Premium wood exterior shutters provide unmatched richness and depth to a home’s windows and overall curb appeal, and they offer a variety of personalization options.
But wood shutters do require a little extra attention compared with PVC shutters when it comes to protection against the elements. Even high-end wood shutters, which are often crafted of water- and rot-resistant mahogany, can benefit from shutter capping.
What Is Shutter Capping?
When considering the longevity of wood exterior shutters, it’s easy to overlook capping. Many contemporary shutters are made of composite materials that are inherently water-resistant or waterproof.
But wood shutters are susceptible to rain that pours onto the shutter tops and remains pooled there after the precipitation stops. Shutter capping consists of a slender strip of material — often aluminum or copper — that is attached to the shutter tops.
Capping protects the end grains of wood shutters from absorbing moisture. Quality shutter capping should fit tightly around the shutter top edges and guide water over the edges.
In addition to its practical benefits, shutter capping is also a distinctive aesthetic enhancement to wood shutters. The metallic tones of the capping can augment the shutters’ appearance and complement a home’s architectural style.
How Exterior Shutter Capping Works
Shutter capping should be custom made to fit each shutter, but it generally consists of a length of thin metal in the shape of an upside-down “U”.
The capping strip fits end-to-end over a shutter top and is adhered from the capping’s underside to ensure it stays in place. Properly sized and securely attached capping protects the shutters’ vulnerable tops from moisture and sun damage, and it won’t interfere with use if the exterior shutters are operable.
Again, a precise fit is important. One-size-fits-all shutter capping may leave gaps that actually facilitate moisture absorption and wood rot, or may not adequately seal to shutter tops for long-term shutter preservation.
On a stylistic note, capping can add a dramatic flourish or a refined touch to exterior shutters. Two of the most commonly used materials for shutter capping happen to be durable and align with a variety of shutter styles, color palettes and home designs.
Exterior Shutter Capping Materials
Aluminum and copper share some traits that make them ideal for shutter capping.
Both are relatively soft metals that can be precisely shaped. As an element, aluminum is slightly less dense than copper, but both are durable and water-resistant.
Aluminum is widely used for other structural applications, such as in gutters, garage doors and hurricane shutters, as well as in aircraft construction thanks to its lightweight strength. Copper is also a common building material and is often used in electrical wiring (for its conductivity properties) and plumbing (for its water-resistance and ability to withstand temperature fluctuations).
One area in which aluminum and copper notably distinguish themselves is in appearance. Copper’s bold countenance can be a good match for natural wood hues, traditionally styled homes or homes with other copper facets.
Aluminum’s steely look is versatile enough to match a spectrum of home-exterior color and style combinations, including many modern homes. Shutter capping can also be painted for a seamless appearance.
Regardless of which material best suits your home and personal preferences, both aluminum and copper capping can help your wood exterior shutters provide long-lasting beauty.
Capping Shutters With Timberlane
If you have questions about shutter capping and the optimal material for your home, Timberlane is ready to help.
Timberlane manufactures elite, custom, exterior shutters and shutter hardware. Our knowledgeable team has extensive experience working with architects, builders and homeowners to choose shutters that will say “welcome home” in style for years to come.
To learn more about exterior shutters and exterior shutter options, or to request a quote, connect with Timberlane today.