fire protection or high security. Depending on how often the shutter is used it is advisable (and sometimes required by law) to have the door serviced at least once every 12 months. It is not uncommon for a door to need to be serviced twice or even 4 times per year.
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Where can you fit roller shutters?
Roller Shutter Doors can be installed over almost any opening. They are most often installed over doors, windows, and serving hatches where security and fire protection needs are most important. They are also used as skylights, and dust barriers in busy warehouse environments.
S&S Shutters are used to installing shutters in any kind of environment, so if you have a need that you think is unusual, please discuss your requirement with one of our experienced engineers.
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How Do Roller Shutters Work?
Roller Shutter Doors can work manually with hand chains or spring-loaded operations, or automatically with electric motors.
In any arrangement, whether manual or automatic, the mechanics of the operation are the same - when the door is closed the lath or curtain that sits in the opening is attached to a barrel at the top of the opening.
To open the door, the barrel begins rotating away from the opening in order to lift the curtain up. As it rotates, the curtain is lifted and coiled around the barrel until the door is completely open.
To close the door the same thing happens in reverse, and the curtain is lowered into position, closing the area off.
There are many ways to operate the door. A hand chain operation is common, as are single phase and 3-phase motors. It is also common to use a spring loaded barrel that helps take the weight of the shutter when lifting it by hand.
Depending on the size and purpose of the shutter, it may not be possible to have a certain type of operation. For example, fire shutters are usually triggered by a fire alarm, and therefore must be controlled by an electric motor.
Can Roller Shutters Be Painted?
Roller shutters can be coated using any paint suitable for metal, however the standard industry practise is to apply a polyester powder coating or plastisol coating. Polyester Powder Coating (often abbreviated to PPC) is more durable than most paint finishes, and therefore is a better choice for shutters where parts are often coming into contact with one another.
Suppliers will often offer PPC finishes in a range of colours, including RAL and BS Colour.
How Secure Are Roller Shutters?
Depending on your choice of shutter, roller shutters can range from being a deterrent, to being virtually impenetrable by even the most heavy duty of tool sets.
The Secured By Design initiative created by the UK Police has created a set of guidelines for doors, fences, windows, and other household security measures so buyers know exactly how secure the product they are considering is.
Roller Shutters graded against this scale are put through rigorous tests by specific governing bodies before they are able to be sold as part of the SBD initiative. Therefore if you see that a door is marked as SR1,2,3 or 4, you can rely on the shutter to meet certain security standards.
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How Much Do Roller Shutters Cost?
The price of a roller shutter door can vary widely depending on the application and complexity of the door. A simple aluminium shutter designed for a home is likely to only cost a few hundred pounds. conversely, a large complex shutter for a car park that needs to open many times per day can cost much more.
The best way to get the best price for your shutter is to utilise our free survey service. Call one of our experience team to discuss your requiremenets.