Sonya Awning March 31st, 2018 - 11:52:31
Specifically for retractable awnings, most Asian-produced lines are imitative rather than original, meaning they use standard designs done on the cheap without any engineering design or engineering drawings. In addition, almost all Asian vendors lacks TÜV or Eurolab certifications. Thats not to say that every budget line is bad. Obviously, price is a factor (though it becomes less of a factor when the usable life of a budget awning is about a quarter of a commercial/high-end awning). Also, a few companies focusing on residential lines put the effort in meeting with Asian manufacturers at trade shows, even touring their facilities. Even with budget lines, the quality of the company is reflected in their service agreements, return policies, and customer service.
There are dozens of styles of retractable awnings, determined mainly by the frame shape: Lateral arm awning - the most common, and oldest, retractable awning style, consisting simply of two or more arms, the front bar, mounting bar and the fabric. This is the most popular style for homes and commercial buildings; this is also the most scalable style, extending (projecting) as far as 17 feet without external supports. Dome - an awning with curved ribs, which forms a rounded shape when fully extended; these tend to have a significantly shorter extension (projection) than lateral arm awnings, extending only about five feet out maximum from the mount point. An elongated dome can have a longer projection than a standard dome style, almost double. Dome awnings are common for commercial properties and for window and door awnings. Drop screen - a kind of retractable awning which is mounted vertically so it extends downward. This style of awning has the mounting bar and fabric, but no arms since it simply "drops" down. This is mainly used to screen patios, gazebos, and other outdoor areas from glare, heat, rain, UV rays, direct sun, mosquitoes, and pollen.
PVC - a hard polymer also used to make plumbing pipes; this tends to be brittle. Kevlar® - the polymer used to make bulletproof vests; Kevlar® straps in the arms instead of cables are extremely strong and durable and cant rust. Cables - braided metal strands which are used in the arms; these are usually steel, which rusts, leading the cables to discolor the fabric and eventually break. Cables cannot be replaced because they are internal to the arm and inaccessible. Terms: Installation Understanding a few terms about the positioning and installation of the awning can help determine the appropriate size and installation location for your awning: o Mount - what way or location the awning is affixed to the home or building, such as a wall mount, eave mount, soffit, or roof mount. Pitch - the angle that the awning comes down from the mount point to the front bar. Some lateral arm retractable awnings have an adjustable pitch. Projection - how far out from the wall the awning can extend. Load - the stress put on the awning, from wind, snow, even the weight of the awning itself (dead load). Good quality retractable awnings can sustain wind speeds up to approximately 35mph Pooling - water buildup on the canopy which can cause the fabric to sag and stretch.
UV rays, high wind, gusts, and rain - basically, normal weather - cause the most damage to awnings. Fading, molding, and tearing fabric. Twisting fixed frames from high wind damage or the weight of snow or pooling rain. In only two or three years, fixed awnings and canopies already show substantial wear, which is why the lifetime of most fixed awnings and canopies is only five or six years before the awning need to be replaced. Retractable awnings are closed when not in use, which cuts weather damage. That makes the maintenance much easier on retractable awnings compared to permanent awnings and canopies - there is no need to hunt down replacement parts, replace fabric every couple of years, or attempt to wrangle awnings down and into storage for winter.