Removing Exterior Vinyl Shutters that are Installed with Shutter-Loks

Shutter-Loks (sometimes spelled "shutter locks" and often referred to as easy-loks, shutter plugs, plastic nails, or reverse barbed button locks) are designed for a permanent shutter installation. However, it is still possible to remove decorative exterior vinyl shutters when doing maintenance (such as exterior painting or installing new siding) on your home. You can remove the window shutters, but installing them again will require you to purchase new Shutter-Loks. Keep this in mind before you take them down, because Shutter-Loks generally cannot be found in local stores.
Do not attempt to pull the Shutter-Lok out of the wall, as you will most likely damage the surface of your exterior vinyl shutters. To remove the exterior decorative shutters, you will need the following:
  1. A small chisel with a sharpened edge
  2. A hammer
  3. Silicone or caulking compound
  4. A diagonal cutter
  5. An electric drill with a 1/4" drill bit
Turn the chisel so the sharp edge is facing away from the surface of the house and slide it behind the shutter until it rests against the Shutter-Lok. Use a hammer to give the handle of the chisel a sharp rap and the chisel will cut through the Shutter-Lok.
After you have cut through all of the Shutter-Loks, take the shuttter down and set it carefully on the ground. Use a diagonal cutter to shear the remaining piece of the Shutter-Lok from the wall so it is flush with the surface. Next, drill out the Shutter-Lok using a 1/4" or slightly smaller drill bit. Do not leave the Shutter-Lok inside of the wall (unless it falls inside the cavity) because moisture can leak in and it will start to rot.
Now, if you plan to leave the window shutters off of your home, you should fill the hole in with caulking compound and smooth it off so it is level with the surface and you can then repaint to make the hole invisible.
If you plan to reinstall the vinyl exterior shutters after you paint your home or do other maintenance, fill the hole partially with silicone to weatherproof it temporarily. After painting the exterior of the house or doing other maintenance, you can redrill the hole with a 1/4" drill bit to remove the silicone.
To reinstall your exterior shutters, rest the exterior window shutter against the surface and align it with the holes, then press the Shutter-Loks into the holes part way to hold the vinyl shutter in place. Use a hammer to very gently tap the Shutter-Lok until it is flush with the surface of the exterior window shutter. Do not keep tapping, as this will make the shutter start to dimple and you will need to purchase new Shutter-Loks and start over because there is no way to pull them back out. You should leave the Shutter-Loks just slightly loose to allow for expansion and contraction.
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